Supporting carers is a key part of the Australian Federal Government’s aged care policy. If novel ways of supporting carers can be found, then the financial and social benefits flowing from terminally ill people being able to be cared for at home will benefit not only the particular individuals involved, but health and social institutions Australia-wide. This occurs through the incorporation of the patient, primary caregiver, the family and their support networks into the plan of care. The research completed involved in depth interviews with in home palliative care providers (n = 18). In this paper we explore a theme around which carers spoke of negotiating the often disparate values and beliefs held by the patients and health professionals involved in their care, and defending and advocating for the needs of the patients. The data we present here illustrate a potential power differential inherent in the roles of ‘professional’ and ‘carer’ and highlight the potential for conflict when health professionals, unwittingly, impose their values, beliefs, and ideals onto the patients and/or carers. The carer’s role as the nexus between the patients and the professionals might be an additional burden of care that, to date remains unacknowledged in palliative care research and practice. Suggestions for future research, and the translation of research into practice, are provided.
|Keywords:||Support Needs of Carers, Palliative Care|
SENIOR LECTURER, School of Psychology and Social Sciences, Edith Cowan University, Perth, WA, Australia
post-doctoral research fellow, School of Psychology and Social Science, Edith Cowan University, WA, Australia
Senior Lecturer, Public Health, University of Western Australia, Perth, WA, Australia
Senior Research Fellow, Public Health, Curtin University, Perth, WA, Australia
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