Author(s): Papachristou I, Hickey G, Iliffe S
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Abstract As dementia progresses, caregivers increasingly have to manage the decline of food-related abilities with little outside information or input from support services The provision of food coping skills and knowledge can lessen the burden on caregivers. However, there is little research on caregivers' perspectives on food-related services. This paper reports on a qualitative study to investigate informal caregivers' experiences of, and views on, food-related information and support services in dementia. Twenty informal caregivers were interviewed and the transcripts from these interviews were analysed using both deductive and inductive thematic analysis. Four categories emerged. 'Direct food-related Information', covers written material, training, 'Direct food-related informal support': lunch clubs, 'Indirect non-food related formal support services' covers respite services and domestic help at home. Finally 'no services required' covers those who did not feel they needed any form of intervention due to confidence in managing food-related processes or having no change in dementia progression and food responsibility. Most caregivers will need different levels of information and support at different stages of dementia. It is necessary therefore to undertake ongoing individual assessment of food information and support needs. © The Author(s) 2015 Reprints and permissions: sagepub.co.uk/journalsPermissions.nav.
This article was published in Dementia (London)
and referenced in Journal of Gerontology & Geriatric Research