This article explores the historical development of Carer’s Allowance in the UK, alongside legal challenges and recent proposals for changes to it in Scotland. Eligibility criteria for receipt of this allowance construct carers as people of ‘working age’ who provide care within dyadic relationships and exclude people whose unpaid caring work is more complex and/or interdependent. Disabled people are simultaneously constructed as dependent recipients of this care. Carer’s Allowance provides symbolic but conditional recognition of unpaid caring, while doing little to meet the financial or support needs of carers. This symbolism reinforces the role of gendered families as the main providers of care and of disabled people as dependent.
This article discusses the overlooked role of recreation programmes in the ethnocultural and cultural-specific long-term care home from my standpoint as a recreation worker. First, the policy during the pandemic that prohibited visits by family members and volunteers revealed that they are important informal caregivers to fill in for the limitations of workers. Second, recreational programmes can also be considered as a practice of cultural inheritance: staff and volunteers learn their history and reconstruct them as collective memory. Third, the interaction between residents, volunteers, families and workers generates a sense of belonging to the ethnic community. Therefore, it can be considered a practice of community building for minority ethnic groups. By presenting the significant role of recreation workers in a long-term care home, I aim to question the meaning and value of care work in long-term care facilities.
The United Nations Decade of Healthy Ageing (2020–30) states that reliance on family care alone is unsustainable. This scoping review synthesises knowledge on family beliefs about care for older people in Central, East, Southern and West Africa and Latin America. The Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses guidelines were followed, and 35 articles published from 2010 to 2020 were included. The review highlights the challenges arising from embedded beliefs in family obligations to care.
Migration-driven super-diversity is creating new challenges for equitable access to care in many European welfare states. To provide good care for all, care workers must bridge different kinds of social distance to build trusting relationships. Qualitative research within two home-care organisations in the same super-diverse neighbourhoods in the Netherlands reveals the strategies used by home-care workers to do so, as well as to maintain distance when their professionalism is threatened. However, the ability of care organisations and their employees to provide good relational care to all is constrained by the national standardisation of care within the welfare state.
The COVID-19 pandemic brought to the fore stark gendered care inequalities and the inadequacy of care provision across states. This article presents a feminist-ethics-of-care-informed discourse analysis of the representation of care that emerged at the Irish Citizens’ Assembly on Gender Equality – an innovative government-created citizen deliberation process. It identifies how care was represented as a ‘problem’ of both gender inequality and the market, and uncovers key silences, which ignored care as a universal need of all citizens and the significance of care networks to sustaining caring. We propose the necessity of ethics-of-care-based understandings to address post-pandemic care challenges.
An adaptation of the stress and coping model applicable to Asian family carers of persons living with dementia is proposed based on quantitative and qualitative studies in this population. Key features of this adapted model include: (1) specifying person and environment factors for the particular context of Asian family carers of a person living with dementia; (2) highlighting the importance of perceived social support; (3) describing a broader influence of culture on several aspects of the appraisal and coping process; (4) differentiating between positive and negative emotion-focused coping strategies; and (5) emphasising quality of life as an outcome of coping.
In response to COVID-19, many care homes closed to visitors and new ways for carers and residents to stay in touch were tried. This UK study employed an online survey to explore carer experiences of staying in touch from a distance. The research highlighted: the importance of ongoing connections (through visits and remotely); diverse approaches to maintaining contact; and concerns about safeguarding and well-being. Findings underscore the importance of developing personalised approaches to staying in touch during future care home closures and for those who require an ongoing approach to remote contact due to distance, illness or additional caring responsibilities.
Research on the impact of caring for patients with an acoustic neuroma is scarce. Findings from 12 interviews with primary carers of this patient population highlight six key themes: life disruption, support, well-being, the carer role, lessons learned and the impact of COVID-19. Carers need more practical information and emotional support, starting from the diagnosis stage through to recovery. Recommendations include routine carer assessments, early signposting to auxiliary services and information materials about recovery. This study contributes to the UK literature gap of this under-studied population and demonstrates the importance of carer assessments, as set out in the Carers Act 2014.