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  2. The experience of family carers attending a joint reminiscence group with people with dementia: a thematic analysis

The experience of family carers attending a joint reminiscence group with people with dementia: a thematic analysis

Reminiscence therapy has the potential to improve quality of life for people with dementia. In recent years reminiscence groups have extended to include family members, but carers’ experience of attending joint sessions is undocumented. This qualitative study explored the experience of 18 family carers attending ‘Remembering Yesterday Caring Today’ groups. Semi-structured interviews were transcribed and subjected to thematic analysis. Five themes were identified: experiencing carer support; shared experience; expectations (met and unmet), carer perspectives of the person with dementia’s experience; and learning and comparing. Family carers’ experiences varied, with some experiencing the intervention as entirely positive whereas others had more mixed feelings. Negative aspects included the lack of respite from their relative, the lack of emphasis on their own needs, and experiencing additional stress and guilt through not being able to implement newly acquired skills. These findings may explain the failure of a recent trial of joint reminiscence groups to replicate previous findings of positive benefit. More targeted research within subgroups of carers is required to justify the continued use of joint reminiscence groups in dementia care.

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Additional Titles
Dementia: the International Journal of Social Research and Practice

Key Information

Type of Reference
Jour
ISBN/ISSN
1471-3012
Resource Database
Social care online
Publication Year
2015
Issue Number
6
Volume Number
14
Start Page
842-859