The fog of support: an inquiry into the provision of respite care and carers assessments for people affected by dementia

ALLEN Karen, et al
Alzheimer's Society
Publication year:
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This report reviews the support available to informal carers of people with dementia, with specific attention being given to carers’ assessments (or “check ins”) and the provision of short breaks for carers. Evidence for this research was collected from a range of sources, including via desk-based research, a survey of directors of adult social care, a request to local authorities for data, interviews with senior leaders and commissioners in adult social care, a survey of professionals, a survey of carers, and workshops held in England and Wales with people living with dementia and carers. The findings show that there is a reported lack of available services that enable carers of people living with dementia to take a break from caring. Positive support is reported by some (such as that provided by local charities, and the use of community resources); however, both professionals and carers report difficulty in finding care provision which suits the needs of people living with dementia, and this in turn prevents carers from arranging breaks for themselves. The experience of carer assessments reported by carers is mixed; however, this research confirms findings in the wider literature that only a minority of carers have received an assessment of their needs. Furthermore, these assessments were not always experienced positively. The nature of providing short breaks for carers is challenging from a legislative perspective and at a practice level, particularly where support may be delivered to a person living with dementia but is intended primarily for the benefit of the person caring for them. Some evidence highlighted situations where this was the case, as well as situations where the person with dementia may have different wishes to the person caring for them in terms of replacement care. (Edited publisher abstract)

Subject terms:
dementia, carers, carers assessment, short break care, user views;
Content types:
research, research review
United Kingdom
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