Being a close family member of a person with dementia living in a nursing home.

Research paper by Berit B Seiger Cronfalk, Britt-Marie BM Ternestedt, Astrid A Norberg

Indexed on: 04 Jan '17Published on: 04 Jan '17Published in: Journal of Clinical Nursing


The objectives of this study were to illuminate how family members of persons with dementia describe their own experiences, before and after placing the relative in a nursing home. Background In the western world and with a growing population of older people, the number of persons with dementia increase. Family members often become carers in their own homes creating stressful and exhausting situation that eventually leads to re-locating the person to a 6 nursing home. This may lead to troubled conscience among family members.This is a qualitative study with descriptive design based on interviews with ten family members to residents with dementia at one small nursing home ward. Data were analyzed using content analysis.Five categories were derived from data; Relocating a person with dementia- a responsibility, Visiting the resident -a relief or a burden, The participants taking part in and monitoring the residents' care needs, Participants meeting their own needs and Thoughts about the future and resident's death. The result shows both positive and negative aspects of being a family member to persons with dementia. Family members described feeling relief as well as having a troubled conscience when placing a relative in a nursing home. They held themselves responsible for monitoring and evaluating the quality of the care. Family members expressed fearing a slow death for the person with dementia as well as for their own sake. Most felt well treated by the staff.Family members were responsible for relocating the residents to the nursing home. This in itself was found to cause feelings of moral concerns and generating troubled conscience. Relevan to clinical practice staff at nursing homes need to exercise family centered care to benefit the persons with dementia, their family members and the staff themselves. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.