‘And so I took up residence’:The experiences of family members of people with dementia during admissionto an acute hospital unit

Abstract

It is estimated that a quarter of acute hospital beds are in use by older people with dementia at any one time. Little empirical research has been carried out that has specifically examined the day-to-day input of family members into the care of people with dementia during an acute hospital admission. In this article, we present the results of analysis of interviews with 26 family members of people with dementia about their experiences of supporting an admission of a person with dementia to an acute hospital unit in New Zealand. For all family members, the desire to support the person with dementia during their admission was at the forefront and was their primary focus. The theme, ‘And so I took up residence’, exemplifies fully the experiences of all of the family member participants. This study provides evidence that family members are a resource that may be unrecognised, untapped and unsupported in the event of hospitalisation of people with dementia.

Description

open access article

Keywords

dementia, acute hospital, family members, dignity, neglect

Citation

de Vries, K., Drury-Ruddlesden, J. and Gaul, C. (2016) ‘And so I took up residence’:The experiences of family members of people with dementia during admissionto an acute hospital unit. Dementia

Rights

Research Institute

Institute of Health, Health Policy and Social Care