NHS 24: Young Carers

 

A group project focusing on ways in which young unpaid carers in Scotland could be better supported. 

When we say unpaid carers we mean anyone who cares, unpaid, for a friend or family member who due to illness, disability, a mental health problem or an addiction cannot cope without their support. 

 

To support these young carers through research and engagements we found three main areas in which they lacked in support; Identification (stigma), Continuity of Care & Linking Carers, with other carers and health care professionals.

 

When designing for these three areas the Spectrum of Care was created along with a digital thread and a framework to assist the day to day lives of the young carers and their cared ones, which we created a platform to house all of these. 

 

It is important to remove the stigma that caring has in society as the reality is that nearly everyone falls into caring at some point in their life. Caring is currently seen as a category, a yes or no tick box, and instead, it is much more like a spectrum in which people move up and down throughout their lives. So in response to the importance of identification, we designed the Spectrum of Care which would enable carers to identify themselves. By answering questions about their caring role, they can be placed on the spectrum and see what level of care they provide. We found the spectrum a useful way of visualising the different levels of care and how people can fluctuate through them.