Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Carers need emotional support as well as practical help says study

02.11.2006
Seeing the funny side of things and realising that other people are worse off than them are the two top coping strategies used by people caring for someone over 75, according to research in November issue of Journal of Clinical Nursing.

Nurse researcher Alison Jarvis from the University of Edinburgh, Scotland, explored the caring experiences of 172 carers. She discovered that dealing with the emotional consequences and family tensions created by caring can prove a much greater problem than the tasks that carers perform for the people they look after.

Yet most health and social care professionals focus purely on practical issues, when they should be dealing with carers in a more holistic way and taking account of their emotional needs.

“Our study shows that carers get satisfaction from the quality of care they provide and use humour and practical solutions to resolve problems” says Ms Jarvis. “But many feel angry about their situation and find it hard to cope with the actual and potential family tensions created by their caring role.”

79 per cent found humour helpful and 74 per cent felt they were better off than others. Three-quarters of carers also found it helpful to keep some free time for themselves, maintain interests outside caring and keep the person they cared for as active as possible.

Two-thirds (67 per cent) said that they tried to get as much help as they could from professionals and service providers, but only two per cent advocated attending a self-help group.

16 per cent found relaxation and meditation techniques helpful.

Questionnaires were sent to carers identified as part of a larger survey carried out in a Scottish practice – which comprises five family doctors and 5,000 registered adults aged 16 or over.

69 per cent of patients took part in the initial screening survey and 70 per cent of patients who said they cared for someone aged 75 or over took part in the latest study.

Key findings include:

• About a third of respondents said that caring put a strain on family relationships (34 per cent), that the person they cared for could be difficult (33 per cent) and that caring restricted their social life (32 per cent).

• More than one in five (22 per cent) felt angry about their situation and 30 per cent said that their emotional well-being had suffered as a result of caring.

• However eight out of ten people did get satisfaction from seeing the person they cared for happy or from doing something that gave their loved one pleasure. They also felt that it was important to maintain the dignity of the person they cared for and felt it was one way of expressing their love for them.

• Just under a third (32 per cent) said caring had helped them to grow as a person, 13 per cent said it gave their life purpose and 16 per cent said it had given them the chance to widen their interests and contacts.

“This study shows that it is the invisible consequences of care giving, such as family tensions and lack of time, that seem to be most stressful, even at an early stage” says Ms Jarvis. “These chronic stress factors may accumulate and the last stressor, which may appear to be relatively minor, could trigger a crisis.

“Professionals have a tendency to see solutions to problems in purely practical terms and avoid complex or painful emotional issues, despite talking about “needs led” rather than “service led” assessments.

“They need to develop a better understanding of the often invisible difficulties that carers face and how they really feel about their role. This will help them to understand why some people appear to manage the stresses of caring while others struggle with less demanding loads.”

Annette Whibley | alfa
Further information:
http://www.blackwellpublishing.com/jcn

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht The importance of biodiversity in forests could increase due to climate change
17.11.2017 | Deutsches Zentrum für integrative Biodiversitätsforschung (iDiv) Halle-Jena-Leipzig

nachricht Win-win strategies for climate and food security
02.10.2017 | International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Frictional Heat Powers Hydrothermal Activity on Enceladus

Computer simulation shows how the icy moon heats water in a porous rock core

Heat from the friction of rocks caused by tidal forces could be the “engine” for the hydrothermal activity on Saturn's moon Enceladus. This presupposes that...

Im Focus: Nanoparticles help with malaria diagnosis – new rapid test in development

The WHO reports an estimated 429,000 malaria deaths each year. The disease mostly affects tropical and subtropical regions and in particular the African continent. The Fraunhofer Institute for Silicate Research ISC teamed up with the Fraunhofer Institute for Molecular Biology and Applied Ecology IME and the Institute of Tropical Medicine at the University of Tübingen for a new test method to detect malaria parasites in blood. The idea of the research project “NanoFRET” is to develop a highly sensitive and reliable rapid diagnostic test so that patient treatment can begin as early as possible.

Malaria is caused by parasites transmitted by mosquito bite. The most dangerous form of malaria is malaria tropica. Left untreated, it is fatal in most cases....

Im Focus: A “cosmic snake” reveals the structure of remote galaxies

The formation of stars in distant galaxies is still largely unexplored. For the first time, astron-omers at the University of Geneva have now been able to closely observe a star system six billion light-years away. In doing so, they are confirming earlier simulations made by the University of Zurich. One special effect is made possible by the multiple reflections of images that run through the cosmos like a snake.

Today, astronomers have a pretty accurate idea of how stars were formed in the recent cosmic past. But do these laws also apply to older galaxies? For around a...

Im Focus: Visual intelligence is not the same as IQ

Just because someone is smart and well-motivated doesn't mean he or she can learn the visual skills needed to excel at tasks like matching fingerprints, interpreting medical X-rays, keeping track of aircraft on radar displays or forensic face matching.

That is the implication of a new study which shows for the first time that there is a broad range of differences in people's visual ability and that these...

Im Focus: Novel Nano-CT device creates high-resolution 3D-X-rays of tiny velvet worm legs

Computer Tomography (CT) is a standard procedure in hospitals, but so far, the technology has not been suitable for imaging extremely small objects. In PNAS, a team from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) describes a Nano-CT device that creates three-dimensional x-ray images at resolutions up to 100 nanometers. The first test application: Together with colleagues from the University of Kassel and Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht the researchers analyzed the locomotory system of a velvet worm.

During a CT analysis, the object under investigation is x-rayed and a detector measures the respective amount of radiation absorbed from various angles....

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Ecology Across Borders: International conference brings together 1,500 ecologists

15.11.2017 | Event News

Road into laboratory: Users discuss biaxial fatigue-testing for car and truck wheel

15.11.2017 | Event News

#Berlin5GWeek: The right network for Industry 4.0

30.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Underwater acoustic localization of marine mammals and vehicles

23.11.2017 | Information Technology

Enhancing the quantum sensing capabilities of diamond

23.11.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Meadows beat out shrubs when it comes to storing carbon

23.11.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>