After more than a decade of concerted effort by policy-makers in Canada and elsewhere to encourage older adults to age at home, there is recognition that the ageing-in-place movement has had unintended negative consequences for family members who care for seniors. This paper outlines findings of a qualitative descriptive study to investigate the health and wellness and support needs of family caregivers to persons with dementia in the Canadian policy environment. Focus groups were conducted in 2010 with 23 caregivers and the health professionals who support them in three communities in the Southern Interior of British Columbia. Thematic analysis guided by the constant comparison technique revealed two overarching themes: (1) forgotten: abandoned to care alone and indefinitely captures the perceived consequences of caregivers' failed efforts to receive recognition and adequate services to support their care-giving and (2) unrealistic expectations for caregiver self-care relates to the burden of expectations for caregivers to look after themselves. Although understanding about the concepts of caregiver burden and burnout is now quite developed, the broader sociopolitical context giving rise to these negative consequences for caregivers to individuals with dementia has not improved. If anything, the Canadian homecare policy environment has placed caregivers in more desperate circumstances. A fundamental re-orientation towards caregivers and caregiver supports is necessary, beginning with viewing caregivers as a critical health human resource in a system that depends on their contributions in order to function. This re-orientation can create a space for providing caregivers with preventive supports, rather than resorting to costly patient care for caregivers who have reached the point of burnout and care recipients who have been institutionalised.
The aim of this article is to reveal how family members act, react and reason when their elderly relative considers relocation to a residential home. Since family members are usually involved in the logistics of their elderly relative's relocation, yet simultaneously expected not to influence the decision, the focus is on how family members experience participation in the relocation process in a Swedish context. 17 family members are included in 27 open, semi-structured interviews and follow-up contacts. Prominent features in the findings are firstly the family members' ambition to tone down their personal opinions, even though in their minds their personal preferences are clear, and secondly, the family members' ambivalence about continuity and change in their everyday lives. Family members are found to apply the adapting, the representing, or the avoiding strategy, indirectly also influencing their interaction with the care manager. Siblings applied the adapting strategy, spouses the representing strategy, while family members in the younger generation at times switched between the strategies.
Nutritional status often deteriorates in Alzheimer's disease (AD). Less is known about whether nutritional care reverses malnutrition and its harmful consequences in AD. The aim of this study is to examine whether individualized nutritional care has an effect on weight, nutrition, health, physical functioning, and quality of life in older individuals with AD and their spouses living at home.
AD patients and their spouses (aged > 65?years) living at home (n?=?202, 102?AD patients) were recruited using central AD registers in Finland. The couples were randomized into intervention and control groups. A trained nutritionist visited intervention couples 4-8 times at their homes and the couples received tailored nutritional care. When necessary, the couples were given protein and nutrient-enriched complementary drinks. All intervention couples were advised to take vitamin D 20?µg/day. The intervention lasted for one year. The couples of the control group received a written guide on nutrition of older people. Participants in the intervention group were assessed every three months. The primary outcome measure is weight change. Secondary measures are the intake of energy, protein, and other nutrients, nutritional status, cognition, caregiver's burden, depression, health related quality of life and grip strength.
This study provides data on whether tailored nutritional care is beneficial to home-dwelling AD patients and their spouses.
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This study was a part of a larger study exploring the impact of assistive technology on the lives of young people living with dementia (YPD). This paper focuses on one of the most useful devices, the simple remote control (SRC). The objective was to explore the reason why the SRC is significant and beneficial in the everyday lives of YPD and their caregivers.
This qualitative longitudinal study had a participatory design. Eight participants received an SRC. The range for using it was 0-15 months. In-depth interviews and observations were conducted at baseline and repeated every third month up to 18 months. A situated learning approach was used in the analysis to provide a deeper understanding of the significance and use of SRC.
Young people having dementia spend a substantial amount of time alone. Watching television was reported to be important, but handling remote controls was challenging and created a variety of problems. YPD learned to use SRC, which made important differences in the everyday lives of all family members. Comprehensive support from caregivers and professionals was important for YPD in the learning process.
The SRC was deemed a success because it solved challenges regarding the use of television in everyday lives of families. The design was recognizable and user-friendly, thus allowing YPD to learn its operation. Access to professional support and advice regarding assistive technology is vital for establishing a system for follow-up and continued collaboration to make future adaptations and adjustments.