"Just Hanging On": The Experiences of Older Carers of a Family Member with Chronic Mental Illness

Tedman-Jones, Jan S., Knox, Marie F., & Buys, Laurie (2003) "Just Hanging On": The Experiences of Older Carers of a Family Member with Chronic Mental Illness. In Bradley, Rebecca, Lyddon, Jeff, & Buys, Laurie (Eds.) Social Change in the 21st Century, 21 November 2003, QUT, Brisbane. (Unpublished)


Purpose: A qualitative study was conducted in Brisbane, Queensland to explore the lived experiences of sixteen older carers who each provide care for a family member with chronic mental illness. The purpose of the study was to provide insight into the lived experiences of these carers and their perceptions of how caring for a mentally ill family member has affected their sense of well-being.

Methodology: Semi-structured in-depth interviews were conducted with each participant.

Findings: Many carers perceived that their experiences of caring for a mentally-ill family member have had a significant impact upon their physical and emotional well-being, and most felt that they had lost control of their lives and often, their home environment as well. The findings suggest that many of the participants experience physical abuse, verbal abuse, depression, failing health and social isolation.

Recommendations: A case management strategy, inclusive of risk management processes, is suggested as one means of supporting this vulnerable group of carers.

Impact and interest:

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ID Code: 127
Item Type: Conference Paper
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: Mental illness, Carers, Lived experience, Case management, Risk management
ISBN: 0646431056
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY (160000) > SOCIAL WORK (160700) > Social Work not elsewhere classified (160799)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000) > PUBLIC HEALTH AND HEALTH SERVICES (111700) > Public Health and Health Services not elsewhere classified (111799)
Divisions: Current > Research Centres > Centre for Social Change Research
Past > QUT Faculties & Divisions > QUT Carseldine - Humanities & Human Services
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2003 (The authors)
Deposited On: 10 Jun 2004 00:00
Last Modified: 29 Feb 2012 13:03

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