University of Worcester Worcester Research and Publications

‘You’re in a new game and you don’t know the rules: Preparing carers to care’

Atkinson, Teresa ORCID:, Bray, Jennifer ORCID: and Williamson, Tracey (2022) ‘You’re in a new game and you don’t know the rules: Preparing carers to care’. Dementia, 21 (7). pp. 2128-2143. ISSN 1471-3012 Online ISSN: 1741-2684

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Being an informal carer for a person living with dementia can be a demanding role which can have detrimental effects on personal well-being and affect a person’s ability to provide care for their loved one. This evaluation of support courses, offered by a leading UK charity dedicated to dementia family carers, highlights the impact of training to support the caring role.

Participants completed booklets at the training venue and subsequently online or by post. Interviews with participants took place by telephone. Participants: 84 participants completed booklets containing measures which generated quantitative data whilst 19 family carers participated in qualitative telephone interviews.

A mixed methods approach was taken using booklets of validated measures to capture quantitative data, including capture of demographic information, together with semi-structured interviews conducted by telephone which were recorded, transcribed and subsequently analysed using thematic analysis.

Overall, both the quantitative and qualitative analysis demonstrate that attending the carers support courses had a positive impact on carers with improvements being maintained over time. Outcomes indicated that carers generally remained in a better physical, mental and emotional situation than that experienced before the course.

Being prepared for the trajectory of the caring role when providing care for a person living with dementia can help informal carers to be better prepared, better supported and better informed. Evidence gained from this evaluation demonstrates the impact of the courses and adds to the current weak evidence base relating to dementia courses aimed at preparing carers to care.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License ( which permits any use, reproduction and distribution of the work without further permission provided the original work is attributed as specified on the SAGE and Open Access page (

Uncontrolled Discrete Keywords: dementia, education, family carers, residential course, training
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Divisions: College of Health, Life and Environmental Sciences > School of Allied Health and Community
Related URLs:
Copyright Info: © The Author(s) 2022
Depositing User: Jennifer Bray
Date Deposited: 23 Jun 2022 10:40
Last Modified: 20 Sep 2022 13:00

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