Caring for a child with learning disabilities over a prolonged period of time: an exploratory survey on the experiences and health of older parent carers living in Scotland

Cairns, D. , Brown, J., Tolson, D. and Darbyshire, C. (2014) Caring for a child with learning disabilities over a prolonged period of time: an exploratory survey on the experiences and health of older parent carers living in Scotland. Journal of Applied Research in Intellectual Disabilities, 27(5), pp. 471-480. (doi:10.1111/jar.12071)

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Publisher's URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/jar.12071

Abstract

Background: The negative health impacts of prolonged caregiving are widely reported. However, there is a paucity of evidence concerning the impacts of a lifetime of caring on older parents of offspring with learning disabilities. Design and Methods: An exploratory postal survey including the Medical Outcome Study (Short Form) 36 version 2 (SF-36v2) was completed by 100 older parent carers. The reported survey is part of a larger mixed method study including in-depth interviews. Results: The majority of respondents (n = 91) reported caring for 50 h or more per week with multiple caregiving duties. While the SF-36v2 reported physical health of older parent carers to be similar to UK norms, their mental health was significantly reduced. Implications for practice: These important findings highlight the vulnerability of ageing parents of offspring with learning disabilities. This previously underreported situation warrants further investigation and urgent attention from health and social care agencies and professionals.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Kinnear, Dr Deborah
Authors: Cairns, D., Brown, J., Tolson, D., and Darbyshire, C.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Health and Wellbeing > Mental Health and Wellbeing
Journal Name:Journal of Applied Research in Intellectual Disabilities
Publisher:Wiley-Blackwell Publishing Ltd.
ISSN:1360-2322
ISSN (Online):1468-3148

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