Carers may experience the impact of looking after someone with dementia on their psychosocial well-being, physical functioning, general health and health behaviour, as well as employment and finances. Maintaining carer well-being and quality of life is important not only for the carers and the person being cared for but also for society as a whole.
There are numerous quality of life questionnaires and many of these have been used in dementia carer assessment. However, some are too general and do not pick up on subtle changes in carer quality of life. Others are too long or have unreliable ways of working out scores.
Through the DECIDE project we will improve our understanding of the needs of carers. Using this knowledge we will develop a new reliable and valid measure, which can be used to assess the needs of carers of people with dementia who are living in the community, including those in sheltered or extra-care housing. The measure will be brief and easy to complete making it useful in individual carer assessment as well as being used to inform service planning and potentially in service valuation.
The results from the study will be available for other researchers, clinical, social and voluntary service organisations, practitioners and government agencies, for use in future evaluation projects. The research findings will be promoted and presented at national and international academic conferences, and through medical and specialist journals.