Reflections of family carers of people with dementia recently admitted to a care home.

Holland, Caroline and Katz, Jeanne (2010). Reflections of family carers of people with dementia recently admitted to a care home. In: British Society of Gerontology 39th Annual Conference: Identities, Care and Everyday Life, 6-8 Jul 2010, Uxbridge, UK.

URL: http://www.britishgerontology.org/

Abstract

In this paper we discuss the reflections of family carers of a person with dementia, concerning their caring relationship, their contacts with medical and formal caring staff, and the effect on the caring relationship of the admission of the person with dementia to a care home. It is based on findings from an investigation of what happens to people with dementia who are admitted to a care home following a hospital admission: part of a larger investigation, funded by the Alzheimers Society, of outcomes for people with dementia once they are discharged from general hospital. The findings discussed here relate to data from interviews conducted at the time of admission to hospital (e.g. following a fall) with the family carer and where appropriate with the person who has dementia, and from a second interview conducted three to six months following the admission of the person with dementia to a permanent place in a care home.


The paper will look in detail at the experience of 12 family carers, reflecting on their experience of practical and emotional caring at different stages of their relative’s journey through the care system. These family carers have differing accounts of efficacy and engagement by formal carers and medical professionals, but certain themes arise that speak to a commonality of experience: a paucity of clear and accessible information about the progression of dementia and services that might help; problems with the quality and continuity of formal care; yet the ambiguity of accepting admission into care.

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