This report provides an evaluation of the Family Carers Matter initiative, delivered by the Life Story Network with Hartlepool Carers, to develop a local sustainable programme with carers as volunteers being trained and mentored to co-deliver the programme to other carers.
Download Family Carers Matter in Hartlepool
The Life Story Network delivers programmes which focus on communication and relationships, re-connecting the family carer with the person with dementia when conversations become difficult and maintaining relationships through the use of life story work.
The Network has delivered the Family Carers Matter programme in many localities. The Hartlepool initiative was the first time that the Network used a validated tool to assess the impact of the course.
The Network used the Adult Carer Quality of Life questionnaire (AC-QoL), published by the Princess Royal Trust for Carers, a validated 40 item tool that measure the quality of life of adult, unpaid carers in eight domains:
- support for caring
- caring choice
- caring stress
- money matters
- personal growth
- sense of value
- ability to care and
- carer satisfaction.
Participants were asked to complete this questionnaire before and after they undertook the training. They were also asked to complete a specific Network evaluation form at the end of each day of training, which gave them the opportunity to comment on the quality of the training product and its delivery and on the benefits of the programme. Additionally, some carers took part in an interview based narrative exercise during the second day of training. These qualitative comments provided useful insights regarding the most helpful aspects of training, how the knowledge gathered from training might be used in practice and what could be adapted to improve the training received.
The findings highlighted in the report identified significant benefits for the health and wellbeing of the carer participants.
Key findings included:
- Reduced isolation
- Satisfaction with their caring role
- Sharing skills
- Reduced frustration
- The value of life story work
- More enjoyment from being a carer
For more information about the Life Story Network and to join the online interactive network visit www.lifestorynetwork.org.uk