Caring: A Family Affair
Caring: A Family Affair

This free course is available to start right now. Review the full course description and key learning outcomes and create an account and enrol if you want a free statement of participation.

Free course

Caring: A Family Affair

2.4.4 Networks

The fourth complication of my definition of a carer was networks. The drive to recognise someone as an informal carer or main carer risks leaving out of the picture other people who play an important part in sustaining someone, but who are not the main carer. In Lynne's case, for example, we heard that her boyfriend, Eddie, was an important figure. If her needs for care were under the spotlight, would Eddie figure? He probably does not count as a main carer, but without him her quality of life would be impoverished.

So, although my definition may be helpful in pointing at what we are talking about, it is a very general definition, and risks over-simplifying what might be an extremely complex set of relationships: it may include a lot of people in the category ‘informal carer’ who may prefer not to be labelled in that way, and exclude others.

To explore these limitations further, I shall apply the definition to another care situation.

K100_1

Take your learning further

Making the decision to study can be a big step, which is why you'll want a trusted University. The Open University has over 40 years’ experience delivering flexible learning and 170,000 students are studying with us right now. Take a look at all Open University courses.

If you are new to university level study, find out more about the types of qualifications we offer, including our entry level Access courses and Certificates.

Not ready for University study then browse over 900 free courses on OpenLearn and sign up to our newsletter to hear about new free courses as they are released.

Every year, thousands of students decide to study with The Open University. With over 120 qualifications, we’ve got the right course for you.

Request an Open University prospectus