What about the carers?

Larkin, Mary (2012). What about the carers? In: Lloyd, Cathy and Heller, Tom eds. Long Term Conditions: Challenges in Health and Social Care. London: Sage, pp. 185–198.

URL: http://www.uk.sagepub.com/books/Book235772


Discussion, debate and policy relating to the management of the complex needs of individuals with long-term conditions often focuses on the formal organization and delivery of health and social care. As a result, the more than significant contribution made by those caring for people with these conditions on an informal basis is often overlooked. The term "carer" is used to refer to someone caring for a person who cannot care for himself/herself and, excluding benefits, carries this out on an unpaid basis. This chapter focuses on the carers of people with long-term conditions who cannot self-manage, and aims to provide an analysis of the role of unpaid carers in the UK in delivering health and social care for this group of people. It starts with some historical contextualization and outlines the development of community care, as well as showing how this led to both the introduction of the term "carer" and an increase in the number of carers who care for people with long-term conditions. This will be followed by a discussion of the impact of caring on the lives of these carers. The chapter will then explore subsequent policy developments in community care for people with long-term conditions and the implications of these policy shifts for their carers. The last section will consider the future role of carers in the UK in the delivery of health and social care to people with long-term conditions.

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