An exploration of the experiences of informal carers supporting a relative living with dementia during and after the move to technology-enriched supported accommodation

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Abstract

The aim of this study was to explore the experiences of family carers supporting a relative living with dementia during and after the move to technology-enriched supported accommodation (TESA). The paper explores the informal carers (ICs) roles, the factors prompting the move to TESA, alongside their perceptions of their relatives’ experience of the move and of life in a technology-enriched environment. Within a qualitative study 25 semi-structured interviews were conducted with ICs and data were analysed following a thematic approach. Four themes were identified, reflecting the shift in roles and identity of both ICs and persons living with dementia. The move to TESA was linked to a perceived reduction in care-giving pressures, with positive outcomes reported for both the ICs and the people living with dementia. Smart home technologies in the facilities did not appear to impact on the decision-making during transition, however, they were valued as part of the lived experience for the people living with dementia within the TESA facilities. These findings are relevant to policy makers, commissioners and providers of services to highlight the engagement of all stakeholders in the provision of care for people living with dementia and their families early from diagnosis in order to facilitate person centred practices in community settings.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-28
Number of pages28
JournalAgeing and Society
Early online date22 Aug 2019
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 22 Aug 2019

Keywords

  • Dementia care
  • informal carers
  • person-centred practice
  • supported housing
  • assistive technology
  • dementia care

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