Informal Care Essay

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Informal care is unpaid care that may be provided by family, friends or neighbours. (Brodsky, Habib and Hirschfield, 2003) state “Informal Care is by far the dominant form of care throughout the world.” This essay will state how important informal care is in modern society and how this has affected current social policy. It will define what the differences are between informal and formal care, what exactly informal care consists of, what a carer is, include statistics about informal carers, explain what the mixed economy of care means and conclude the importance of informal care in society.

Informal care can be any type of unpaid care that a person receives. . Twigg (1992) states, “Informal care normally occurs in the context of the family or marital relationships, and is provided on an unpaid basis that draws on feelings of love, obligation and duty. Informal care does not imply that the care is provided on a casual or easy basis.” Drawing on evidence from research into informal care, Johnson (in alcock 2008)Listed five categories of different types of care provided on an informal basis. Personal care to include washing, dressing and feeding along with social support, which include financial support, visiting and companionship, even walking a person’s dog. When looking at informal care it is not just about caring for a person who has an illness it also means there is an expectation of the family unit to support the carer too, because the stresses and strains of caring for someone can have a massive impact on the family unit, particularly when the carer is expected to work informally often without pay or very little pay. The informal care sector plays a vital role in the mixed economy of care within a mixed care. Informal care offers people a choice and competes with the voluntary, independent and public sector, delivering needs to the community. Whilst informal care maybe a preferred option for some families, carers who provide this role do so without...
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