Older Unpaid Carers’ Experiences Supporting Adults with Cerebral Palsy and Complex Communication Needs in Hospital

  • Bronwyn Hemsley
  • Susan Balandin
  • Leanne Togher
Original Article


Older unpaid carers provide vital support to their adult sons or daughters with cerebral palsy who have complex communication needs during hospital stays. To date, there is little research into their experiences or the impact of providing such care on the carer and other family members. Knowledge of the experiences of the older unpaid carer is needed to inform development of a) strategies for supporting older carers of adults with disability who are unable to speak in hospital, and b) other alternatives for provision of support to these adults during periods of hospitalization. Such information could be used in training health care providers to adequately care for the adult with cerebral palsy and complex communication needs when the older carer is no longer able to provide support. This review will summarize the literature relating to older unpaid carers of adults with cerebral palsy and complex communication needs in hospital, and identify directions for future research and development in the field of supporting older carers of adults with complex communication needs.


Complex communication needs Carers Cerebral palsy Ageing Hospitalization 



This paper is based on doctoral research being undertaken at The University of Sydney by the first author under the supervision of the second and third authors. The project is funded in part by a Public Health Scholarship awarded to the first author from the National Health and Medical Research of Australia.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Bronwyn Hemsley
    • 1
  • Susan Balandin
    • 1
  • Leanne Togher
    • 1
  1. 1.Discipline of Speech Pathology, Faculty of Health SciencesThe University of Sydney, Cumberland CampusLidcombeAustralia

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