What is life really like for the UK’s army of unpaid adult carers and what would be the best way of supporting them?
Experts at The University of Nottingham have devised a simple to use manual to provide health and social care practitioners with the answers.
Launched today The Adult Carer Quality of Life Questionnaire, funded and published by The Princess Royal Trust for Carers, is a simple 40-item instrument which measures a carer’s quality of life in eight areas: support for caring; caring choice; caring stress; money matters; personal growth; sense of value; ability to care; and carer satisfaction.
The questionnaire can be used on a one-off basis for the purpose of an assessment, or as a pre or post intervention tool to measure change and the impact of support.
Professor Saul Becker, Head of the School of Sociology and Social Policy and Academic Lead for the University’s Children and Childhood Network, said: “This instrument has been researched, designed and tested with hundreds of family carers across Britain to make sure it is effective, easy and quick to complete, and gives an accurate measure of carers’ quality of life. There are almost six million carers in the UK and we hope that this instrument will be useful tool for all those assessing and working with carers, and for those evaluating services and interventions.
“Many carers face a range of difficulties in providing care to loved ones within their families. Many carers have money problems and others risk their own physical or mental health because of the heavy demands placed on them by caring. This tool will really help social workers, health workers, nurses, GPs, and the many other professional groups who work with, and support carers – including those working with ill, or disabled service users - to be able to assess the needs of carers and the extent to which they are able to cope with the demands of care-giving. It’s a resource that’s freely available and which we hope will be used widely”
Dr Moira Fraser, Director of Policy of The Princess Royal Trust for Carers, said: “We wanted to produce a tool for practitioners who work with carers so they can effectively assess both the negative and positive aspects of caring. We hope the questionnaire will be widely used to help us measure what works in providing support for carers and also help us see trends at a national level.”
The Adult Carer Quality of Life Questionnaire is available to download here: http://professionals.carers.org/health/articles/carer-quality-of-life-tool-launches,7010,PR.html
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Notes to editors
: The University of Nottingham, described by The Sunday Times University Guide 2011 as ‘the embodiment of the modern international university’, has award-winning campuses in the United Kingdom, China and Malaysia. It is ranked in the UK's Top 10 and the World's Top 75 universities by the Shanghai Jiao Tong (SJTU) and the QS World University Rankings. It was named ‘Europe’s greenest university’ in the UI GreenMetric World University Ranking, a league table of the world’s most environmentally-friendly higher education institutions, which ranked Nottingham second in the world overall.
The University is committed to providing a truly international education for its 40,000 students, producing world-leading research and benefiting the communities around its campuses in the UK and Asia.
More than 90 per cent of research at The University of Nottingham is of international quality, according to the most recent Research Assessment Exercise, with almost 60 per cent of all research defined as ‘world-leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’. Research Fortnight analysis of RAE 2008 ranked the University 7th in the UK by research power. The University’s vision is to be recognised around the world for its signature contributions, especially in global food security, energy & sustainability, and health.
More news from the University at: www.nottingham.ac.uk/news
The Princess Royal Trust for Carers is the UK’s largest provider of comprehensive support services for carers, reaching more than 424,000 carers (including more than 28,500 young carers) through a unique network of 144 independently managed Carers’ Centres, 89 young carers’ services and interactive websites: www.carers.org and www.youngcarers.net. To find your nearest Carers’ Centre, call 0844 800 4361.