Journal Article

Older Carers of Adults with a Learning Disability Confront the Future: Issues and Preferences in Planning

Laura Bowey and Alex McGlaughlin

in The British Journal of Social Work

Published on behalf of British Association of Social Workers

Volume 37, issue 1, pages 39-54
Published in print January 2007 | ISSN: 0045-3102
Published online June 2006 | e-ISSN: 1468-263X | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/bjsw/bcl052
Older Carers of Adults with a Learning Disability Confront the Future: Issues and Preferences in Planning

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The Valuing People White Paper (Department of Health, 2001) requires services to secure a plan for all service-users with learning disabilities living with older carers and promises them and their families more choice and control over how and where they live. This paper examines the views of the older carers (aged over seventy) of sixty-two adults with a learning disability about planning for the future. Fifty-six took part in interviews in their own homes and six completed a questionnaire. All carers were white and recruited from one local authority in response to the requirements of the White Paper. Findings indicate that a significant proportion (thirty-four—55 per cent) is either not ready or is unwilling to make future plans. Barriers to planning include a perceived lack of need due to the existence of two carers, a lack of awareness of timescales involved in securing housing, difficulties in letting go, a lack of confidence in available housing options, and the existence of mutually supportive relationships. The findings show a need for a proactive approach to information and support provision to enable these families to work through a process of making plans for the future. This is essential to prevent the need for emergency placements in response to crisis and in turn to ensure that adults with learning disabilities have genuine choice and involvement in how and where they live.

Keywords: older carers; adults with a learning disability; planning for the future

Journal Article.  6834 words. 

Subjects: Social Work

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