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Careers in caring: the changing situations of parents caring for an offspring with learning difficulties

Todd, Stuart Philip, Shearn, Julia, Beyer, Stephen Richard ORCID: and Felce, David John 1993. Careers in caring: the changing situations of parents caring for an offspring with learning difficulties. The Irish Journal of Psychology 14 (1) , pp. 130-153. 10.1080/03033910.1993.10557919

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Drawing on information from a survey sample of individuals with learning difficulties aged ≥5 years in 4 districts in Wales, data are presented on the ages of parents and offspring, household composition, the level of dependency of offspring, expectations of progress towards independence and the levels of service and informal support received by individuals or families. Most people with learning difficulties living in the family home were adults, although the proportion decreased with age. Transition from the family home was particularly related to certain age groups and to the presence of a single parent rather than two. Primary carers were predominantly mothers. Parental ages ranged from <25 to >75 years, on average differing from that of the offspring with learning difficulties by about 30 years. Single parent households became more common with increasing age, although these were also relatively frequent among the youngest age group, and there was a steady movement out of the home of siblings. Individuals tended to increase skills with time and the adults in family homes were significantly less dependent than the children. However, parents of children had greater optimism for continued progress in areas where offspring were not fully independent than did those of adults. Service support was more available to families of younger than older adults and the level of service planning for individuals aged 2S years or over was severely deficient. The results illustrate the variability in circumstance of family members as they grow older. A much more close understanding is required of how families age, how the relationships between members change and how the needs and ambitions of the family evolve, both individually and collectively, for service support to be matched to family circumstance.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: MRC Centre for Neuropsychiatric Genetics and Genomics (CNGG)
Subjects: R Medicine > R Medicine (General)
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
ISSN: 0303-3910
Last Modified: 24 Oct 2022 10:54

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