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Durham e-Theses
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Caring for carers: an evaluation of a domiciliary respite care scheme

Smith, Monica Pauline (1988) Caring for carers: an evaluation of a domiciliary respite care scheme. Masters thesis, Durham University.



This thesis evaluates a domiciliary respite care scheme which supported the family carers of physically handicapped and frail elderly people living at home. It considers the context in which the scheme arose and gives thought to its organisational structure. The consumer perspective is central to the evaluation of the scheme. The supported families are described In terms of the needs of dependant and carer and the effect of the scheme in relieving the caring situation. Although the majority of carers wish to look after their dependants caring can have an adverse effect on the well being of carers, both physically and emotionally. The scheme which was funded by the Manpower Services Commission (MSC) offered support to families by providing part-time trained care helpers who cared for dependants allowing the family carer to have a break. Carers were referred by statutory caring agencies, voluntary bodies and self referred following press publicity. Eligibility criteria related to the carers' health and responsibilities together with the care requirements of the dependants and the availability of other help. Of 208 families referred, 159 (76%) were supported during the two year pilot project, receiving 2-20 hours respite care a week, free of charge and at times suiting the carer and dependant. The level of dependency of the disabled people was high (27% unable to perform dressing/undressing, toileting, feeding or walking unaided). Their ages ranged from 3-93 years and the ages of their carers from 21-92 years of age. The scheme was valued by families for the high standard of care provided and the flexibility of respite care which gave help when statutory services were not available. Families, however, sought continuity of service. This could not be provided with MSC funding and the effectiveness of the service to carers and dependants was reduced by the need to employ and train new staff annually.

Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Award:Master of Arts
Thesis Date:1988
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:08 Feb 2013 13:36

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