How do officially organized services meet the needs of elderly caregivers and their spouses with Alzheimer's disease?
ABSTRACT The caregiving situation among caregivers and their spouses with Alzheimer's disease, the support and services received, the unmet needs, and the caregivers' satisfaction with the services are examined. The study included a survey of a random sample of 1943 caregivers of persons with Alzheimer's disease in Finland. Mean age of the caregivers was 78.2 years, and 35% had poor subjective health. Disabilities and behavioral symptoms were common among the spouses with Alzheimer's disease. The services most often offered were financial support (36%), technical devices (33%), physiotherapy (32%), and respite care in nursing homes (31%). Most often needed services were physiotherapy for the spouse with dementia (56%), financial support (50%), house-cleaning (41%), and home respite (40%). Only 39% of the caregivers were satisfied with the services, and 69% felt they did not have any influence on what services were offered. It was concluded that official services poorly meet the needs of these caregivers.
[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Aim: The aim of this study was to explore experiences with overnight respite care (ORC) of Norwegian carers who provided care to frail elderly awaiting nursing home placement. Background: In many Western countries respite care has become part of health care service provision, and various types of respite care are available. The intent with respite care can be twofold; caring for the care receiver and supporting the carer. Methods: This is a descriptive qualitative study. Interviews were conducted with 15 carers, transcribed and analysed by qualitative content analysis. Findings: The carers described various experiences with ORC. If ORC supported the whole family, it was welcomed by carers and experienced as supportive. If ORC did not support the whole family, many carers rejected ORC, and it was experienced as non-supportive. Two categories were constructed: ‘experiencing ORC as supportive for the family as a whole’ and ‘not experiencing ORC as supportive for the family as a whole’. Conclusion: To support more carers, nurses have to listen to carers’ experiences about ORC. Nurses need to take responsibility for the family as a whole and provide more flexible ORC services based on both carers’ and elderly’s needs.
[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Introduction. Caregiving families of patients with dementia are often reluctant to use support services. The aim of this study was to describe their subjective critiques of these services. Material and Methods. A cross-sectional questionnaire was sent to a random sample (N = 1943) of Alzheimer's patients' spouses in Finland with an open-ended question: "What kind of problems have you faced with the services?" Their responses were analyzed with thematic content analysis. Results. Of the responders identifying themselves as caregivers (N = 1386), 728 (mean age 77.8, 65.1% females) responded. Opinions could be divided into two categories: (1) problems with the service application process (N = 296); (2) critiques of the services offered (N = 270) including either problems with community care support services or institutional care. 74 indicated that they had no need for services, and 15 praised the services they had received. Conclusions. From the caregiver's perspective, the service system is complicated, bureaucratic and works organization centredly.ISRN nursing. 01/2011; 2011:943059.