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Carers in the 21st Century: Developing the Evidence Base

Research about carers and caring issues has burgeoned since the emergence of the term 'carer' in the 1980s. This has played a key role in enhancing awareness of carers' visibility and needs and has contributed to the development of policies aimed at improving carers’ quality of life, health and well-being. However, carers face a set of new challenges in the 21st century which are likely to compound the existing challenges associated with caring. For example, changing demographics will increase the demand for care, medical advances will result in carers’ having to care for longer periods, and a shift from hospitals and care homes to community based settings means carers have responsibility for managing a far greater range of health conditions.

This innovative and original series of four seminars will make a timely contribution to the development of a coherent evidence base that can be used to develop policy, services and interventions that improve carers’ quality of life and those they support. It will provide a forum for researchers, carers, service users, practitioners, policy makers and representatives from third sector organisations. The objectives of the seminar series are to:

  • Identify contemporary and future issues for carers in the UK (primarily)
  • Review existing research evidence about the cost effectiveness of policy and health and social care interventions for carers and those they support
  • Establish a future agenda for research around services that meet the needs of carers and improve their quality of life
  • Explore key theoretical, conceptual and methodological challenges facing the carer research community
  • Encourage academic, third sector, practitioner and policy debate on effective carer research
  • Establish a carers research network to progress the carer research agenda

The presenters are drawn from a wide range of backgrounds and disciplines; they include leading academic researchers, early career researchers, carers, service users, voluntary organisations, representatives from government departments, and postgraduate students. The locations of the seminars and their themes are as follows:

Carers and Policy in the 21st Century
Kings College, London (8 October 2012)

Policy in Practice|
University of York (11 February 2013)

Individual Carers, Personalised Needs|
De Montfort University (3 June 2013)

Effective Support For Carers|
University of Surrey (9 September 2013)

Mary Larkin| (Lead)
Anne Arber|
Alisoun Milne|
Catherine Robinson|
Diane Seddon |
Julia Tabreham|

Carers in the 21st Century

Carers 21 Blog


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