ENABLE Scotland

Castle Douglas & District and North Ayrshire Branches

Illustration ('Living from Day to Day')

The Group
This was a joint research project between the Castle Douglas and North Ayrshire branches of ENABLE Scotland.  ENABLE Scotland, founded in 1954, is a Scotland wide organisations "of and for children and adults with learning disabilities, their families and carers.  ENABLE Scotland's vision is to achieve a society where children, young people and adults with learning disabilities are full members of the community."  ENABLE Scotland currently has a network of 60 voluntary branches across the country.

What were they trying to achieve?
The group were keen to research the experiences of older family carers.  Through their own, and that of others, group members are aware that as health provision improves that "we are entering an era when, as many parents are getting older, their sons and daughters living at home are also aging."  Their research focussed on issues of support and resources available to carers in this age group.  Elderly in the context of the research undertaken being carers over 50 years of age.

How did they go about it? Group sitting at table

In order to promote interest in their research, and explain what it is about, the group held a lunchtime social event in North Ayrshire and took part in a local radio interview.  The group also used their own database of carers and "word of mouth" to contact previously unidentified carers.The group used a variety of research methods including focus groups and semi structured interviews.  From that research the group identified one carer who they felt reflected the issues raised from the research.  That carer agreed to take part in the production of a DVD which froms part of the research feedback and helps promote the issues raised by the research.

What did they learn?
The research showed a lack of positive experiences by those taking part.  Concerns and issues raised covered a wide range of areas and have been identified under a number of key themes.  These are:

  • Housing
  • Service provision and opportunities for their family member
  • Financial provision
  • Health
  • Social issues
  • Respite care
  • Information, communication and consultation
  • Attitudes and feelings
  • Emergency planning and planning for the future

What difference did it make?
The group have identified key issues to take forward and are seeking to use their findings to influence future planning development and delivery of local services at a local level.  At a national level their research findings have been added to a developing national campaign to raise awareness of the issues faced by elderly carers and promote change.


Kathy Hunter
Employment and Development Manager
ENABLE Scotland2nd Floor
146 Argyle Street
G2 8BL
Tel:  0141 226 4541


Illustration ('Older Family Carers North Ayrshire')