A Southern Cross University study is exploring how well aged care workers and informal carers looking after seniors are prepared for the role and what meaning they find from providing care.

The study involves a 15-minute online survey investigating the experiences of people in formal and informal care roles including those who work in residential, home and community aged care or provide care to family members or friends aged 65 or over.

Southern Cross University honours student and lead researcher Linda Campione said studies have shown that feeling prepared for the care role may help care givers find meaning within it.

“Feeling prepared may decrease the stress and burden of the role, providing the carer with more space to find purpose,” Ms Campione told Australian Ageing Agenda.

Linda Campione

She said preparedness for caring meant feeling ready to meet the recipients’ care needs, face any potential care-related problems and cope with the emotional weight of the role.

Ms Campione said she hoped the study would help prepare and support people providing care to seniors to improve care outcomes.

“Exploring the preparedness of carers and the meaning they find within their roles may strengthen our understanding of caring for older adults and improve the quality of care given to the older adult,” Ms Campione said.

“It may also enhance the relationship between the carer and the older adult, strengthen the carer’s capacity to cope in the role, and improve the chances of the carer remaining in the role. It may also aid practitioners to assess carers who are ill-prepared and struggling to find meaning in order to provide them with additional training and support.”

Ms Campione said a better understanding of the care giving experience may lead to improved training and interventions for both formal and informal carers to help relieve stress and burden.

Dr Louise Horstmanshof

This would improve care giver wellbeing as they  have the tools, understanding and assistance to move forward, Ms Campione said.

“Hearing the voice of the carer and listening to their concerns and needs for their roles are pivotal in working towards the future of aged care and society,” she said.

Southern Cross University senior lecturer at the Faculty of Health Dr Louise Horstmanshof is supervising Ms Campione on the study.

Ms Campione is encouraging all formal and informal carers aged 18 or over to complete the survey before its expected closure in mid-August.

Access the survey.

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