Carers of West Dunbartonshire were awarded funding including replacement care costs to develop their programme of learning and advice for 21 carers, with 500 information packs distributed. Training, support and development was delivered to carers in Dumbarton and Clydebank, with the aim of improving confidence of those carers who are looking after an older relative or friend with palliative care needs.
Carers who attended the training course received information packs and advice on how to manage caring for individuals with multiple long term conditions. Courses were delivered in partnership with specialist palliative care nurses, and early indicators from evaluation of the training suggest that there is a higher than participated attendance rate of individual carers supporting individuals with palliative care, which potentially identified hidden carer groups.
Carers of West Dunbartonshire worked with the qualified trainers at TELL and local health staff to develop the training pack and deliver the following courses which consisted of two components:
- Courses carers attended to get information and advice which address the issues that caring for an older person can present, such as continence, personal care, dealing with limited mobility/risk of falls, medication etc. These were delivered at venues across the area and transport was provided where this was a barrier to attending.
- Training packs were developed which contained 12 individual insert cards which have written information about the issues carers face and how to manage them. The inserts also included contact details of each health discipline.
- There was also a strong emphasis on the responsibility of health professionals to share their experience and knowledge with carers.
- Increased skills and confidence by having access to learning opportunities relating to caring for older people.
- Carers reported they felt better informed and more skilled when carrying out their caring role.
- By increasing the carers’ knowledge and information with the provision of an information resource pack, carers reported reduced anxiety.