Continuing to Care for People with Dementia: Irish Family Carers’ Experience of their Relatives Transition to a Nursing Home
The majority of people with dementia live in their own homes and family carers provide the main bulk of care for them. However, a time often comes when a person with dementia has to move into a long-stay care setting. But what are the experiences of family carers in ROI when a relative with dementia moves into a long-stay care setting? This is the primary focus of this research by Argyle, Downes and Tasker (2011). It found a range of factors accumulated and contributed to the decision to pursue long-stay care, with health professionals often being the one to initiate discussions around this. Family carers experienced conflicting emotions, from relief through to more painful emotions of guilt, grief and loneliness, with varying intensities. How well they adjusted to their relatives’ admission to long-stay care was influenced by the perceived quality of the long-stay care setting, their familiarity with it and receipt of emotional and spiritual support. Following transition, the carers’ role was characterised by both continuity and change. The research indicated that all carers wanted to continue to participate in the long term care of their relative and reported that good lines of communication with staff, having information and education about dementia and dementia care and having ongoing emotional support were essential.
Argyle, E., Downes, M. and Tasker, J. (2011) Continuing to Care for People with Dementia: Irish Family Carers’ Experience of their Relatives Transition to a Nursing Home, Alzheimer Society of Ireland, Dublin.