Support for the family is a key component of palliative care practice and philosophy, with both patient and family construed as the 'unit of care'. However, there is not always formal acknowledgement of the importance of the family carer role, or that of friends, neighbours and other non-professional, informal carers. Consequently, health and social care professionals find carer support work particularly challenging. Symptom management, personal care, and administering of medications are just some of the tasks taken on by this group of non-professionals, and the impact of this role can have negative emotional, physical, financial and social implications on the care-giver. Furthermore, family carers consistently report unmet needs, and there has been a lack of intervention studies aimed at improving carer support. This book therefore provides an evidence-based, practical guide to enable health and social care professionals to assess and respond to family carer needs. It also explores the wider sociological, policy, and research issues related to family carers and palliative care.
Publisher: Oxford University Press
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