The views of family carers to the future accommodation and support needs of their relatives with intellectual disabilities

Roy McConkey, Jayne McConaghie, Owen Barr, Paul Roberts

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)


Objectives: The demand for places in supportedaccommodation is likely to rise due to the increasinglongevity of people with intellectual disabilities and as theirparents become unavailable or unable to care for them.However few attempts have been made to ascertain carer’sviews on alternative accommodation.Method: Four studies were undertaken in NorthernIreland to ascertain carer’s views using three differentmethods. In all, 387 carers participated with the responsebeing greatest for individual interviews conducted in thefamily home and least for self-completed questionnairesand attendance at group meetings.Results: The majority of carers envisaged the personcontinuing to be cared for within the family. The mostcommonly chosen out-of-home provision was in residentialor nursing homes, living with support in a house of theirown and in homes for small groups of people. Few carerschose living with another family. However only smallnumbers of carers envisaged alternative provision beingneeded in the next two years and few had made any plansfor alternative living arrangements.Conclusions: The implications for service planning arenoted, primarily the need for individual reviews of futureneeds through person-centred planning; improvedinformation to carers about various residential options andtheir differential benefits, along with more services aimedat improving the quality of life of people living with familycarers. These need to be underpinned by a commitment ofstatutory agencies to partnership working with familycarers. The implications for mental health services arenoted.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)140-144
JournalIrish Journal of Psychological Medicine
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 1 Jul 2006


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