K202/Care Welfare and Community
Why do some people become carers? Discuss this question, identifying at least two factors which influence who takes on a caring role.
Some people voluntarily devote a large part of their lives looking after others who need help because of an illness, frailty or disability. Research studies show that it is estimated that there are 5.7 million carers in Great Britain (unit 3, p. 141). Duty, obligation, societal and cultural influences or unexpected events are all motivators why some people become carers. In this essay I will explore how these issues thrust some people into a caring role and why two important factors, age and gender affect the chances of becoming a carer.
Meanings of care fall in different categories such as informal care or paid in care (also known as formal care. An informal carer takes on the responsibility of looking after someone, unpaid, who needs assistance with activities of daily living. Helping out with activities of daily living can be complex and demanding, it can involve helping out with practical tasks such as shopping or assisting with bathing which is more personal and intimate. In the care of people, a hierarchy of expectations plays a major influence who and why someone becomes a carer. In a marital or cohabiting relationship the spouse or partner take on this task followed by a daughter, then other close relatives or friends (Mike George 2001) unable to find this reference. Research studies show that four out of five carers belong to the same family (Peter Sharkey 2000, p. 29 p29 where?)
Financial status, societal attitudes, obligations and haunting of past historical factors are issues that thrust women into the caring rolee. The pPost war traditional image of women as fulfilling the role of wife and mother whilst the men as the breadwinner still persist in many pockets of today’s society. As a man’s wage is more likely to be...
References: Hirst, M and Hutton S. (2001) Informal care over time, Social Policy Research Unit, The University of York (online)
Julien Forder (2007) The Pressure’s On, Community Care, p. 30, Surrey
Mike George (2001) It could be you, a report on the chances of becoming a carer, Carers UK (online) please make sure you add the website address
Open University (2005) K202 Care Welfare and Community, Unit 1, Meanings, Themes and Values, Milton Keynes, The Open University
Open University (2005) K202 Care Welfare and Community, Unit 3, Caring Relationships, Milton Keynes, The Open University
Peter Sharkey (2000) The Essentials of Community Care, p 29, Basingstoke, Palgrave Publications Ltd.
Tony Blair, Report of the Consultation Conference on a national Strategy for Carers
Accessed online 09/03/07
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