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Up close and personal : a qualitative study exploring the lived experience of older carers.

Parker, Ethna and Hamill, Conal (2011) 'Up close and personal : a qualitative study exploring the lived experience of older carers.', Mental health and learning disabilities research and practice., 8 (1). pp. 15-29.


This study explored the experiences of informal carers who were aged 65 years and over. It has been estimated that 15 per cent of those aged 65 or over provide some form of informal care in England. Despite a growing literature on the involvement of older people in research, there is a paucity of literature on the involvement of older carers. In this study, older carers were identified via a General Practice (GP) register in one urban medical practice. Data was collected through a series of focus groups, which were transcribed and analysed using thematic analysis. Every carer aged 55 or over and registered with the medical practice was invited to take part in the study. Four female carers and one male carer took part in the study (age range 65-83). Themes that emerged during data analysis included, 1) managing things in an emergency, 2) feeling valued because they took part in the research and 3) the day-to-day reality of living with social exclusion. GP registers provide a valuable tool for identifying older carers who may otherwise be difficult to engage in research. However, persuading GPs to engage with qualitative research may be a challenge.

Item Type:Article
Additional Information:Mental Health and Learning Disabilities Research and Practice is a joint publication between South West Yorkshire Mental Health NHS Trust and the University of Huddersfield.
Keywords:Older Carers, Informal Care, Qualitative Research, Participatory Methodologies, Carer Involvement.
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Record Created:14 Oct 2011 15:05
Last Modified:20 Oct 2011 11:45

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