A new questionnaire is now freely available to help clinicians, support groups, charities and academics assess and measure the quality of life of people caring for someone with dementia. The measure called SIDECAR (Scales measuring the Impact of DEmentia on CARers) is designed to help identify dementia carers who may require extra support to help ensure that this is given appropriately and quickly, so they can continue to deliver their valuable care.
The questionnaire is part of an IDEAL linked study led by Dr Penny Wright at the University of Leeds. IDEAL carers who took part at time 3 were invited to complete the questionnaire. A number of charities and over 600 carers were consulted to make sure that the project was effectively listening to the needs of dementia carers.
Dr Penny Wright said: "There are more than half a million informal carers looking after people with dementia in the UK, and they provide a vital service to both our health system and the economy. It is vital that we support these people and help them continue to have a good quality of life. For those working with dementia carers, our SIDECAR questionnaire can help start a conversation about the challenges that an individual is facing, to allow support to be offered to improve their wellbeing before they become overwhelmed."
The SIDECAR tool can be freely accessed via the project website where there is more information about how it can help improve the quality of life for dementia carers.