Helping carers care: Supporting informal carers now and in the future

Ms Amy Heath1

1La Trobe University, Melbourne, Australia

 

This quantitative and qualitative study, with the support of Carers Victoria and the Palliative Care Unit of La Trobe University, sought to quantify and qualify the stresses and challenges that the role of informal caring has upon someone managing an ageing person. Research in the area of care-giving is substantial in Australia thanks to pioneers such as Drs Noel and Cynthia Schultz, but service provision and the ongoing use of services amongst the ageing and their carers is an area of constant struggle. The knowledge about carers is vital for ensuring that not only are those requiring care receive it in a timely and appropriate manner, but that their carers are also supported in order to allow them to care in a positive and meaningful way.

 

The increasing ageing population in Australia ensures that informal carers will be sought after, with more and more family member becoming carers, possibly on multiple occasions throughout their life. Supporting these people, allowing them to access the resources and support they need in times of difficulty is crucial – and not judging them on their performance in this time of need is even more important.

 

The overall results of this research will be presented which will help to enlighten health professionals in the geriatric and palliative care fields about how to reach out to these carers, to use their untapped expertise they possess so as to support the ageing, knowing that they too, as health professionals, might also need such a carer in the future.