The Informal And Formal Carers Health And Social Care Essay

Caring means looking after someone who is old, young or ill. The degree of care differs depending on whether one is young, old or ill but also depends on the individual and his or her requirements. The type of care given may include direct service provision, financial assistance, bureaucratic mediation and emotional support. The difference between Informal and formal care is distinguished by how the above acts of care occur. Informal care is usually voluntary and is offered by the family, neighbors or friends. The carer may be living with the care receiver and hence providing care 24 hours. It can also occur from outside the house hold whereby the carer lives outside the house hold and comes to visit the care-receiver often and complete the tasks assigned like cooking and other house work chores. The informal carers do not receive any financial payments from the care they give and hence are believed to have some kind of employment apart from their caring duties, either part time, full time or self employed. It involves support, social interaction and protective supervision.

Formal carers act in an agency-client relationship and are paid for the services rendered. They are usually trained and there is an assessment procedure that determines the kind and amount of care that the client will receive from the carer. This is the prime difference between informal and formal care. There is a great need of incorporating informal and formal sectors in the future. This need has been brought about by the fact that studies have shown that informal carers provide 77% of all the care that has enabled people with disabilities and the old to remain at home. (Bittman et al, 2007).

Impact of partnership

Partnership between the informal and formal carer can occur whereby the home aides provide physical care like dressing, feeding, bathing and taking to the toilet the older people and a visiting nurse from a Medicare-funded home provide medically oriented care. These nurses may also be involved in other activities like teaching the family members on ways of providing the same treatment and care. The Family members may then be involved ion giving oral medicines and injections and caring for the wounds in between the nurse visits. Also the therapists either physical or speech therapists initiate rehabilitation programs for the care receiver and consequently teach the family members how to implement and provide it to the care receiver.

Very few studies have been carried out to determine the effects of health of both types of care. Informal care has been examined on the basis of social, psychological and economic effects on the old people and on the family members giving the care. In essence it has been difficult to prove that formal home care services improve the functional status of the people who receive it But there have been recent studies which have shown that informal care given in the household improves the functional status for those being given the care The study carried out was meant to examine the functional status outcomes for care receivers discharged from the hospital with Medicare home healthcare and those discharged without Medicare home healthcare. The study showed that there is an overall deterioration six weeks later between those patients with Medicare home health care and those without. Other studies have shown that patients in fee-for service plans received more home healthcare and had more functional status outcomes than the Medicare patients in HMOs. The conclusion that was suggested was that the higher intensity of home healthcare that those in fee-for -service plans received was what caused the good functional outcome. Nursing services compared to those services given by the home health aides and homemakers are more likely to reduce the likelihood of one being admitted to a nursing home. This therefore reflects nursing as an intensive intervention compared to other services.

Caring and Mental health well being to Children

Caring is very important and influential in the psychological development of a person. This occurs especially to newborn. Research has shown that major brain development in a child occurs in the first three years of the Childs life. In this period, there is formation of neural networks and hence a one year old child has the maximum number of brain cells that the brain can ever have in the life time of a human being. Hence there is need of caring for the infants to enable maximum and positive development of the brain. A child brain is very sensitive and is influenced by sensory stimulations e.g. listening to conversations, watching, colors, and emotional stimulation e.g. hugging. These factors can change the development of the child’s brain. It is therefore important for the adult carers to stimulate the brains of the infant in various playful ways in order to bring the maximum physiological, emotional, social and mental development of the brain of the infant. By having a playful method of teaching, the child has a chance of discovering his or her own strengths, the body and the environment. It is imperative for the carer to allow the child to experience by experimenting. This is because lack of playful teaching methods may prevent creativity and the healthy development of the child. The carer should ensure that he or she does not use the instructional teaching method to the young child. This is the kind of method whereby the child is directed or instructed to do things. This method usually makes the child lack self confidence and he may become less clever. This is because the child may take him or herself as incapable, foolish and stupid and will always require the instructional carer to teach him or her all the time. But when the child is allowed by the carer to do and learn things by experiencing, he or she develops a heart full of self confident and he also becomes very knowledgeable.

The carer should be one that encourages the child to participate in various activities that will help in the development of child’s motor skills and body awareness. These activities may include those that aim at helping the child walk, climb, kick, jump, climb and catch. By doing this the child will have developed better and higher control of the smaller body muscles that coordinate finer movements. Also the carer should encourage the child to participate in other mind involving activities like sketching, painting, sculpting etc

The carer should also allow for free reign to fantasy and wild imagination in order to encourage the development of the mind in terms of innovation and creativity. The carer should allow the child to make his or her own story that best suits their personal desires and they should avoid putting more pressure on the child to win any competition or contest. The carer should also not judge the child harshly as this may lead to low self esteem in the child. The child should also be given a chance to narrate his or her own story by the carer. In doing this, the child will be learning creative arts and will also learn how to express him or her self. He or she will also be developing courage of speaking to people. This will also build the confidence level of the child (Simi A., 2010).

Caring and Mental health well being of the old

The old are very prone to diseases like Schizophrenia. The characteristics of this disease may lead to increased mortality rates and high rates of other medical complications like respiratory and circulatory diseases. There is need to care for the old people because schizophrenia if accompanied with undiagnosed illnesses, lack of access to adequate medical care can lead to inadequate adherence to therapy.

Caring for the mentally ill.

Caring is important for the mentally sick. There are two kinds of treatment to mental Somatic and psychotherapeutic. Somatic treatment involves the drug and electroconvulsive therapy while psychotherapeutic. Include the treatment that is offered by an individual, a group or a family member. This is the kind of treatment that involves the carer. The carer has the responsibility of ensuring that the sick person gets well through offering him or her Psychotherapy. This is refereed to as talk therapy in that the cure of the person lies within himself. In such a case the carer has the key to the person’s health and well being. This is because the cure for such a person can only be facilitated through creating an emphatic and acceptable atmosphere and through this the carer can help the person identify the source of the problem and can now consider the alternatives of dealing with them. The insight and emotional awareness that is gained through the carer’s talk therapy can lead to the change in attitude and behavior of the person and this can help the person to live a healthier, long and more satisfying life.

The carer has a responsibility of creating a relationship that is empathetic and supportive between the care receiver and him or her. This relationship can lead to more open and courageous expression of feelings and hence the carer can be able to help the sick person to healthy living. The relationship that the carer establishes with the sick person is the key to the recovery.

Curing of mental illnesses.

There are a number of methods that are used to cure mental illness and these include methods like Drug and Electroconvulsive Therapy. There are a number of drugs as well that are used and they are highly effective in treating mental illnesses. These drugs are often prescribed and they are usually categorized in accordance to the disorder e.g. for depression, antidepressants are used. Electroconvulsive therapy is whereby electrodes are used and these are attached to the head and the sick person is sedated. Electrical shocks are delivered into the brain and this induces a brief seizure. This method has been proved the best for treatment of severe depression. After this exposure, the patient usually experiences a temporary memory loss but the method is safe and does not cause other side effects or complications (Carney, 2007).


Caring is a very important aspect in our society. This is because a lot of people are getting old while others are being born and hence these two groups of people need care. Both informal and formal caring should be partnered to ensure effective service delivery to the patients. The use of psychotherapy is common even to people who do not suffer from mental illnesses. It has been used in a number of conditions even top those people who do not suffer from mental conditions. It has been found to be useful in helping people cope with problems of unemployment, bereavement, marriage problems and chronic illnesses. Both psychotherapy and drug therapy should be used for the treatment of mental illnesses as no one method is effective on its own.

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