Providing Support and Care from a Distance

Caroline White of the University of Hull is seeking participants in a new study. (462 words)

Family members and friends often provide support, help and care to others, instead or in addition to paid sources of care and support. These people (often referred to as carers, although this term is not embraced by all) are collectively estimated to save the UK economy £132 billion per year (according to figures from Carers UK in 2015) and have been the subject of much research and policy development. The majority of existing research about carers concerns those who support someone who lives with or near to them. However, as we become an increasingly geographically mobile population many parents, adult children, siblings, other relatives and friends find themselves living at a distance from those they care for and about. A new research project at the University of Hull is working to find out more about the experiences of those who provide help, care and support to a relative or friend who lives at a distance from them (we are meaning that they have to travel for one hour or more to visit them).

handsWe are interested in hearing from people from across the UK who provide help, support and care for relatives and friends who have dementia, learning or physical disabilities, are experiencing long term health conditions, mental health needs, or are ageing. Many people provide important help and support  to a relative or friend who lives at a distance whether they live in their own homes, care homes or NHS settings.

If you provide help, support or care to another adult (age 18 or over) who lives at a distance from you, you are invited to take part in this research. There are two ways you can do this. You can complete our confidential online questionnaire. If you prefer we can send you a paper copy of the questionnaire along with an Stamped Addressed Envelope; please contact Caroline White ( or 01482 463830). The questionnaire will ask about your experiences of providing care and support from a distance, including difficulties and challenges, as well as about any positive experiences and things that help. You can provide as much or as little information as you wish. We will use the findings to write a report which we will share with agencies and organisations (such as carers’ support organisations) to increase awareness of the experiences of people caring at a distance.

Our survey is anonymous. This means we cannot thank the people who take part in the study. Therefore we would like to extend our thanks in advance to all who take part. We know that carers lead busy lives and appreciate your support and participation.

If you would like more information please contact Caroline White (see above) or follow us on Twitter @dist_care.

HullCaroline White is a Research Associate at the Centre for Applied Research and Evaluation, University of Hull.