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Biography

Annika Kjällman Alm has a PhD in Nursing, 2014, from Mid Sweden University. She has a background as a specialist nurse in elderly care. She teaches Nursing, Gerontology and Geriatrics on bachelor and master level at Mid Sweden University. Annika Kjällman Alm is currently writing a book about the PER-model® of support and continuing researching the support model for further validation. The PER-model® of support is available through Easy Access IP at Mid Sweden University.

Abstract

Dementia is a global disruption of intellectual functioning; there is a decrease of memory ability and other intellectual abilities. About 25, 000 persons are diagnosed with dementia each year in Sweden. In 2009, the Swedish Parliament passed a new law that stated that support should be given to persons caring for people with chronic illnesses, elderly people, or people with functional disabilities. A municipality in northern Sweden have a long term ongoing support to persons with dementia and their next of kin since 2006. A close collaboration with the geriatric clinic and private health centers has resulted in support being offered within 4-6 weeks after diagnose. The overall aim of the thesis was to explore experiences of living with dementia both as a sufferer and as a next of kin; and being part of a long-term ongoing support group. Results showed that couples who had been the longest in a support group felt great comfort and support. They experienced that their knowledge about the disorder was good and that they could prepare for the changes to come. Persons with dementia who participated in the support groups experienced a great sense of coherence and felt that life was manageable, comprehensible and meaningful. The results have founded a model for support called PER-model®; Pedagogical, Emotional and Relationship based model of support. The PER model ® focuses on creating and supporting relationships between participants and moderators, pedagogical information about dementia and supporting emotions as a means making the best of what is.

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