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1.5 Young carers

Who is left out of the definition of informal carer? At first sight, taking account of the four complications noted above means that no one is left out. The definition can embrace anyone who is taking unpaid responsibility for the welfare of another person. Where do children and young people come into this? Maybe in answering Activity 5 you considered whether parenting young children makes you a carer. Looking after young children is not usually seen as making someone a carer. It is seen as m
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2.4.4 Networks

The fourth complication of my definition of a carer was networks. The drive to recognise someone as an informal carer or main carer risks leaving out of the picture other people who play an important part in sustaining someone, but who are not the main carer. In Lynne's case, for example, we heard that her boyfriend, Eddie, was an important figure. If her needs for care were under the spotlight, would Eddie figure? He probably does not count as a main carer, but without him her quality of lif
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2.4.2 Duration and frequency

The second complication associated with identifying carers is related to how much caring they do and how often they do it. This aspect came to the fore when carers were first identified in the 1985 General Household Survey, an annual statistical survey carried out by the Office of Population, Censuses and Surveys in the UK (Green, 1988). From answers to a question in the survey which asked if respondents took on ‘extra responsibilities’ for someone who was ‘sick, handicapped or elderly
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References

West, S. (2000) Your Rights: A guide to money benefits for older people, London, Age Concern England.

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8.2 Summary

Enid and Sarah mentioned relatives and friends, but the others sounded as if they were managing on their own, or within their immediate family unit. Care work can be an isolating experience. The hours are long. Sometimes they are unpredictable, and being cared for doesn't always mean that you're necessarily going to be able to have the time or energy to develop other relationships. You might like to consider whether demographic changes are likely to have an effect on who is available for care
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1 Arrangements for care and support

In this audio unit, Helen Robinson interviews five different, but not untypical, people who have set up arrangements for care and support, which suit themselves and others. All the arrangements involve cash payments, or have done so at some point in time. However, they all also include transactions which, though they aren't made in cash, involve other forms of exchange – goods, emotions, knowledge, and/or help.

Before you listen to each of the clips, take time to read through the note
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6.5 Training at high altitude

Many of the world's best endurance athletes train at high altitudes – a long way above sea level – to improve their performance. At high altitudes there is less oxygen in the air and it's believed that the body has to work harder to extract what little oxygen remains. When the athlete returns to lower altitudes, their body retains the ability to use oxygen more efficiently and their performance will have improved.

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6.2 The body, the lungs and oxygen

The figure shows a simple image of how the lungs absorb oxygen from the air.

Figure 11
Figure 11 Air and blood flow

Air contains several differ
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6.1 Introduction

We have learnt that part of the reason the heart pumps blood around is to make sure that the body gets a fresh supply of oxygen. So in the same way that our hearts need to keep beating, we need to keep breathing oxygen into our lungs to survive. But what is the function of oxygen? Why does our body need oxygen, and what does it do with it once we have breathed it in? These are some of the questions that we will examine in first part of this section.

In the second part of this section, w
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5.4 Finding your own arteries and veins

Figure 10
Figure 10 A forearm showing veins – a neck showing carotid artery and jugular vein – back of the knee showing artery

Some arteries and
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5.2 Two halves of one pumping system

The heart pumps blood around the body. That might seem obvious, and you might think that there must be more to it than that, but there isn't. That is all that it does. However, this is a crucially important job.

4.2 A resting heart rate

We can understand the role of the athlete's heart in sport a little more clearly by looking at typical heart rates for trained athletes compared with heart rates for non-athletes. A commonly used measure of heart efficiency is called the resting heart rate. This is the number of times per minute that the heart beats when a person is relaxed and resting. The heart rate for a reasonably healthy adult when they are relaxed and resting is in the range of 55–65 beats per minute. This means that
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3 The heart, blood and the lungs

We will now concentrate on the heart, the engine of the body. We will also consider the related topics of blood and blood flow, and the role of the lungs and oxygen in the body.

We all know that the heart is very important but what exactly does the heart do? Why is the blood so important? What functions do the lungs perform? In the next sections, we will try to provide at least a basic understanding so we can answer these questions and begin to understand why knowing about the heart is
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2.7 A few final comments

The aim of this section was to introduce the basic elements of human biology and show you the different approaches and levels that we have to deal with when we consider the links between human biology, athletes and sport.

At this point, you should understand that in the human body:

  • there are various systems of body parts that have different roles – one example is the cardiovascular system
  • we have to consider things as small as atoms and mo
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2.1 Introduction

The human body is a sophisticated and amasing entity. Think about the mechanical way the limbs operate, the electrical brain functions and chemicals working together in the different body organs. All of these activities integrate in a largely seamless way to help keep us alive in ways of which most of us are barely aware! Many people are content that their own body works, and don't care much about the details. However, if we want to understand how our own body, or those of elite athletes, fun
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Learning outcomes

Here's how the sections of this unit can help you.

  • A first look at the human body gives you the opportunity to gain an overall appreciation of how the body works in a scientific sense, and understand that a scientific view is necessary for us to study how performance in sport is linked to performance of the body.

  • Athletes and efficient hearts explains the function of the heart briefly and looks at the importance of healthy hearts in sport.


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2 Terminology: patients or people?

In this unit ‘the patient’ has been referred to on several occasions. One reason is the universal usage of the term and the ease with which it is understood. To identify someone as a patient immediately situates them as someone in receipt of medical treatment. However, the term itself is not without difficulty, as sociologists critical of medicine have been quick to point out, since it carries associations of power and authority.

Labelling theory is a useful concept that assesses h
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1 Expectations and administrative pressures

The medical prognoses and diagnoses of dying raise expectations of what will actually happen to the dying person. For example, someone is diagnosed with terminal lung cancer, they will be given a forecast that covers the estimated length of time before death, any likely symptoms, the development of the illness, and possible treatment(s). Of course, these types of medical expectations are not unique to death and dying: they are found in all treatments of illness, and no doubt you will have had
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4.4 Are there alternatives to medication?

Another response to bereavement has been to suggest that the bereaved person should go through some form of bereavement counselling. Cruse Bereavement Care is the largest bereavement counselling organisation in the UK.

There are contrasting opinions about the effectiveness of bereavement counselling (also called grief counselling). For many years it had been thought that there was no evidence for the effectiveness of grief counselling, and there was even an opinion that substantial numb
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Introduction

This unit helps you to explore the extent to which death and dying in western societies are medical events and what aspects of death and dying might be neglected as a consequence. The unit covers the way that such things as medicine provide the context of the experiences associated with the end of life.

This unit is an adapted extract from the Open University course Death and dying
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