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Translating high quality research specific to better design and building practice

Caring for the Carer: Home design and modification for carers of young people with disability

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Authors Adams, T., Bridge, C., Davy, L.
Audience Authors, Consumers, Government/NGOs/Peaks, Industry, Librarians/Researchers/Students
ISBN 978-0-7334-34

This paper considers the design requirements of carers of young people with disability. Most young people with disability live in the home of their carer for extended periods of their life and some never leave.  Although the issue of young people with disability and care has been well explored, there is a paucity of research concerning the home environment and how it does or does not support the role of caring. When it has previously been explored, this has usually been about the home as a workplace for paid careworkers, and not about the home and workplace of the unpaid carer or other occupants. Home modification interventions can offer carers of young people with disability greater comfort and wellbeing and may better support the caring relationship in the longer term. The research questions that framed this systematic explorative literature search and narrative analysis are: what tensions, if any, may exist between a carer’s needs and the needs of the person with disability in home design; what design features of the physical home environment would enable carers to care in the home in more comfortable and sustainable ways; and what assessment criteria should home design and modification professionals consider when assessing for home modifications or adaptations which will support a whole-of-household approach to assessment and incorporate the needs and preferences of all members of a household, including carers. As a result of the analysis undertaken, we found that a number of aspects of home design are important to carers and ion order to facilitate better practice, these have been distilled into an attention-directing framework specific to relevant design criteria.

Publication History

1st edition Caring for the Carer: Home design and modification for carers of young people
with disability by Laura Davy, Toni Adams and Catherine Bridge, July 2014.

Table of Contents

  • Introduction
  • Background
  • Carers and Home Modifications
  • Carers’ Housing and Home Modifications
  • Carers and their households
  • Home Modification and Housing Support
  • Aims and Methods
  • Aims
  • Research Questions
  • Methods
  • Scope of Work
  • Literature Review
  • Assessing the home environment
  • Carers and the home environment
  • Carer stress and strain
  • Carers and housing
  • Home modifications and carers
  • Home design considerations for carers
  • Home safety and carer needs
  • Space in the home
  • Assisting care activities
  • Whole of household approaches
  • Conclusion
  • References
  • Appendix 1: Home Modifications Checklist for Carers of Young People with Disability

Specialist Review Panel

Associate Professor Karen FisherSocial Policy Research Centre, UNSW AustraliaGuest Expert Reviewer
Sarah JuddPolicy and Development Officer, Carers NSWGuest Expert Reviewer
Jannis HaymanCarerGuest Expert Reviewer

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