Short breaks can be a lifeline for people with significant caring roles who may struggle to maintain a life of their own, with consequences for health, wellbeing and quality of life. A new research report commissioned by Shared Care Scotland explores existing evidence about the vital role played by short breaks and respite care in families where there are significant caring responsibilities. The literature review was undertaken by Diane Seddon and Louise Prendergast of the Wales Centre for Ageing and Dementia Research at Bangor University and tells us what the evidence says about outcomes for carers.
There is increasing recognition of the vital role that family carers play in supporting people with care needs to stay at home. The importance of short breaks which can enable carers to continue in these roles is also understood in policy and practice. There is however a need to understand what works as we move from traditional forms of respite care to more individually tailored and creative breaks.
Diane Seddon from Bangor University said:
“This review has helped us to work out what is known about carer health and well-being in particular, with additional evidence about carers being enabled to have a life of their own. However, there are limits to the outcomes that have been considered by the research and we also need to know more about the outcomes of newer types of short break that are becoming more popular”
Don Williamson from Shared Care Scotland said:
“We want to focus on understanding and capturing what matters, both to carers and the people they care for. The evidence is sometimes contradictory, and tells us that we need to work with each family to ensure that any short break is tailored to their needs.”
The research is the first output of the Short Breaks Research & Practice Development Group, which will be launching its new website in November administered by the Open University.
Emma Miller from Strathclyde University, who is on the group, said:
“We are delighted to have a place to start from with this review. We now look forward to connecting with others who are interested in developing this research and practice agenda.”
The report is available here:
For further information contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Shared Care Scotland believes passionately that everyone who receives support or provides unpaid care should be able to live a full and satisfying life, with the assistance they need to take regular, quality breaks from the everyday demands of their caring routines. We offer services including learning exchange opportunities, good practice publications and research evidence, and an online directory of short break services. As one of seven National Carers Organisations we also contribute to the development of policy and best practice for carers. www.sharedcarescotland.org.uk
- The purpose of the Short Breaks Research and Practice Development Group is to support a culture of research excellence, build research capacity relating to short breaks, facilitate knowledge exchange between academia and practice and ultimately make a positive contribution to supporting inter-caring relationships.
- Addressing key gaps in the knowledge base, the aim of this group is to improve understanding of the role of short breaks and respite care and to inform future research in ways that can support continuous improvement in policy and practice.
The group is currently overseen by:
Emma Miller, Strathclyde University
Diane Seddon, Bangor University
Rosanna Ware, Open University in Scotland
Don Williamson, Shared Care Scotland
For further information contact: Diane Seddon: email@example.com