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Nature of care

The following resources examine what caring involves – what care is provided.

Click on the title of any resource to find out more about the source of the information such as the type of reference, ISBN/ISSN, publication year, keywords. A number of these fields can be used to find further resources i.e. with the same keywords, or by the same author using the links on the right-hand side and within the Key Information box.

You can also click on an author's name in the list below to find further resources by that author, and use the DOI and other links to access the original source material (note: some source materials require subscription or permission to access).
 

Women's Caregiving Experience of Older Persons Living With Alzheimer Disease and Related Dementias and Multiple Chronic Conditions: Using Wuest's Theory

Introduction Care of persons living with chronic conditions rests heavily on women within the context of the family. Research demonstrates that women experience more caregiving strain compared to men, yet less is known about the differences in experiences between women carers: namely, wives and daughters. Objective The purpose of this study was to examine and compare the experiences of wife and daughter carers of older adults living with Alzheimer disease and related dementias, plus at least two other chronic conditions. Methods Using qualitative description with Wuest's feminist caring theory of precarious ordering as an analytic framework, interview transcripts of women carer participants who were from the control group of a larger multi-site mixed methods study evaluating the web-based intervention My Tools 4 Care were analyzed. Findings Both wives and daughters experienced daily struggles, altered prospects, and ambivalent feelings around their caring role. Negotiating the role of professional carer was an important part of balancing caring demands and anticipating the future, and women took an active role in trying to harness caring resources. Findings indicated wives and daughters were generally similar in how they described their caregiving, although daughters reported more shared caring and decision-making, and needed to balance paid employment with caregiving. Conclusion Wives and daughters face similar challenges caring for persons with a dementia and multiple chronic conditions, and actively engage in strategies to manage caring demands. The findings illuminate the importance of accessible, appropriate support from professional carers/health care providers, and suggest that assistance navigating such supports would benefit women carers.

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What is it about carer‐led oral hygiene interventions for people with intellectual disabilities that work and why? A realist review

Objectives: To undertake a realist review of carer‐led oral hygiene interventions for people with intellectual disabilities. This was run parallel with a Cochrane Review. Methods: Realist review methods were followed. This was characterized by an iterative process of developing and refining theories of how interventions might work, expressed as context‐mechanism‐outcome configurations. The steps included identifying candidate theories with local and international expert consultation before applying an iterative search strategy. Selection criteria were applied for screening of the abstracts and 10% of the included full texts were screened by the three review members, independently, to ensure adherence to the criteria. Data were extracted in NVivo and synthesized qualitatively to confirm, refute or refine theories about what works, why, in what circumstances and for whom. Results: Of the 697 potential sources, 112 studies progressed to full‐text screening, and 58 of those were included in the review. These 58 studies found evidence to support six theories about carer‐led oral hygiene interventions for people with intellectual disabilities, from a starting point of ten candidate theories. This realist review found evidence to support the contention that, in order for carer‐led oral hygiene interventions for people with ID to succeed, there is a need for adequate resources and a system‐level approach; involving carers in design and implementation; tailoring of training to suit carers' needs and work environments; clearly stating how interventions are expected to work; specifying goals with achievable steps for carers to follow; providing carers with support and feedback on their efforts; acknowledging the physical and emotional toll caring for people with intellectual disabilities has on the well‐being of carers; and repeating training. Conclusions: The theories from this realist review will direct future interventions by suggesting the mechanisms and contexts that are important to achieve the intended outcome of improved oral health for people with intellectual disabilities. These are, of course, propositions intended for testing, rather than proven. The parallel use of Cochrane and realist methods provides a unique richness to our hypothesis of what works, for whom, when and how. 

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To Assess the Knowledge and Practice of Home Care Regarding Post Craniotomy Care among Caregivers of Craniotomy Patients

BACKGROUND After the initial phase of hospitalization and recovery, most patients return to home to live in community with numerous physical, psychological, mental, social, and spiritual health disabilities. Those conditions prohibit the individual from participating in the community independently and efficiently. Around three fourths of patients tend to receive help from family members for daily living activities. So, family caregivers play a significant part, since they bear a large portion of the cost of home care. The aim of this research was to assess the knowledge and practices among the caregivers of post craniotomy patients regarding home care of craniotomy patients. METHODS A descriptive exploratory study was undertaken on 36 purposively selected caregivers of patients undergoing craniotomy in Wardha district. Data were collected by using structured questionnaire and observational checklist during the month June 2020. RESULTS Awareness level with age in craniotomy-patient care givers years was assessed. 'F' value was 2.84 (DF = 3, 32), lower than measured 'F' i.e. 8.03 at a significant point of 5 %. Also, the measured 'p' = 0.0001 which was slightly less than the appropriate significance point. Hence, it is perceived that age is statistically correlated with their information score in years of craniotomy caregiver's patients. Knowledge level with the educational status of craniotomy-patient caregivers was assessed. 'F' value was 2.53 (DF = 5.30), lower than 'F' meaning level of 5.30 at 5 %. Even the measured 'p' = 0.001 was slightly lower than the appropriate significance point. Therefore, it is perceived that the educational status of craniotomy patient's caregivers is statistically correlated with their knowledge score. Knowledge score with the occupation of caregivers of craniotomy patients was assessed. 'F' value was 2.61 (DF = 4, 31), far lower 'F' i.e. 4.92 at a significance point of 5 %. Furthermore, the measured 'p' = 0.002 which was slightly less than the appropriate significance point. Thus, it is perceived that occupation of craniotomy patient's caregivers is statistically correlated with their score of knowledge. Practice association scores with a relationship with caregiver craniotomy patients were determined. 'F' value was 2.53 (DF = 5, 30), less than the measured significance amount of 'F' i.e. 2.93 at 5 percent. Furthermore, the measured 'p' = 0.028 was lower than the acceptable significance level. Hence it is perceived that the relationship with caregivers' craniotomy patients is associated with their practice score statistically. CONCLUSIONS Craniotomy caregivers were not having 100 per cent knowledge of craniotomy care. It is interpreted that an important significant relationship between knowledge score with selected demographic variables was found in the age, education, and occupation. And it is considered that an important significant relationship between practice score and selected demographic variables was found in relation with craniotomy patients.

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Stories from people living with frailty

We describe the findings of a qualitative longitudinal interview study of a group of initially community-dwelling frail older people, and their informal and formal carers. We used a narrative approach to explore the role that narrative may have for people living with frailty. This has been less explored comparative to the experiences of those living with chronic illness. The frail older people told stories of their experiences that revealed three distinct shapes or typologies. These were either stable, unbalancing or overwhelmed, and related to how the person managed to adapt to increasing challenges and losses, and to reintegrate their sense of self into a cohesive narrative. Each is illustrated by an individual case story. Frailty is described as both biographically anticipated yet potentially biographically disruptive as older people may struggle to make sense of their circumstances without a clear single causative factor. Findings are discussed in relation to biographical disruption and reconstruction in chronic illness and the rhetoric around 'successful ageing'. We conclude by drawing attention to the complex individual and social factors that contribute to the experience of living with frailty in later life.

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The Process of Pain Management in Cancer Patients at Home: Causing the Least Harm - A Grounded Theory Study

Background: Cancer pain management at home is a complicated and multidimensional experience that affects the foundational aspects of patients and their families' lives. Understanding the pain relief process and the outcomes of palliative care at home is essential for designing programs to improve the quality of life of patients and their families. Objective: To explore family caregivers and patients' experiences of pain management at home and develop a substantive theory. Design: The study was carried out using a grounded theory methodology. Setting/Participants: Twenty patients and 32 family caregivers were recruited from Oncology wards and palliative medicine clinics in the hospitals affiliated to Iran University of Medical Sciences using Purposeful and theoretical sampling. Results: The core category in this study was "pain relief with the least harm." Other categories were formed around the core category including "pain assessment, determining the severity of pain, using hierarchical approaches to pain relief, assessing the results of applied approaches, determining the range of effectiveness, and barriers and facilitators of pain relief." The substantive theory emerged from these categories was "Pain management process in cancer patients at home: Causing the least harm" that explains the stages of applying hierarchical approaches to pain relief, family care givers try to make decisions in a way that maximize pain relief and minimize damage to the patient. Along with using a hierarchical pattern, the process is featured with a circular pattern at broader perspective, which reflects dynamism of the process. Conclusion: The inferred categories and theory can expand knowledge and awareness about the stages of pain relief process, the pattern of using pain relief approaches, and the barriers and facilitators of pain relief process at home. Health-care professionals may use these findings to assess the knowledge, skill, capability, problems, and needs of family caregivers and patients and develop supportive and educational programs to improve the efficiency of pain relief process at home and improve the patients' quality of life.

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Primary caregivers experience of anti-psychotic medication: A qualitative study

Background: Management of schizophrenia is now shifted to the community setting and family caregivers are the primary caregivers. Managing medications is a complex responsibility of family caregivers caring for patients with mental illness. Medication compliance contributes to improve health outcomes and reduced hospitalization for the care service users; however, little is known about attitudes and perception of family caregivers. Aims and objectives: To explore family caregivers experience towards antipsychotic medications. Methods: A purposeful sampling of 21 family caregivers was included in the study. Semi-structured interview was employed to collect data from the participants between May and October 2015. Thematic analysis approach was used to identify the common pattern in the data. Results: Four main themes emerged from the study: insight into illness (poor understanding of illness), treatment factor (thinking about medication, poor guidance for medication compliance), resources and support (availability of medication and cost of medication), health care provider factors (communication gap and poor assessment with follow-up, social dysfunction (social isolation, disruption in life routine) of the primary caregivers. Conclusions: Responsibility for providing care for patients with mental illness are taken place in the community setting and cared by family caregivers. More information resources are required for this role, which requires specific medication management skills and knowledge.

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Prevalence of Informal Caregiving in States Participating in the US Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act Balancing Incentive Program, 2011-2018

Importance: The Balancing Incentives Program (BIP), established under the 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act provided federal funding for states to shift long-term care out of institutional settings and into the home. However, the association of its implementation with informal caregiving is not known.; Objective: To evaluate the association between BIP participation and the prevalence and frequency of informal caregiving and socioeconomic disparities among caregivers.; Design, Setting, and Participants: The cohort study included respondents to the 2011-2018 American Time Use Survey in BIP-adopting states and non-BIP-adopting states.; Exposure: Living in a state that had implemented the BIP after program implementation had begun (April 2012 to April 2018).; Main Outcomes and Measures: Prevalence of caregiving among all respondents, frequency of caregiving, and minutes of daily sleep, a marker of well-being. Differences-in-differences (DID) regression analysis was used to compare these outcomes between BIP-adopting states and non-BIP-adopting states.; Results: The study included 38 343 respondents in BIP-adopting states (median age, 47 years [interquartile range (IQR), 31-61 years]; 51.9% women), of whom 7428 were caregivers (median age, 51 years [IQR, 37-61 years]; 55.6% women), and 26 437 respondents in non-BIP-adopting states (median age, 48 years [IQR, 32-62 years]; 52.7% women), of whom 5527 were caregivers (median age, 52 years [IQR, 38-62 years]; 57.9% women). There was no change in the prevalence of caregiving between BIP-adopting and non-BIP-adopting states after program implementation (DID, 0.00%; 95% CI, -0.01% to 0.01%). Caregivers in BIP-adopting states were more likely to provide daily care after implementation (DID, 3.2%; 95% CI, 0.3%-6.0%; P = .03) and report increased time sleeping (DID, 15.6 minutes; 95% CI, 4.9-26.2 minutes; P = .005) compared with caregivers in non-BIP-adopting states. This association was more pronounced among caregivers with more education (DID, 25.1 minutes; 95% CI, 6.5-43.8 minutes; P = .01) and higher annual family income (DID, 16.9 minutes; 95% CI, 5.9-27.9 minutes; P = .004) compared with caregivers in non-BIP-adopting states who had the same education and income levels, respectively.; Conclusions and Relevance: In this cohort study, the BIP was associated with increased daily caregiving and improved caregiver well-being. However, it may have disproportionately benefited caregivers of higher socioeconomic status, potentially exacerbating disparities in caregiver stress. Future policies should aim to mitigate this unintended consequence.

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Post-discharge medicines management: the experiences, perceptions and roles of older people and their family carers

Background Multiple changes are made to older patients' medicines during hospital admission, which can sometimes cause confusion and anxiety. This results in problems with post-discharge medicines management, for example medicines taken incorrectly, which can lead to harm, hospital readmission and reduced quality of life. Aim To explore the experiences of older patients and their family carers as they enacted post-discharge medicines management. Design Semi-structured interviews took place in participants' homes, approximately two weeks after hospital discharge. Data analysis used the Framework method. Setting and participants Recruitment took place during admission to one of two large teaching hospitals in North England. Twenty-seven participants aged 75 plus who lived with long-term conditions and polypharmacy, and nine family carers, were interviewed. Findings Three core themes emerged: impact of the transition, safety strategies and medicines management role. Conversations between participants and health-care professionals about medicines changes often lacked detail, which disrupted some participants' knowledge and medicines management capabilities. Participants used multiple strategies to support post-discharge medicines management, such as creating administration checklists, seeking advice or supporting primary care through prompts to ensure medicines were supplied on time. The level to which they engaged with these activities varied. Discussion and conclusion Participants experienced gaps in their post-discharge medicines management, which they had to bridge through implementing their own strategies or by enlisting support from others. Areas for improvement were identified, mainly through better communication about medicines changes and wider involvement of patients and family carers in their medicines-related care during the hospital-to-home transition.

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Supporting carers to succeed in Australian Higher Education

Extract from Executive summary: Australians who care for people with a disability, illness, or a broader need often embody many of the qualities sought by universities. In providing unpaid labour to support family members and friends, carers typically demonstrate resilience, selflessness, and a commitment to societal health, wellbeing, and cohesion. Provision of this critical support is often required while simultaneously managing high demands on time and limited financial resources (ABS 2018a, 2018b). Young carers in particular have been identified as holding relatively low levels of education (Department of Social Services [DSS], 2019). The COVID-19 pandemic has only exacerbated the challenges for carers. Collectively, evidence suggests both a need and an opportunity for universities to develop specific policies to attract and support those who care for others.... Through our national survey, we found student carers were highly motivated to succeed in higher education. Student carers identified a range of skills developed through their caring roles that were beneficial to themselves and their peers at university. These skills include time management, empathy, compassion and patience, as well as specific expertise with relevance to areas of study, including nursing skills and knowledge of disabilities. Carers also improved the broader student experience by sharing different perspectives, advocating for students, and providing direct assistance with coursework. Despite these strengths, juggling caring and study produced considerable time pressure, financial hardship, and lower levels of wellbeing compared with their non-caring peers. Circumstances were often made more difficult by the rigidity of course structures and study requirements.... Another notable finding was that a quarter of student carers never disclosed their carer status to anyone at university. This trend leaves many student carers invisible and makes it more difficult to provide appropriate and timely support where required. Among the most common reasons for not disclosing carer status were never being asked and seeing no benefit to disclosure. It is likely some carers also feared being stigmatised and/or defined by their caring role. These findings highlight the importance of increasing awareness and understanding of carers within the university community.

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Patterns of informal family care during acute hospitalization of older adults from different ethno-cultural groups in Israel

Introduction: Informal caregiving during hospitalization of older adults is significantly related to hospital processes and patient outcomes. Studies in home settings demonstrate that ethno-cultural background is related to various aspects of informal caregiving; however, this association in the hospital setting is insufficiently researched. Objectives: Our study explore potential differences between ethno-cultural groups in the amount and kind of informal support they provide for older adults during hospitalization. Methods This research is a secondary data analysis of two cohort studies conducted in Israeli hospitals. Hospitalized older adults are divided into three groups: Israeli-born and veteran immigrant Jews, Arabs, and Jewish immigrants from the Former Soviet Union (FSU). Duration of caregiver visit, presence in hospital during night hours, type of support (using the Informal Caregiving for Hospitalized Older Adults scale) are assessed during hospitalization. Results are controlled by background parameters including functional Modified Barthel Index (MBI) and cognitive Short Portable Mental Status Questionnaire (SPMSQ) status, chronic morbidity (Charlson), and demographic characteristics. Results: Informal caregivers of "FSU immigrants" stay fewer hours during the day in both cohorts, and provide less supervision of medical care in Study 2, than caregivers in the two other groups. Findings from Study 1 also suggest that informal caregivers of "Arab" older adults are more likely to stay during the night than caregivers in the two other groups. Conclusions: Ethno-cultural groups differ in their patterns of caregiving of older adults during hospitalization. Health care professionals should be aware of these patterns and the cultural norms that are related to caregiving practices for better cooperation between informal and formal caregivers of older adults.

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Patient and Family Caregiver Considerations When Selecting Early Breast Cancer Treatment: Implications for Clinical Pathway Development

Background: While clinical pathways have been widely adopted to decrease variation in cancer treatment patterns, they do not always incorporate patient and family caregiver perspectives. We identified shared patient and family caregiver considerations influencing treatment preferences/decision making to inform development of a shared decision pathway. Methods: We conducted qualitative interviews with women who completed initial definitive treatment for stage I–III breast cancer and their family caregivers. As part of a broader interview, we asked participants what they considered when choosing a treatment option for themselves/their loved one. We coded transcribed interviews, analyzed patient and family caregiver datasets separately, and compared findings. Findings Patients' (n = 22) mean age was 55.7 years, whereas family caregivers' (n = 20) mean age was 59.5 years, with most (65%) being patients' spouses/partners. Considerations reported by both groups included cancer status, treatment issues, physical/psychosocial/family consequences, and provider/health care system issues. Data revealed three key tensions that arise during treatment decision making: (1) having enough information to set expectations but not so much as to be overwhelming; (2) balancing the highest likelihood of cure with potential physical/emotional/social/financial consequences of the chosen treatment; and (3) wanting to make data-driven decisions while having a personalized treatment plan. Discussion: Patients and family caregivers identified several considerations of shared relevance reflecting different perspectives. Efforts to balance considerations can produce tensions that may contribute to decision regret if unaddressed. Conclusion: Clinical pathways can increase exposure to decision regret if treatment options are selected without consideration of patients' priorities. A shared decision pathway that incorporates patient-centeredness could facilitate satisfactory decision making. Plain Language Summary: A clinical pathway is a tool used by doctors and nurses to help them plan how they will take care of patients. Clinical pathways do not always include what is important to patients and their families. We spoke with patients with breast cancer and their family members. We wanted to learn what is important to them when they are making decisions about how the patient will be treated for cancer. They reported thinking about the kind of cancer the patient had and about pros and cons of different treatment choices. They also thought about how much is known about different treatment choices. Other patients' stories were important. Patients and family members wanted to know how a treatment would affect their bodies, feelings, normal roles in life, and families. They also thought about their relationship with their doctors and nurses and about how they would pay for their care. It was seen as hard to balance these things when making decisions. Patients and family members wanted to make decisions they would be happy with later. We will use this information to create a new clinical pathway. This tool will help patients with breast cancer, family members, doctors, and nurses work together to make the best decisions about the patient's cancer.

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Partnership between staff and family in long-term care facility: a hybrid concept analysis

The purpose of this study was to examine the attributes and verify the definition of the partnership concept using the hybrid model. A hybrid model was used to develop the concept of partnership. The hybrid model consists of three phases: theoretical, fieldwork and final analytical. In the theoretical phase, a working definition of partnership was developed by an extensive review with 35 studies. The fieldwork phase comprised seven focused-group interviews with 35 participants consisted of 25 facility staff and 10 family caregivers in long-term care facilities. The final analytical phase compared and interpreted the findings from the first and second phases in order to clarify the concept of partnership. The concept of partnership was found to have two dimensions: interpersonal and environmental dimensions. The seven attributes emerged from this study. They included relationship, information sharing, shared decision-making, professional competence, negotiation, involvement in care, shared responsibility. The partnership between family and staff in long-term care facilities was defined as an ongoing and dynamic process associated with interpersonal and environmental factors. Based on the results, it can be suggested that the development of a tool for measuring partnership and an effective program for enhancing to establish a collaborative relationship. 

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Management of home care by family caregivers to elderly after hospital discharge

Objective: To understand the management of home care by family caregivers of dependent elderly people after hospital discharge.; Methods: Qualitative research guided by hermeneutics-dialectic, anchored in the theory of communicative action. Data collection took place using a semi-structured interview with 11 participants.; Results: Two categories were constructed: Management of the many types of care by the caregiver and the relationship between family caregiver and health care network. Care and management actions carried out routinely cause major changes in the family caregiver's life. He/she does not recognize planning, home care periodicity or support in required procedures.; Final Considerations: The management of home care for dependent elderly people after hospital discharge is complex, involving physical and emotional overloads, as well as difficulties in getting support from health services. The planning shared between the health team and the family since the discharge is required, and the better visibility of the role of primary care when the patient is assisted by a home care service.

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Living situation of family caregivers of persons with spinal cord injury

Objective: To describe the living situation of family caregivers of persons with spinal cord injury. Design: Cross-sectional questionnaire. Subjects: Primary family caregivers of persons with chronic spinal cord injury in Switzerland. Methods: Cross-sectional study of family caregivers of persons with spinal cord injury. For comparison, the study population was matched to family care givers of persons dealing with long-term health condi tions in the general population, using a propensity score based algorithm. Results: A total of 717 family caregivers participated in the survey (35% response rate). Participants were mostly female (72%), mean age 57 years, and had spent approximately 13 years caring for their relative. A mean of 21 h/week was spent providing care and assistance. The vast majority of family care givers reported coping well with their situation. However, support from public services was deemed inadequate. Compared with family caregivers in the general population, family caregivers of persons with spinal cord injury performed more caring tasks and reported a slightly lower quality of life. Conclusion: Family caregivers of persons with spinal cord injury are self-reliant to cope with their situation, but report discontent with public support services. The healthcare system could provide alternative support measures, such as direct financial compensation.

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Key Activities of Caregivers for Individuals With Parkinson Disease: A Secondary Analysis

BACKGROUND: Individuals with Parkinson disease (PD) require support from family caregivers because of decreased functional levels in a later stage. Much of the research with PD caregivers has been limited by relatively homogenous samples of primarily White and largely spousal caregivers. METHODS: This secondary analysis aimed to describe a national sample of caregivers of individuals with PD in the Caregiving in the U.S. 2015 data set and their activities, including activities of daily living (ADLs), instrumental ADLs (IADLs), and key activities they performed for individuals with PD. RESULTS: Fifty-four caregivers (32 women) were included. The mean (SD) age was 57.7 (16.9) years, and the sample included 57% White, 9% Black, 15% Asian, and 17% Hispanic caregivers. Relationships to care recipient were 32% spouses, 20% mothers, and 11% fathers, with the remaining being a variety of relationships. The number of ADLs and IADLs performed by the caregiver was 2.85 (SD, 2.18) and 4.72 (SD, 2.08), respectively. The most frequent ADLs were getting in and out of beds and chairs, getting dressed, getting to and from the toilet, and bathing/showering. The most frequent IADLs were transportation, shopping, managing finances, giving medicine, preparing meals, and housework. CONCLUSION: This study shows the number of ADLs and IADLs performed by a diverse group of PD caregivers and indicates the need to acknowledge the extensive work performed by caregivers.

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Integration of family caregivers in delirium prevention care for hospitalized older adults: A case study analysis

Aim To understand how family caregivers of older adults hospitalized for orthopaedic surgery are integrated by nurses in delirium prevention care. Design Multiple case study. Methods The sample consisted of eight cases. Each case comprised an older adult, a family caregiver, and a nurse. Data were collected from September 2017 - April 2018 through various instruments, including semi-structured interviews and family caregiver logs. Within- and across-case analyses were conducted, based on the model of The Care Partner Engagement developed by Hill, Yevchak, Gilmore-Bykovskyi, & Kolanowski (Geriatric Nursing, 35, 2014, 272). Results Two themes emerged: (a) family caregivers were engaged in caring for the older adults during their hospital stay, though they had differences in terms of views and needs; and (b) family caregivers communicated with nurses but nurses did not recognize their role and did not integrate them much in care. Conclusion The presence and availability of family caregivers, their sense of responsibility towards the hospitalized older adults, and their positive effects on them suggest that family caregivers could be integrated more systematically in a care partnership with nurses. Poor integration of family caregivers in delirium prevention care shows that nurse delirium prevention competencies and their relational skills for communicating effectively with family caregivers need to be developed further. Impact Integrating family caregivers in delirium prevention care for older adults is a challenge for nurses. Family caregivers are engaged during the hospitalization of older adults, though differences and problems exist between the two groups. While there is communication between patients, family caregivers, and nurses, nurses do not recognize the role of family caregivers and hardly integrated them in the delirium prevention care of hospitalized older adults. Nurses must adopt a patient- and family-centred approach. Care and training facilities must make resources available to implement this approach in nursing practice.

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Impact on place of death in cancer patients: a causal exploration in southern Switzerland

Background: Most terminally ill cancer patients prefer to die at home, but a majority die in institutional settings. Research questions about this discrepancy have not been fully answered. This study applies artificial intelligence and machine learning techniques to explore the complex network of factors and the cause-effect relationships affecting the place of death, with the ultimate aim of developing policies favouring home-based end-of-life care. Methods: A data mining algorithm and a causal probabilistic model for data analysis were developed with information derived from expert knowledge that was merged with data from 116 deceased cancer patients in southern Switzerland. This data set was obtained via a retrospective clinical chart review. Results: Dependencies of disease and treatment-related decisions demonstrate an influence on the place of death of 13%. Anticancer treatment in advanced disease prevents or delays communication about the end of life between oncologists, patients and families. Unknown preferences for the place of death represent a great barrier to a home death. A further barrier is the limited availability of family caregivers for terminal home care. The family's preference for the last place of care has a high impact on the place of death of 51%, while the influence of the patient's preference is low, at 14%. Approximately one-third of family systems can be empowered by health care professionals to provide home care through open end-of-life communication and good symptom management. Such intervention has an influence on the place of death of 17%. If families express a convincing preference for home care, the involvement of a specialist palliative home care service can increase the probability of home deaths by 24%. Conclusion: Concerning death at home, open communication about death and dying is essential. Furthermore, for the patient preference for home care to be respected, the family's decision for the last place of care seems to be key. The early initiation of family-centred palliative care and the provision of specialist palliative home care for patients who wish to die at home are suggested.

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The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on help-seeking behaviors in individuals suffering from eating disorders and their caregivers

To describe the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on help-seeking behaviors among individuals with eating disorders and caregivers. We analyzed service utilization data from the National Eating Disorder Information Centre (NEDIC). We compared the number of contacts and symptom frequency between the pandemic period and previous years. NEDIC was contacted 609 times during March 1–April 30, 2020 (72.1% individuals affected by disordered eating, 20.4% caregivers). The number of total contacts significantly increased from 2018 to 2019 and 2018 to 2020 (X2(3) = 50.34, p <.001). Among affected individuals (80.4% women), the number of contacts during the pandemic period was significantly higher (n = 439; X2(2) = 92.74, p <.001) compared to 2018 (n = 197) and 2019 (n = 312). There were higher rates of eating disorder symptoms, anxiety, and depression in 2020 compared to previous years. Thematic analysis of instant chats from the pandemic year revealed four emerging themes: 1) lack of access to treatment, 2) worsening of symptoms, 3) feeling out of control, and 4) need for support. These findings point toward the impact of COVID-19 in individuals affected by disordered eating and hold implications for service delivery during times of crises.

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Health literacy, social support, and care ability for caregivers of dementia patients: Structural equation modeling

At present, the level of health literacy, social support, and care ability of dementia caregivers is not very high. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to construct a structural equation model to explore the relationship between health literacy, social support, and the care ability of dementia caregivers. It is hoped that the study will provide a theoretical basis for future intervention. We recruited 225 dementia patients and their caregivers from August 2018 to June 2019 at the Department of Geriatrics and Neurology. We issued a health literacy questionnaire, social support scale, and a care ability questionnaire. Statistical analyses were performed using SPSS 19.0 and SPSS Amos 23.0. The mean scores for health literacy, social support, and care ability were 13.93 +/- 4.18, 34.64 +/- 6.42, and 44.44 +/- 9.31, respectively. Health literacy was directly related to social support (path coefficient = 0.454). Social support was directly related to care ability (path coefficient = 0.293). Furthermore, health literacy was directly related to care ability (path coefficient = 0.561), while health literacy had indirect associations with care ability via social support (path coefficient = 0.133). This study showed that improving the health literacy of caregivers effectively improved their care ability, and that social support was important for the link between health literacy and care ability. Medical staff and family members can provide appropriate health education and social support according to the characteristics of caregivers to improve the care ability of caregivers, improve the quality of life of patients, and delay the disease process. 

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Family roles, challenges and needs in caring for traumatic brain injury (TBI) family members: a systematic review

Purpose - Advanced medical technology has reduced the mortality rate among traumatic brain injury (TBI) patients. This, however, has led to an increasing number of surviving patients with a major disability. As a consequence, these patients need attentive care which becomes an important issue for the society, particularly family members. Thus, this paper aims to review some of the salient roles, challenges and needs of the family caregivers in caring or nursing for their family members diagnosed with TBI. Design/methodology/approach - An inclusive search of the literature was undertaken to identify the family roles, challenges and needs in supporting and nursing TBI patients. Findings - Previous studies have shown that the family needs to address two important aspects of taking care of TBI patients, which involve emotional and physical affairs. Hence, it is essential for the family members to have adequate information on healing treatment, nursing and care methods, financial support, support groups, managing self-care and, more importantly, emotional and social support. Originality/value - This paper is not currently under consideration, in press or published elsewhere. In Malaysian culture, nursing disabled patients have always been a family responsibility. The role of nursing the patients has been done domestically and is considered a private affair. In order to execute the role, some put the patient needs as their priority and leave aside their needs and matters.

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Family carers managing personal budgets for adults with learning disabilities or autism

Accessible summary Direct payments can help people with learning disabilities or autism to have good support. Often, family carers manage the direct payments for people who would find this very difficult. We asked family carers who managed direct payments to tell us why they decided to do this and what their experiences were. Family carers told us they found managing direct payments difficult and stressful at first, but this got easier over time. They also said that direct payments helped their family members to have more person-centred support.

Background There are a growing number of people with learning disabilities and autism who access personal budgets in the form of direct payments in England. Although they are often involved in decisions about their support, personal budgets are usually managed by someone else, typically a parent. This study examined the experiences of carers who manage personal budgets for adults with learning disabilities or autism with a particular focus on the challenges of securing suitable support and implications for their own well-being. Methods This was a qualitative study using a descriptive phenomenological approach to investigate the lived experiences of family carers who manage personal budgets. We conducted semi-structured interviews with 13 family carers. Interview transcripts were thematically analysed using the framework approach. Results Our analysis identified five main themes. The first theme relates to why carers decide to take up a personal budget in the first place and their initial expectations. The second theme, restricted choice, highlights the difficulties in securing adequate support and services in the context of what are often described as "complex needs." The third and fourth themes relate to the tasks involved in managing a personal budget and the challenges associated with the dual role of the carer as a parent and a "professional." The fifth and final theme, mixed emotions, describes the impact on the subjective well-being of carers. Conclusions Family carers indicated that the benefits of personal budgets outweighed the difficulties and stress inherent in managing them. They need adequate support to ensure that personal budgets deliver personalised and self-directed support and greater well-being, and are sustainable arrangements.

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Exploring dementia family caregivers' everyday use and appraisal of technological supports

• Family dementia caregivers described use of several everyday technologies. • In this sample, common technology use patterns were shaped by the caregiving need. • Perceived utility, existing familiarity, and social resources promoted technology use. • Caregiver perspectives must be harnessed in the design and delivery of technology.

Family caregivers provide the majority of care for people with dementia, often balancing multiple caregiving roles. Technology-based interventions have demonstrated strong potential for supporting family caregivers in navigating these roles, yet translational uptake of these interventions remains limited. A comprehensive understanding of how caregivers engage and evaluate everyday technological supports is necessary to foster broader adoption. Through semi-structured interviews with 20 caregivers, the present study aimed to explore caregivers' everyday use and appraisal of technological supports. We found that caregivers use specific technological supports to meet specific caregiving needs (e.g. coordination, information seeking, direct care), and exhibit unique technology use patterns (e.g. trial-and-error) shaped by the caregiving need. Caregivers shared positive appraisals of technological supports for caregiving, citing the role of perceived utility, existing familiarity, and social resources in their acceptance and uptake. These findings illustrate important perspectives regarding everyday technology with immediate relevance for intervention design and functionality.

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The experiences and needs of relatives of intensive care unit patients during the transition from the intensive care unit to a general ward: A qualitative study

Background: Relatives of intensive care unit (ICU) patients play an important role as caregivers and can experience emotional distress, also referred to as post-intensive care syndrome-family. A deeper understanding of what relatives go through and what they need may provide input on how to strengthen family-centred care and, in the end, contribute to the reduction of symptoms of post-intensive care syndrome-family. Method: This is a qualitative descriptive study with semistructured face-to-face interviews after ICU transfers. Findings: A total of 13 relatives of ICU patients participated. Relatives of ICU patients expressed five types of experiences after transfer from the ICU to the general ward: (1) relief, (2) uncertainty, (3) need to be acknowledged in becoming a caregiver, (4) sharing expectations, and (5) need for continuity in care. Relatives experience major uncertainties and prefer to be more actively involved in care and care decisions. Conclusion: Relatives of ICU patients experience gaps in care during the transition from the ICU to a general ward. Nurses can play a crucial role in the need for continuity of care by proactively involving relatives during the care pathway of ICU patients. 

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End of life care for long-term neurological conditions: A meta-ethnographic review of the experiences of informal carers

Background: Family and friends are key providers of care for people living with a long-term neurological condition. Neurological conditions are a significant global contributor to disability and premature death. However, previous research suggests carers often struggle to access appropriate support at end of life.; Aims: This review sought to synthesise qualitative studies discussing end-of-life and palliative issues for informal carers supporting people living with neurological conditions.; Design: This was a meta-ethnographic synthesis of 38 qualitative studies discussing end-of-life and palliative issues for informal carers supporting people living with long-term neurological conditions.; Data Sources: Qualitative articles published after January 2010 in English, addressing carers of people with long-term neurological conditions with regard to palliative care, end of life and/or bereavement. Papers were excluded if it was not possible to separately assess the views of carers. Quality appraisal was not undertaken, but consideration was given to research context.; Results: Across the papers, five key themes were identified: the future (un)certainties in the progression of life-limiting neurological conditions; an information paradox of not receiving the right information at the right time; access to support; carers' roles in decision making around end of life; and maintaining continuity while facing change and disruption in day-to-day living.; Conclusions: Given the broad agreement on the challenges faced by carers of people living with long-term neurological conditions, future research should consider opportunities to improve information and support for this group, and the development and evaluation of practical models of service delivery.

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The Complexity of Caring for People with Mental Disorders: Family Challenges in Contributing to Horticultural Therapy

The fluctuation of psychological conditions among people with mental disorders are suspected to burden the family caregiver. Horticultural therapy has been known as an effective complementary therapy to enhance people mental health. Family assistance in the implementation of horticultural therapy is a form of family caring which contributes greatly in determining the achievement of horticultural therapy goals. However, not many previous studies have explored family experiences when accompanying family members who suffer from mental disorders in undergoing horticultural therapy.This study aims to explore family experiences when accompanying family members who suffer from mental disorders when undertaking horticultural therapy. Qualitative research using a hermeneutic phenomenology approach was conducted in 5 homes of people with mental disorders who had experienced horticultural therapy. Five family participants were selected by purposive sampling and considered data saturation. Family data were analyzed by using data analysis content. Interview notes are read repeatedly to identify data saturation and formulate the unit of analysis. Furthermore, the data is structured through the coding phase, followed by formulating categories and abstracting them to obtain a brief overview. To guarantee the validity of the data, this study pays attention to its credibility, confirmability, dependability, transferability and authenticity. The results of the study indicate that the family is aware that while assisting the patients during horticultural therapy, the family must have strong motivation, patience, sincerity and confidence. It is proven that the patient's self-confidence, ability to interact and communicate shows positive development after undertaking horticultural therapy.As one form of complementary therapy, the sustainability of horticultural therapy should be done continuously by the health care provider accompanied by family support.

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Comparison of time-use patterns and self-efficacy in family caregivers of patients with chronic disease

Background/Aims: Caregivers perform an important role but caring affects other roles they perform, resulting in poor time management and reduced quality of life. This study aimed to compare the time-use patterns and self-efficacy of caregivers of two groups of patients with chronic disease: those with a diagnosis of mental illness and those without a diagnosis of mental illness. Methods: Family caregivers of patients with a chronic disease who were aged between 20–60 years, resident in Arak, not taking care of another patient and literate were eligible to participate. The presence of mental illness was based on a psychiatrist's diagnosis at least 6 months before the study. The Mothers' Time Use Questionnaire, Sherer Self-efficacy Scale and a demographic questionnaire were used to capture data relating to time-use, self-efficacy and participant characteristics. Data were analysed using independent t-test and Mann–Whitney U test to identify and compare time-use patterns and self-efficacy. Results: There were no significant between-group differences in demographics or mean time-use scores in six domains (rest/sleep, leisure, housework, work/occupation, social participation and satisfaction with time management). Self-care time-use scores (time, quality, importance and enjoyment) were significantly higher for caregivers of patients with chronic disease with a diagnosis of mental illness. Patient care time-use scores were significantly higher for caregivers of patients with chronic disease without a diagnosis of mental illness. Mean self-efficacy score was significantly higher in the group caring for patients with a diagnosis of psychiatric disease. Conclusions: Chronic physical illnesses may result in greater dependence on caregivers than mental illness, increasing the amount of time spent on care and reducing caregiver self-efficacy. 

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Application of treatment fidelity in tailored caregiver interventions

Demonstrations of the effectiveness of interventions requires evidence that the model can be implemented with fidelity. Caregiving interventions that are tailored to the individual or family require flexibility, which adds some challenges to the assessment of fidelity. This paper outlines the components necessary for examining treatment fidelity and common barriers to implementing fidelity studies, offers considerations for designing fidelity studies with tailored caregiver interventions, and aims to provide a set of procedures that can be used to guide future fidelity studies. Case study methods are used to illustrate the processes and findings, drawing on two research studies of fidelity in tailored caregiver interventions. Fidelity studies consist of core components (i.e. training on intervention delivery, adherence to the intervention, therapist competence, acceptability and outcomes) that should be maintained and monitored throughout the study to elucidate the relationship between the intervention and outcomes. These components are applicable to tailored caregiver interventions and can be implemented with the consideration of some key issues that are addressed prior to the evaluation. The two cases presented utilized similar methods to evaluate fidelity of two different tailored caregiver interventions. Treatment fidelity can be assessed for tailored caregiving interventions, which increases confidence about the potency of the active ingredients in the interventions. Standard fidelity guidelines can be implemented with minor additional considerations.

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Stroke patients' and informal carers' experiences with life after stroke: an overview of qualitative systematic reviews

Purpose To provide a systematic overview of current qualitative systematic reviews and metasyntheses of patients' and informal carers' experiences with rehabilitation and life after stroke following discharge. Method A systematic literature search was performed based on PRISMA guidelines. Nine databases were systematically searched by a university librarian. The search yielded 1093 unique entries and screening by title/abstract identified 60 reviews for potential inclusion. After full-text assessment by two independent observers, 11 reviews satisfied the inclusion criteria. Following quality appraisal, four studies were excluded. Results Seven qualitative reviews (containing 108 primary studies) were included: five reviews of patients' experiences and two reviews of carers' experiences. Stroke causes profound disruption of life as known, and both patients and carers must engage in a process of adapting and rebuilding a post-stroke life and identity. This process of rehabilitation is described as temperamental and unstable rather than progressive. From the reviews, five key experiences in this process are identified: autonomy, uncertainty, engagement, hope and social relations. Conclusions The need for broad, qualitative syntheses of stroke patients' experiences is currently fulfilled. Future qualitative reviews could focus more on implications for practice, e.g., by grading the quality of the metafindings. Implications for Rehabilitation Stroke is a profound disruption of life as known, and patients and carers value information that helps them prepare for and adjust to this new situation. Optimal rehabilitation is a main concern and goal for patients and carers, and thus carers may be a valuable asset to professionals in the rehabilitation process. Practical and emotional support is important for patients and carers, and rehabilitation professionals should be aware of the increased risk of social isolation post-stroke. Hope is a strong motivational factor and coping strategy for patients and carers. However, as hope may wane in the case of continued residual impairment, rehabilitation professionals should prepare patients and carers for this situation.

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Who Cares for Carers? Perspectives on Covid-19 Pressures and Lack of Support

Embracing CarersTM created the Carer Well-Being Index to determine the current and residual impacts of COVID-19 on unpaid carers, including its impact on their economic, physical and psychological well-being.

While carers weren’t alone in experiencing 2020 as a highly emotional and unstable period, they faced unique pressures, demands and time commitments often overlooked by society. They must now navigate fast-changing care delivery models, learn new telehealth and technology, provide emotional support despite their own emotional needs, and handle increased responsibilities at home—all at once.

Amid these rising responsibilities, many carers sacrifice their own health and well-being for the sake of people they love. They deal with emotional isolation. Financial strife hits hard as unemployment spikes and salaries are imperiled. Many lack the time to care for their own physical and emotional health. There are even more nuanced challenges when looking at women carers, younger, middle-aged and older carers, who encounter inequities.

In taking a hard look at how the pandemic has affected the globe, carers have faced unprecedented challenges – they are undercounted, unheard and struggling.

Now more than ever, governments, public entities, the private sector and all citizens have roles to play in addressing that problem. Carers should not have to face these hardships and inequities alone. They’re sacrificing for us, one by one. As a society, we can help them, together.

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Caring precariously: An interpretive description of palliative care and welfare worker perspectives on end of life carers navigating social welfare

Background: Caring at end-of-life is associated with financial burden, economic disadvantage, and psychosocial sequelae. Health and social welfare systems play a significant role in coordinating practical resources and support in this context. However, little is known about social policy and interactions with public institutions that shape experiences of informal carers with social welfare needs at end-of-life. Aim: To explore ways in which palliative care and welfare sector workers perceive and approach experiences and needs of the carers of people with life-limiting illnesses who receive government income support or housing assistance, in an area of recognised socioeconomic disadvantage. Design: An interpretive descriptive study employed in-depth, qualitative interviews to explore participants’ reflections on working with carers of someone with a life-limiting illness. Data were analysed using the framework approach. Setting/participants: Twenty-one workers employed within three public services in Western Sydney were recruited. Results: Workers articulated understandings of welfare policy and its consequences for carers at end-of-life, including precariousness in relation to financial and housing circumstances. Identified resources and barriers to the navigation of social welfare needs by carers were categorised as personal, interpersonal and structural. Conclusions: Caring at end-of-life while navigating welfare needs was seen to be associated with precariousness by participants, particularly for carers positioned in vulnerable social locations. Findings highlighted experiences of burdensome system navigation, inconsistent processes and inequity. Further exploration of structural determinants of experience is needed, including aspects of palliative care and welfare practice and investment in inter-agency infrastructure for supporting carers at end-of-life.

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Race/Ethnicity and Informal Caregiver Burden After Traumatic Brain Injury: A Scoping Study

Background: Informal caregivers for persons with traumatic brain injury (TBI) face a range of unique issues, and racial/ethnic group differences in caregiver challenges are poorly understood. We undertook a scoping study of peer-reviewed literature to assess the quantity and quality of available research describing differences by race/ethnicity in informal caregiving roles and burden. Methods: Using Arksey and O'Malley's framework and guided by the Preferred Reporting Items of Systematic Reviews and Meta-analyses Extension for Scoping Reviews, we conducted electronic searches of PubMed, CINAHL, PsycARTICLES, PsycINFO, Social Work Abstracts, Embase, and Scopus to identify peer-reviewed studies that examined TBI informal caregiver burden and reported on the influences of race or ethnicity. Results: Among 4523 unique publications identified and screened, 11 studies included sufficient race/ethnicity data and were included in the analysis. Of these, six studies described civilian populations and five described military Veterans Affairs (VA). Included studies revealed that nonwhite caregivers and white caregivers use different approaches and coping strategies in their caregiving role. Some studies found differences in caregiver burden by race or ethnicity, others did not. Most were limited by a small sample size and overdependence on assessment tools not validated for the purposes or populations for which they were used. This was particularly true for race/ethnicity as a factor in TBI caregiver burden in VA groups, where essential characteristics moderate the association of race/ethnicity with socioeconomic factors. Conclusions: This scoping study highlights the paucity of information on race/ethnicity as a factor in TBI caregiver burden and roles, and suggests that innovative and alternative approaches to research are needed to explore needed changes in practice. 

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Who Cares? An Existential Perspective of Caregiving for Individuals With a Left Ventricular Assist Device

The goal of a LVAD is to extend life expectancy, improve physical strength and quality of life, and allow individuals to be discharged home. When making decisions for a family member to receive a LVAD, caregivers are asked to confront a sophisticated technology with not only the potential to extend life expectancy and improve quality of life but also risks for complications and burdens. The caregiver may place different values on the quality of life (e.g., symptoms, physical function, social interactions) and burdens of therapy (e.g., lifestyle adjustment, independency, direct and indirect costs, caregiver burden) than the values of The Other. 

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Who Cares About Care? Family Members as Moral Actors in Treatment Decision Making

The article focuses on the discussion by highlighting the role of family members as moral actors within and beyond the hospital setting. Topics include the commentary draws on concepts of intersectoral care and family ethics as well as on our own research in the long-term home care setting, the background of demographic changes and shifts in morbidity structures, and the family caregivers often accept care takeover without hesitation.

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Validation of a Comprehensive Measure of the Family Caregiver Experience: The Caregiver Reaction Scale

Objectives: The Caregiver Reaction Scale (CRS) is a multi-dimensional measure of the family caregiving experience that assesses role conflict, challenges, and positive aspects of caregiving. The CRS has been validated in a sample of older adult caregivers who sought counseling, but its validity and reliability in a broader population of caregivers had not been established. This study aimed to explore how well the CRS assesses the multiple dimensions of the caregiving experience in a sample of family caregivers who match the national profile of caregivers and to confirm the validity and structure of the subscales.; Methods: Family caregivers ( N = 452), age 18-89 ( M   = 48.56, SD  = 17.15) were recruited online and completed the CRS and questionnaires of burden and positive aspects of caregiving. A confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) was conducted to confirm the underlying factor structure of the CRS, and convergent and discriminant validity was examined.; Results: CFA supported the existing structure of the CRS; all subscales demonstrated very good internal consistency reliability (α ≤.88), convergent validity ( r ≥.39), and discriminant validity ( r ≤.12).; Conclusions: The CRS offers a valid and reliable assessment of the caregiving experience as evidenced by the convergent and discriminant validity of CRS subscales with well-validated measures of burden and positive aspects of caregiving.; Clinical Implications: The CRS assesses multiple dimensions of caregiving that can be used to better understand the caregiver's experience, guide clinical interventions and referrals, and identify caregiver strengths.

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Understanding the Experience of Cancer Pain From the Perspective of Patients and Family Caregivers to Inform Design of an In-Home Smart Health System: Multimethod Approach

Background: Inadequately managed pain is a serious problem for patients with cancer and those who care for them. Smart health systems can help with remote symptom monitoring and management, but they must be designed with meaningful end-user input.; Objective: This study aims to understand the experience of managing cancer pain at home from the perspective of both patients and family caregivers to inform design of the Behavioral and Environmental Sensing and Intervention for Cancer (BESI-C) smart health system.; Methods: This was a descriptive pilot study using a multimethod approach. Dyads of patients with cancer and difficult pain and their primary family caregivers were recruited from an outpatient oncology clinic. The participant interviews consisted of (1) open-ended questions to explore the overall experience of cancer pain at home, (2) ranking of variables on a Likert-type scale (0, no impact; 5, most impact) that may influence cancer pain at home, and (3) feedback regarding BESI-C system prototypes. Qualitative data were analyzed using a descriptive approach to identity patterns and key themes. Quantitative data were analyzed using SPSS; basic descriptive statistics and independent sample t tests were run.; Results: Our sample (n=22; 10 patient-caregiver dyads and 2 patients) uniformly described the experience of managing cancer pain at home as stressful and difficult. Key themes included (1) unpredictability of pain episodes; (2) impact of pain on daily life, especially the negative impact on sleep, activity, and social interactions; and (3) concerns regarding medications. Overall, taking pain medication was rated as the category with the highest impact on a patient's pain (=4.79), followed by the categories of wellness (=3.60; sleep quality and quantity, physical activity, mood and oral intake) and interaction (=2.69; busyness of home, social or interpersonal interactions, physical closeness or proximity to others, and emotional closeness and connection to others). The category related to environmental factors (temperature, humidity, noise, and light) was rated with the lowest overall impact (=2.51). Patients and family caregivers expressed receptivity to the concept of BESI-C and reported a preference for using a wearable sensor (smart watch) to capture data related to the abrupt onset of difficult cancer pain.; Conclusions: Smart health systems to support cancer pain management should (1) account for the experience of both the patient and the caregiver, (2) prioritize passive monitoring of physiological and environmental variables to reduce burden, and (3) include functionality that can monitor and track medication intake and efficacy; wellness variables, such as sleep quality and quantity, physical activity, mood, and oral intake; and levels of social interaction and engagement. Systems must consider privacy and data sharing concerns and incorporate feasible strategies to capture and characterize rapid-onset symptoms. 

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Understanding family carer experiences of advanced dementia caregiving in India: towards a vision for integrated practice: Managing Community Care

Purpose Many individual and family hardships are associated with poorly understood palliative care needs arising from advanced dementia within India. The purpose of this paper is to explore the experiences of people in India affected by advanced dementia and to shape educational approaches for practitioners and the local community. Design/methodology/approach Three focus groups with family carers of people (n = 27) with advanced dementia were undertaken with local communities in South India. One focus group was carried out in English and two in the local language (Kannada) and translated to English. Findings The findings of the focus groups are presented in four themes, conditions of caring, intersecting vulnerabilities, desperate acts of care and awareness of education and training needs. These themes highlight the challenges faced by family carers of people with advanced dementia and describe the potential harm, abuse and poor mental well-being facing both the person with dementia and the family carer as a result of their situation. Research limitations/implications There is a need to explore ways to ensure inclusivity and sensitivity in the research process and enable equal participation from all participants. Practical implications The findings highlight a lack of support for family carers of people with advanced dementia and demonstrate the need for dementia-specific integrated and palliative care approaches in India. Originality/value This paper provides insight into the experiences and challenges facing family caregivers of people living with advanced dementia in India to shape practitioner education in a way that will underpin effective dementia-specific palliation and integrated services.

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Uncertainty Towards the Disease of Family Caregivers of Patients in Palliative Care: A Scoping Review

Objective: To know the development of the scientific evidence on the uncertainty towards the disease of family caregivers of patients in palliative care. Materials and methods: A descriptive scoping review. A search was conducted in the Embase, ScienceDirect, Medline, Academic Search Complete, Scopus databases, during the 2000-2019 period. The following MeSH terms were used: uncertainty, palliative care, end of life, nursing and caregiver. Fifty articles were selected after the criticism process. Results: Five thematic nuclei emerged: characterization of uncertainty in the caregiver, factors influencing uncertainty, resources to manage uncertainty, uncertainty assessment, and therapies and interventions to approach uncertainty. The higher scale of evidence is found in the characterization of uncertainty in the caregiver, and the voids direct the development of Nursing interventions on the uncertainty of the caregivers of individuals in palliative care. Conclusions: Although the factors influencing uncertainty towards the disease of the caregiver are widely explored, the evidence on the interventions that may help to reduce uncertainty towards the disease is still limited. 

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Time to care? The effects of retirement on informal care provision

This paper analyzes the impact of women's retirement on their informal care provision. Using SOEP data, we address fundamental endogeneity problems by exploiting variation in the German pension system in two complementary ways. We find a significant effect of retirement on informal care provision, when using early retirement age thresholds as instruments. Heterogeneity analyses confirm the underlying behavioral mechanism, a time conflict between labor supply and informal care. We further exploit a sizable increase in the early retirement age for German women and find that affected women provide less non-intensive care. High intensity care is not impacted, which leads to a double burden and potentially negative health effects for caregivers. Exploiting the policy reform, we find evidence supporting the notion that formal care is no substitute for informal care. This implies that less overall care is received, which can be damaging to the health of the recipients of care.

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Time for care: exploring time use by carers of older people

The paper focuses on temporal aspects of informal caring for older people. Limitations of large-scale surveys in capturing such data are noted and time-use methodology, despite its own limitations, is proposed as a promising alternative. Adopting a critical perspective on time that includes carers' own conceptualisations, we report the findings of a qualitative study of carers' time use. Sixty-two interviews with carers, male/female, co-resident/not co-resident, employed/not employed, and located across Great Britain were conducted. Analysis considered people's own diverse and ambiguous views of their care activities. Carers' accounts of their time revealed non-linear experiences and a sense of being permanently on call. Interviewees often travelled distances to engage in support activities with or for older people. Changes over time were pervasive, increasing or reducing care requirements. Unanticipated events could precipitate radical changes in time use. Managing time, exercising temporal agency, was particularly apparent in accounts of care, employment, other family responsibilities and choices about friendship. Measurement of carers' time use which draws on the conceptual foundation of carers' own perspectives on time may provide more effective quantitative understanding of the temporal aspects of caring. It should not pre-define time, must grasp a variety of tasks, take account of intermittent activity, incorporate the 24–7 experience of many carers and demonstrate how caring time interacts with other time. 

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'This is your golden time. You enjoy it and you've plenty time for crying after': How dysphagia impacts family caregivers of people with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis – A qualitative study

Background: Dysphagia (swallowing impairments) is a well-recognised symptom of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Caring for a person with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis has been recognised as a complex and demanding task. No study to date investigated the impact of dysphagia on the lives of caregivers of people with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Aim: To investigate the experiences of dysphagia from the perspective of family caregivers of people diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Design: Interpretative phenomenological analysis was employed. Individual interviews (n = 15) plus observations of mealtime preparation were conducted, where possible (seven or n). Setting/participants: Participants comprised family caregivers of people with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and dysphagia living in the South West of Ireland (n = 10). Findings: Dysphagia transformed the mealtime experiences of the caregivers and changed their approaches to food. Frustration related to the inability to stabilise the weight of the person with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and the fear of choking emerged strongly. The caregivers strived to ensure the safety of people with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis during meals by providing constant supervision. Despite the challenges precipitated by dysphagia and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, the caregivers wished to maintain normality for as long as they perceived it to be possible. Conclusion: This study provides a unique contribution in advancing our understanding of the impact of dysphagia on the caregivers of people with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Professionals must explore and recognise the needs of the caregivers and provide them with appropriate support, especially how to manage choking. 

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'Take more laxatives was their answer to everything': A qualitative exploration of the patient, carer and healthcare professional experience of constipation in specialist palliative care

Background: Constipation is a major problem for many older adults, more so for those who are receiving specialist palliative care. However, limited research reports the subjective experiences of constipation, despite evidenced differences between the healthcare professional and patient/carer perspective. Aim: The main aim of this study is to explore the experience of how constipation is assessed and managed within specialist palliative care from the patient, carer and healthcare professional perspective. Design: Exploratory, qualitative design, utilising focus groups and interviews, and analysed using thematic analysis. Setting/participants: Six focus groups with 27 healthcare professionals and semi-structured interviews with 13 patients and 5 family caregivers in specialist palliative care units across three regions of the United Kingdom. Results: Constipation impacted physically, psychologically and socially on patients and families; however, they felt staff relegated it on the list of importance. Lifestyle modifications implemented at home were not incorporated into their specialist palliative care plan within the hospice. Comparatively, healthcare professionals saw constipation solely as a physical symptom. Assessment focused on the physical elements of constipation, and management was pharmacologically driven. Healthcare professionals reported patient embarrassment as a barrier to communicating about bowel care, whereas patients wanted staff to initiate communication and discuss constipation openly. Conclusion: Assessment and management of constipation may not yet reflect the holistic palliative care model. A focus on the pharmacological management may result in lifestyle modifications being underutilised. Healthcare professionals also need to be open to initiate communication on bowel care and consider non-pharmacological approaches. It is important that patients and families are supported in self-care management, alongside standardised guidelines for practice and for healthcare professionals to facilitate this. 

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Supporting people with an intellectual disability and dementia: A constructivist grounded theory study exploring care providers’ views and experiences in the UK

Background There is a need to better understand the experiences and support needs of paid and family carers of people with an intellectual disability and dementia, and the role of Intellectual Disability Dementia Care Pathways (IDDCPs). This study explored the experiences of carers, and IDDCPs and other support structures within those experiences. Methods A constructivist grounded theory methodology was implemented. Data were obtained through 23 semi‐structured interviews with two family carers, eight paid carers and eight healthcare professionals. Findings The study's theory produced five interrelated categories: Impact of Dementia, Challenging the Diagnosis Process, Continuum of Support, Continuity and Continuum of Understanding. Conclusions Findings have demonstrated the importance of planning and supporting carers’ holistic needs; the role of an IDDCP in the post‐diagnostic support (or lack of it) for carers; and the importance of a timely diagnosis of dementia. Recommendations for practice are offered.

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Supporting family caregivers of Veterans: Participant perceptions of a federally-mandated caregiver support program

Objectives: To understand patients' and caregivers' experiences with and perceptions of a federally-mandated program within the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) that provides educational and monetary support to family caregivers of post-9/11 Veterans.; Methods: Twenty-six Veterans and their family caregivers were recruited to participate in individual and dyadic interviews. Interviews lasted between 60 and 90 min and took place between August 2016 and July 2018 in Oregon and Louisiana. Interviews were recorded, transcribed and coded by multiple team members. Recurrent themes and categories were identified through close examination of coded text and comparison within and across transcripts.; Results: Three main themes emerged in the data: 1) appreciation of the caregiver program for validating and compensating family caregiver work; 2) perception that some caregiving activities are less visible, and thus go unrecognized and uncompensated; 3) concern about loss of benefits.; Conclusions: Implications and policy recommendations for programs to support family caregivers, both within the VA and in the context of the broader national movement to support family caregivers, are discussed. 

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The support that partners or caregivers provide sexual minority women who have cancer: A systematic review

Intimate partners and other informal caregivers provide unpaid tangible, emotional, and decision-making support for patients with cancer, but relatively little research has investigated the cancer experiences of sexual minority women (SMW) with cancer and their partners/caregivers. This review addressed 4 central questions: 1) What social support do SMW with cancer receive from partners/caregivers? 2) What effect does cancer have on intimate partnerships or caregiving relationships of SMW with cancer? 3) What effects does cancer have on partners/caregivers of SMW with cancer? 4) What interventions exist to support partners/caregivers of SMW or to strengthen the patient-caregiver relationship? This systematic review, conducted in 2018 and updated in 2020, was based on Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses guidelines. Two independent coders screened abstracts and articles. In total, 550 unique records were screened; 42 articles were assessed for eligibility, and 18 were included in a qualitative synthesis. Most studies were U.S.-based, involved breast cancer, included intimate partners, had primarily white/Caucasian samples, and were cross-sectional. Sexual minority female participants reported that partners/caregivers often provide important social support, including emotional support, decision-making support, and tangible support. Effects of cancer on relationships with partners/caregivers were mixed, with some studies finding relationships remained stable and others finding cancer either increased closeness or disrupted relationships. Participants reported partners/caregivers often experience distress and may experience discrimination, discomfort disclosing sexual orientation, and a lack of sexual minority-friendly services. No studies involved an intervention targeting partners/caregivers or the dyadic relationship. More work is needed to understand SMW with cancers other than breast cancer, and future work should include more racially, ethnically, and economically diverse samples. Longitudinal research will allow an examination of patterns of mutual influence and change in relationships. These steps will enable the development of interventions to support SMW with cancer and people close to them. • This review synthesized 18 articles about sexual minority women and cancer. • Partners/caregivers often provide crucial social support to sexual minority women. • Effects of cancer on relationships with partners/caregivers were mixed. • Partners/caregivers may experience distress and discrimination. • More work is needed in diverse samples and in cancers other than breast cancer. 

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Silent voices: Transition experiences of family members caring for relatives with dementia

Worldwide 46.8 million persons are living with dementia and many are requiring assistance with performing daily living or instrumental functions. It is often the task of family members to provide care for their relatives with dementia. However, they are often the silent, unseen and unacknowledged figures in the lives of people living with dementia. In 2015, we used a phenomenological design utilising visual participatory methods in the form of collages and interviews to explore and describe the transition experiences of eight family members (seven females and one male) living in a South African city regarding how they became caregivers of their relatives with dementia. They often entered their caregiving roles unexpectedly, often not having much choice regarding whether or not to take on the caregiving role. Family members caring for relatives with dementia have unique support needs as they transition into the caregiving role.

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Rituals of Care: Karmic Politics in an Aging Thailand

End-of-life issues are increasingly central to discussions within medical anthropology, the anthropology of political action, and the study of Buddhist philosophy and practice. Felicity Aulino's Rituals of Care speaks directly to these important anthropological and existential conversations. Against the backdrop of global population aging and increased attention to care for the elderly, both personal and professional, Aulino challenges common presumptions about the universal nature of "caring." The way she examines particular sets of emotional and practical ways of being with people, and their specific historical lineages, allows Aulino to show an inseparable link between forms of social organization and forms of care. Unlike most accounts of the quotidian concerns of providing care in a rapidly aging society, Rituals of Care brings attention to corporeal processes. Moving from vivid descriptions of the embodied routines at the heart of home caregiving to depictions of care practices in more general ways-care for one's group, care of the polity-it develops the argument that religious, social, and political structures are embodied, through habituated action, in practices of providing for others. Under the watchful treatment of Aulino, care becomes a powerful foil for understanding recent political turmoil and structural change in Thailand, proving embodied practice to be a vital vantage point for phenomenological and political analyses alike.

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Race Differences in Characteristics and Experiences of Black and White Caregivers of Older Americans

Background and Objectives Racial disparities in health and socioeconomic characteristics of older adults have implications for the experiences of their family and unpaid caregivers, but knowledge to date has primarily drawn from convenience samples. Using a population-based sample, we examine associations between caregiver race and caregiving-related effects. Research Design and Methods Study participants include white (n = 992) and black (n = 556) respondents to the 2015 National Study of Caregiving who assisted community-dwelling older adults with disabilities who participated in the National Health and Aging Trends Study. Guided by Pearlin's Stress Process Model, hierarchical logistic regression models were constructed to examine race differences in caregiving-related effects after adjusting for caregiving context, stressors, and resources. Results Relative to white caregivers, blacks more often provided in excess of 40 hr of care per week (54.3% vs 38.6%) and more often cared for an older adult with dementia (27.1% vs 20.7%) who was living below the federal poverty line (31.7% vs 11.9%) or was Medicaid-eligible (42.2% vs 11.8%). Black caregivers more often used supportive services (32.9% vs 24.8%). In fully adjusted regression models, black caregivers were more likely to report gains and less likely to report emotional difficulty than whites. Service utilization did not attenuate caregiving-related emotional difficulty or participation restrictions, regardless of race. Discussion and Implications Findings highlight caregiving disparities and counterintuitive differences in experiences and indicate the importance of identifying supports such as paid family leave and faith and community-based programming to better support community-dwelling low-income older adults and their family and unpaid caregivers. 

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A Qualitative Systematic Review of Caregivers' Experiences of Caring for Family Diagnosed with Schizophrenia

Objective: To synthesise qualitative research that explored caregivers' experiences of caring for family diagnosed with schizophrenia. Methods: Electronic databases including PsycINFO, PubMed, CINAHL and Scopus were searched to identify relevant journal articles published from 2000 to March 2019. Quality was assessed and thematic synthesis of the qualitative research evidence undertaken. Papers were screened and independently appraised by two reviewers using The Critical Appraisal Skills Programme (CASP) for Qualitative Studies Checklist. The review was guided by Thomas and Harden's framework for thematic synthesis of qualitative research evidence. Results: The breadth of information across the 43 papers was noteworthy. Review of the findings noted that almost all of what was discussed fell into three broad themes: the 'feelings' of the caregiver towards their role, the patient and others, including the health system; the 'impacts' of the diagnosis and their caregiving role on the caregiver; and the 'needs' of the caregiver to improve the patient's quality of life and thereby the caregiver's quality of life. Within needs also came recommendations for future changes. Conclusion: Studies have shown that the caregiving process is a complex one, with both negative and positive emotional reactions, societal barriers, such as stigma and isolation, and unmet needs, such as timely, relevant and helpful information. Meeting the needs identified by caregivers has the capacity to address the impacts of the illness and caregiving and thereby reduce the negative feelings associated with the caregiver role.

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Qualitative Assessment of Unmet Information Management Needs of Informal Cancer Caregivers: Four Themes to Inform Oncology Practice

PURPOSE: Family and friends often provide informal care for patients with cancer, coordinating care and supporting patients at home. Stress, depression, and burnout are increasingly recognized among these informal caregivers. Although past research has described a range of needs, including the need for information, details about unmet informational needs for caregivers have not been fully described. We sought to assess unmet information management needs for informal caregivers in the digital era. METHODS: This was a qualitative research study with semistructured interviews and focus groups of nonprofessional caregivers for patients with cancer, facilitated using a discussion guide. Eligible caregivers supported patients in the community who were in treatment (chemotherapy or radiotherapy) or completed treatment within 3 years. Participants were recruited using informational flyers at an academic cancer center and in the local community of metropolitan Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Sessions were transcribed verbatim and analyzed inductively to identify themes. RESULTS: Thirteen caregivers participated, the majority between 41 and 60 years of age: seven of 13, 53.8%, were predominantly women; 10 of 13 (76.9%) were educated, 10 of 13 (76.9%) had graduated from college; and of modest means, six of 13 (46.2%) had household incomes < $35,000. Four themes emerged: (1) the information overload paradox, where caregivers felt overloaded by information yet had unmet informational needs; (2) navigating volatility as a caregiver, with changing or unknown expectations; (3) caregivers as information brokers, which placed new burdens on caregivers to seek, share, and protect information; and (4) care for the caregiver, including unmet information needs related to self-care. CONCLUSION: This study identified several informational challenges affecting caregivers. Caregivers have dynamic and evolving informational needs, and strategies that support caregivers through just-in-time information availability or dedicated caregiver check-ins may provide relief within the stress of caregiving.

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Patient and caregiver experiences on care transitions for adults with a hip fracture: a scoping review

Purpose: The purpose of this scoping review was to explore the literature on experiences and perspectives of patients with hip fractures and their caregivers during transitions in care. Methods: Seven databases were searched for studies published between 1 January 2000 and 3 July 2018. Grey literature was also searched. Results: Eleven articles met the inclusion criteria. The scoping review found that patients and caregivers encounter several challenges during care transitions including the following: lack of information sharing, role confusion and disorganized discharge planning. Common suggestions reported in the literature for improving care transitions were: increasing written communication, offering a patient representative role, using technology for knowledge dissemination and increasing geriatrician involvement. Conclusions: The results of this scoping review provide a useful foundation from which to build strategies to address challenges such as lack of information sharing, role confusion and disorganized discharge planning experienced by patients and caregivers during care transitions. Further research needs to explore the development of strategies to promote patient-centered care especially during discharge from an acute care facility. Encourage health care providers to collaborate with patients with hip fracture and caregivers on decision-making about rehabilitation and recovery goals, discharge planning and safe patient transfer. Assess the needs of patients with hip fracture and caregivers before, during and after a care transition to deliver patient and family-centered care across multiple care settings. Provide patients with hip fracture and caregivers standardized information-exchange tools to increase timely, accurate exchange of information during care transitions. Encourage formal discussions about roles and responsibilities in the transitions in care process among patients with hip fracture, caregivers and health care providers. 

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Participating in the personal care of a person living with a life-limiting illness in a hospice inpatient setting: the informal caregiver's perspective

Methods: Using semi-structured interviews, this descriptive qualitative research study examined informal caregivers' perspectives of participating in the personal care of a person living with a life-limiting illness within one hospice inpatient setting. Some 10 principal, informal caregivers of hospice inpatients were recruited by means of purposive sampling, using posters displayed in the hospice inpatient unit. Thus, participation was entirely 'opt-in'. A flash card was displayed at the beginning of each interview to determine a definition of personal care. Field notes and digital audio recording were used to capture data collected.; Results: Data were thematically analysed and demonstrated that informal caregivers' perceptions of personal care included everything that allowed the patient to remain the person they were. Informal caregivers reported an acceptable balance between being able to carry out personal care and hospice nursing staff involvement, despite no discussions being carried out to establish their wishes. Prior experiences of informal caregiving, and individual caregiver preparedness, contributed to negative and positive feelings about participating in personal care. Informal caregivers reported additional support and education needs associated with being able to participate in the personal care of patients on discharge and in the future.; Conclusions: The emergent themes provide palliative care practitioners with direction for professional practice and research around supporting informal caregivers participating in personal care. Healthcare professionals need to clarify terminology of personal care by having dialogues with informal caregivers and acting on these accordingly. However, not all informal caregivers want such conversations. Consequently, healthcare professionals should approach this topic sensitively. Healthcare professionals ought to be asking informal caregivers if they wish to participate in personal care. Hospice nurses need to engage, support and educate informal caregivers about personal care. Furthermore, they should help to maintain and develop the skills of those informal caregivers who want to continue to play this role and not allow them to become deskilled.

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Overburdened and Underprepared: Medical/Nursing Task Performance Among Informal Caregivers in the United States

Informal caregivers are increasingly performing medical/nursing tasks in the home for adult care recipients, often without adequate support. In the current study, using data from the Caregiving in the U.S. 2015 survey (N = 1,248), we examined associations between performing medical/nursing tasks and caregiver well-being (e.g., physical strain, emotional stress, burden of care). Overall, 58% of caregivers performed medical/nursing tasks. Compared to those who did not, those performing tasks had higher risk of emotional stress, physical strain, and high burden of care. Among task performers, difficulty performing tasks was associated with higher risk of all outcomes; having no choice in caregiving was independently associated with higher risk of emotional stress and physical strain. Caregivers performing medical/nursing tasks, particularly those who find tasks difficult, are at risk for adverse outcomes. New clinical approaches are needed to ensure meaningful conversations about caregivers' willingness, availability, and ability to perform medical/nursing tasks and to provide support for this part of the caregiving role. 

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Navigating in a Misty Landscape – Perceptions of Supporting a Relative Residing in Supported Housing for People with a Psychiatric Disability

The aim was to explore informal carers' perceptions of supporting the everyday life of a relative who has a psychiatric disability and resides in supported housing (SH). A qualitative study based on interviews with 12 informal carers was performed, and the data was analyzed with qualitative content analysis. The theme "Navigating in a misty landscape when striving to support a relative with a psychiatric disability" was identified, encompassing four categories pertaining to residents' needs, collaboration, environmental issues and the carer's situation. SH services can be enhanced by addressing informal carers' experiences and developing greater collaboration involving informal carers, residents and staff.

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Long-Term Socioeconomic Impact of Informal Care Provided to Patients with Pacemakers: Remote vs. Conventional Monitoring

The impact of informal care immediately after pacemaker (PM) implantation has been well established; however, not much is known about its long-term effects. The present study compared personal characteristics, associated problems, workloads, time, and costs related to informal care provided to patients with PM under remote monitoring (RM) vs. conventional monitoring (CM) in the hospital, five years after implantation. The PONIENTE study was a controlled, non-randomized or masked clinical trial conducted with information obtained from the perspective of informal caregivers. Data were collected at 12 and 60 months after PM implantation. The patients in the study were assigned to two different groups: remote monitoring (RM) and conventional monitoring (CM). The "Disability, personal autonomy, and dependency situations survey" (EDAD) was administered to collect information on sociodemographic characteristics, time, care difficulties, health status, professional aspects, and impact on economic, family, or leisure aspects of the main caregivers providing care to patients with pacemakers. After five years, 55 patients completed the study (RM = 21; CM = 34). The average age was 63.14 years (SD = 14.90), 96% of them were women, and the most predominant marital status was married (72%). Informal caregivers lived in the homes of the patients in 70% of cases, and 88% indicated that they had to provide care six to seven days a week. The average cost per patient during the monitoring period studied was 13.17% lower in the RM group than in the CM group, and these differences were not statistically significant ( p = 0.35). This study found similar results in the two groups under study with respect to sociodemographic characteristics, workload, time, and problems associated with health, leisure and family members. The costs associated with care were higher in the CM group; however, these differences were not statistically significant.

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Living with Alzheimer Disease and Other Types of Dementia: Stories from Caregivers

This symposium includes twelve personal narratives from people who have provided care to a spouse, parent, another relative, or friend with Alzheimer disease or related dementias (ADRD). People with ADRDs often face years of cognitive decline with memory and thinking that eventually require help from others to assist with their daily activities. Most people caring for older adults in the US are unpaid family members, friends, or other informal caregivers. People providing care often experience emotional and physical stress, or financial burdens. This symposium also includes three commentaries by experts in the fields of bioethics and philosophy, justice in healthcare, family caregiving, and end of life choices. These narratives provide a forum for exploring caregiver needs, suffering, benefits, and joys, as well as opportunities to improve the way we support caregivers and people with dementia and Alzheimer disease. 

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The Life Experiences Among Primary Family Caregivers of Home-Based Palliative Care

Background: An increasing number of patients with terminal illnesses prefer to die in their own homes due to aging, high medical payments, a limited number of hospitalization days, and the ability to receive care from family members. However, few studies have been conducted on the subjective perception and value of caregivers for home-based palliative care (HBPC).; Objective: To identify common themes and topics of primary family caregivers' lived experiences with HBPC when taking care of terminally ill family members.; Methods: We conducted audio-recorded transcripts of one-on-one in-depth interviews of primary family caregivers of HBPC. Through a purposive sampling method, the participants were all interviewed; these interviews were transcribed verbatim and analyzed using a grounded theory approach.; Results: A total of 22 primary family caregivers participated in the study. "Wholeheartedly accompanying one's family to the end of life at home" was the core category. Six main themes describing caregivers' experiences emerged from the interviews: (1) learning the basic skills of end-of-life home care, (2) arranging the sharing and rotation of care, (3) preparing for upcoming deaths and funerals, (4) negotiating the cultural and ethical issues of end-of-life home care, (5) ensuring a comfortable life with basic life support, and (6) maintaining care characterized by concern, perseverance, and patience.; Conclusions: Primary family caregivers of HBPC need support and must learn home care skills by means of the holistic approach. It is crucial to establish assessment tools for caregivers' preparedness for HBPC, including biopsychosocial and cultural considerations .

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Irish Health Survey 2019 - Carers and Social Supports

This publication relating to “Carers and Social Supports” provides data and insights on Carers in Ireland (who they are, how many hours of caring they provide, etc.) and the extent to which people in Ireland can rely on informal social supports (assistance from neighbours for example). The publication also outlines, for those aged 65 years and older, the extent to which they experience difficulties with certain personal care and household activities.

The data in this publication was collected as part of the “Irish Health Survey” in 2019 and early 2020. The first health survey was collected for reference year 2015, but in a different way to how the data was collected for this publication – more detail on this follows. The detail in this publication is a subset of the broader data collected, and the “Main Results” publication is to be published on December 11th. This publication will outline various aspects of health in Ireland (health status of people in Ireland, their engagement with the health system and health determinants). Finally, on December 14th there will be a publication on the health experience of persons with disabilities. Again, this last publication is a subset of the main data collection for the Irish Health Survey.

The survey is based on self-reported data from persons aged 15 years and over, and outlines their view of their health status, the informal social supports available to them, and the extent to which they encounter (for persons aged 65 years and over) difficulties in performing personal care (for example, eating, dressing themselves, showering) or household activities (for example, performing housework or shopping). The data collection for this publication was conducted between July 2019 and February 2020 and accordingly relates to the pre-pandemic health and other experiences of respondents.

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Information Seeking Experiences of Family Caregivers of Patients with Persistent Vegetative State: A Qualitative Study

Background: Providing care for patients in Persistent Vegetative State (PVS) by family caregivers without enough training and knowledge may be problematic both for the patients and for the caregivers. Therefore, the present study tries to explain the experiences of family caregivers of patients with PVS of seeking information needed to provide adequate care. Materials and Methods: Twenty two participants, including 17 family caregivers and 5 professional caregivers were enrolled by purposive sampling into this qualitative content analysis study, carried out between 2013 and 2015. Unstructured interviews and field notes were used to gather the data. Data collection was stopped when data saturation was achieved. Data analysis was performed by content analysis based on Graneheim and Lundman's approach. Results: As a result of the analysis of the collected data a main theme emerged labeled as "Seeking constructive education" with three categories including "Neglected requisite education," "Greedy search for useful education" and "Dynamic independence in care." Conclusions: In this study, information seeking by family caregivers of patients with PVS was constructive. Family caregivers insistently sought needed information from various sources. Ultimately, they found these insistent efforts beneficial and fruitful, because their efforts made them independent in providing care for their patients. 

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Information seeking behavior and perceived health literacy of family caregivers of persons living with a chronic condition. The case of spinal cord injury in Switzerland

Objective: To examine the information seeking behavior and health literacy of caregivers of individuals living with spinal cord injury in Switzerland and their impact on the caregiving experience. Methods: Nationwide survey of family caregivers of people with spinal cord injury (N = 717). Caregivers aged 18+ who assisted with activities of daily living were included. Self-reported information seeking behavior, including topics, preferred sources, and health literacy were assessed and analyzed. Results: Health professionals were the most trusted source of information. Among information-seekers, higher health literacy levels were shown to be associated with lower subjective caregiver burden and, in turn, with higher caregivers' satisfaction with own health. Conclusion: Caregivers use information on different topics and coming from different sources. In order for information to improve the caregiving experience, however, caregivers need health literacy skills to make sense of it. Practice Implications: Building health literacy is a promising approach to support caregivers in their activities, reduce their subjective burden, and even to improve their health. Interventions should consider involving health professionals, as the most trusted source of information, and address both health-related and more practical issues. 

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Informal caregivers’ views on the quality of healthcare services provided to older patients aged 80 or more in the hospital and 30 days after discharge

BACKGROUND: In the European Union (EU), informal caregivers provide 60 per cent of all care. Informal caregiving ranges from assistance with daily activities and provision of direct care to helping care recipients to navigate within complex healthcare and social services systems. While recent caregiver surveys document the impact of informal caregivers, systematic reviews show that they have unmet needs. Because of the political desire to reduce the length of hospital stays, older patients are discharged from the hospital 'quicker and sicker' than before. The transition between different levels of the healthcare system and the period after hospital discharge is critical for elderly patients. Caregivers' perspectives on the quality of older patients' care journeys between levels of the healthcare system may provide valuable information for healthcare providers and policymakers. This study aims to explore older patient's informal caregivers' views on healthcare quality in the hospital and in the first 30days after hospitalisation. METHOD: We conducted semi-structured individual interviews with 12 participants to explore and describe informal caregivers' subjective experiences of providing care to older relatives. The interviews were then transcribed and analysed thematically. RESULTS: The analysis yielded the overarching theme 'Informal caregivers - a health service alliance - quality contributor', which was divided into four main themes: 'Fast in, fast out', 'Scant information', 'Disclaimer of responsibility' and 'A struggle to secure professional care'. The healthcare system seemed to pay little attention to ensuring mutual understandings between those involved in discharge, treatment and coordination. The participants experienced that the healthcare providers' main focus was on the patients' diseases, although the health services are supposed to view patients holistically. CONCLUSION: Based on the information given by informal caregivers, health services must take into account each person's needs and preferences. To deliver quality healthcare, better coordination between inter-professional care teams and the persons they serve is necessary. Health professionals must strengthen the involvement of caregivers in transitions between care and healthcare. Future work should evaluate targeted strategies for formal caregivers to cooperate, support and empower family members as informal caregivers. 

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Informal and formal care among persons with dementia immediately before nursing home admission

Background: Dementia is a care intensive disease, especially in the later stages, implying in many cases a substantial carer burden. This study assesses the use of formal and informal care resources among persons with dementia during the last month before nursing home admission. It also describes main providers of informal care and assesses the extent of informal care rendered by the extended social network. Methods: In this cross-sectional study, we collected data about persons with dementia that were newly admitted to a nursing home in Norway. Information about the amount of formal and informal care during the last 4 weeks preceding nursing home admission was collected from the primary caregivers. Clinical data were collected by examining the patients, while sociodemographic data was collected from the patients' files. Results: A total of 395 persons with dementia were included. The amount of informal care provided by the family caregiver was 141.9 h per month SD = 227.4. Co-resident patients received five times more informal care than non-co-residents. Informal care from the extended social network was provided to 212 patients (53.7%) with a mean of 5.6 (SD = 11.2) hours per month and represented 3.8% of the total informal care rendered to the patients. Formal care was provided to 52.7% of the patients with a mean of 18.0 (SD = 50.1) hours per month. Co-residency was significantly associated with more informal care, and the associations varied with respect to age, relation to the caregiver, and the caregiver's working situation. Good/excellent general health was associated with less formal care. Conclusion: Persons with dementia on the verge of admission to a nursing home are mainly supported by the family caregiver, and the use of informal care is particularly high among co-residents. In order to delay nursing home admission, future research should explore the unrealized care potential in extended social networks, as well as the potential for increasing the number of recipients of formal care services.

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"How Long Can I Carry On?" The Need for Palliative Care in Parkinson's Disease: A Qualitative Study from the Perspective of Bereaved Family Caregivers

Background: Family caregivers provide the majority of care for people with Parkinson's disease (PD) in the palliative care phase. For many this is a demanding experience, affecting their quality of life. Objective: We set out to map the experiences of bereaved family caregivers during the period of informal care in the palliative care phase as well as after the death of their loved one with PD. Methods: Ten bereaved family caregivers participated in this qualitative study. Semi-structured interviews were conducted and interpretative phenomenological analysis was used executed. Results: We identified four main themes. 1) Feeling like a professional caregiver: while caring for a person with PD, the family caregivers took over many roles and tasks of the person with PD. 2) Healthcare professionals do not always know what PD really means: most interviewees had negative experiences with knowledge and understanding of PD of, especially, (practice) nurses. 3) Being on your own: many respondents had felt highly responsible for their loved one's care and lacked time and space for themselves. Grief and feelings of guilt were present during the caregiving period and after death. 4) Being behind the times: to provide palliative care in line with patients' preferences and to feel prepared for the palliative care phase of PD, proactive palliative care planning was considered important. However, the interviewees told that this was most often not provided. Conclusion: These findings indicate that caring for a person with PD in the palliative care phase is a demanding experience for family caregivers. They experience psychological problems for many years before and after the death of the person with PD. Increasing healthcare professionals' awareness of family and bereaved caregivers' needs may mitigate these long-term detrimental effects.

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How do family-caregivers of patients with advanced cancer provide symptom self-management support? A qualitative study

The family-caregiver role is of critical importance to the success of symptom-related self-management of patients with advanced cancer. This study examined the perspectives of patients and family-caregivers regarding the role of the family-caregiver in symptom-related self-management support (SMS). Semi-structured interviews were conducted in patients with advanced cancer experiencing significant symptom burden and their family-caregivers. An inductive content analysis approach was used to analyse data. Eleven patients and ten family caregivers were included. Identified themes were 1) engaging in specific symptom-related SMS ; 2) interacting with health care professionals ; and 3) balancing patient need versus expectation. These themes were applicable to both the family-caregiver and patient cohorts, regardless of the individual symptom profile of each patient. The role of family-caregivers of patients with advanced cancer is complex and varied in providing symptom-related SMS at home; often requiring family-caregivers to have diverse knowledge and skills in the management of a range of cancer-related symptoms. Health care professionals can support family-caregivers by anticipating needs, tailoring evidence-based information to those needs, and ensuring family-caregivers have an appropriate contact point for advice or help.

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Suitability and acceptability of the Carer Support Needs Assessment Tool (CSNAT) for the assessment of carers of people with MND: a qualitative study

Objectives Motor neurone disease (MND) is a progressive, life-limiting illness. Caregiving impacts greatly on family carers with few supportive interventions for carers. We report Stages 1 and 2 of a study to: (1) explore experiences of MND caregiving and use carer-identified support needs to determine suitability and acceptability of the Carer Support Needs Assessment Tool (CSNAT), (2) adapt the CSNAT as necessary for comprehensive assessment and support of MND carers, prior to (Stage 3) feasibility testing. Design Qualitative: focus groups, interviews and carer workshops.Setting Three UK MND specialist centres serving a wide range of areas. Participants Stage 1: 33 carers, 11 from each site: 19 current carers, 14 bereaved. Stage 2: 19 carer advisors: 10 bereaved, 9 current carers. Majority were spouses/partners ranging in age from under 45 years to over 75 years. Duration of caring: 4 months to 12.5 years. Results Carers described challenges of a disease that was terminal from the outset, of ‘chasing’ progressive deterioration, trying to balance normality and patient independence against growing dependence, and intensive involvement in caregiving. Carers had extensive support needs which could be mapped to existing CSNAT domains: both ‘enabling’ domains which identify carers’ needs as co-workers as well as carers’ ‘direct’ needs as clients in relation to their own health and well-being. Only one aspect of their caregiving experience went beyond existing domains: a new domain on support needs with relationship changes was identified to tailor the CSNAT better to MND carers. Conclusions Carers of people with MND found the adapted CSNAT to be an appropriate and relevant tool for assessment of their support needs. The revised version has potential for assessment of carers in other longer-term caring contexts. A further paper will report the Stage 3 study on feasibility of using the adapted CSNAT in routine practice.

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Health literacy for caregivers of elders with alzheimer's disease

Objective: To identify the level of health literacy in informal caregivers of elders with Alzheimer's disease.; Methods: Descriptive study with a quantitative and qualitative approach, with health literacy as a theoretical framework. Research carried out with 42 informal caregivers of elders with Alzheimer's from a geriatrics outpatient clinic, using a questionnaire with sociodemographic data and the Health Literacy instrument.; Results: The functional and conceptual levels were more prevalent, with regards to elders with Alzheimer's, than the empowering level. Caregivers searched, evaluated, and used health information and expressed abilities to use and judge the information received.; Final Considerations: The predominance of categories in the cognitive level of learning indicates the need to strengthen the empowering level of these caregivers. Health literacy made it possible to reveal the demands of informal caregivers of elders with Alzheimer's, evaluating their individual ability to offer this type of assistance. It is also a tool capable of reaching better health results.

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From the carer's mouth: A phenomenological exploration of carer experiences with head and neck cancer patients

Objective: Receiving a diagnosis of head and neck cancer is devastating for patients and family carers and causes high levels of distress. Previous studies report that carer distress levels exceed that of patients, but go largely unnoticed by health professionals. To date, there is a paucity of studies that have described carers' perspectives of the lived experience of caring for a loved one diagnosed with head and neck cancer. The aim of this study was to explore the lived experiences of carers of patients diagnosed with head and neck cancer. Methods: This qualitative study was informed by descriptive phenomenology. Carers of patients who had been diagnosed with head and neck cancer within the last 6 years were recruited from participating hospitals in Perth, Western Australia. Semi‐structured interviews were conducted with 20 carers of patients diagnosed with head and neck cancer. Thematic analysis was conducted to gain an understanding of participants lived experiences. Results: Key themes identified were: Silent Suffering, Gamut of Emotions, Causal Attribution, Changing Priorities, Gaining Support, and Coping. The changing priorities themes highlights that carers prioritised (a) being available for their loved one and (b) taking an active role in managing head and neck cancer symptoms and side effects. Conclusions: Carers of patients diagnosed with head and neck cancer experience distress. Instead of seeking support, carers often elected to suffer in silence. Implications for practice include screening for carer distress and providing specific interventions focused on caring for someone diagnosed with head and neck cancer. 

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Financial stress experienced by informal carers of adults with a chronic disease: Results from an Australian population‐based cross‐sectional survey

Objective: To identify caregiving characteristics that are associated with financial stress in Australian carers of people with a chronic disease. Methods: Data were collected via the South Australian Health Omnibus, an annual population‐based, cross‐sectional survey. Individuals who provided care to someone with prevalent chronic conditions were asked about financial stress and caregiving characteristics. Results: Of 32.4% (988/3047) who were carers, 13.4% (132/988) experienced financial stress. Adjusting for age and household income, providing more than 20 hours of care per week (AOR = 2.39, 95% CI = 1.48‐3.86), transport assistance (AOR = 1.89, 95% CI = 1.15‐3.09) and assistance with household tasks (AOR = 1.92, 95% CI = 1.14‐3.26) and caring for a person with a mental illness (AOR = 2.01, 95% CI = 1.24‐3.28) were associated with a significant increase in odds of experiencing financial stress. Caring for a person with cancer (AOR = 0.49, 95% CI = 0.30‐0.81) or dementia (AOR = 0.40, 95% CI = 0.21‐0.76) was associated with decrease in odds. Conclusions: Financial stress was reported by more than 13% of carers, and factors other than household income were implicated.

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'A fifty mile round trip to change a lightbulb': An exploratory study of carers' experiences of providing help, care and support to families and friends from a distance

While the role of carers has been widely investigated, the experiences of those who care from a distance have been little explored, especially in the United Kingdom. However, contemporary patterns of family life suggest that this may be a significant experience for many. This exploratory study employed an anonymous online survey, conducted April–November 2017, to collect data about specific issues (experiences, challenges and satisfactions) faced by carers living at a distance requiring at least 1 hr travel time (each way) from the person they support. One hundred and twenty‐eight participant responses were analysed. Qualitative (thematic) analysis identified that 'distance carers' carry out multiple care tasks, both when with, and apart from, the person they care for. Distance creates specific challenges for carers who have to work to 'bridge the distance gap' and who cannot 'just drop in' and see the person they support. Distance further exposes carers to emotional, financial and temporal demands. The use of technologies or the availability of a wider support network may support distance carers, and some explore the viability of relocation. However, these potential support strategies were identified as 'fragile' and at risk of breaking down. Despite the challenges identified, distance carers also reported satisfactions derived from supporting their relative/friend. While the numbers of those providing distance care are unknown, this research suggests that this is a significant carer group, whose needs should be recognised in health and social care policy, practice and research. 

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Family Experiences Prior to the Initiation of Care for First-Episode Psychosis: A Meta-Synthesis of Qualitative Studies

Objectives: This study systematically reviewed existing qualitative evidence of family members' experiences prior to the initiation of mental health services for a loved one experiencing their first episode of psychosis (FEP). Methods: A meta-synthesis review of published peer-reviewed qualitative studies conducted between 2010 and 2019 were included. Keyword searches were performed in four electronic databases and the reference lists of primary manuscripts. Two independent reviewers used the Critical Appraisal Skills Programme (CASP) qualitative checklist to assess methodological quality of each study. Results: A total of 365 articles were initially identified and 9 were articles identified in a secondary review and literature search. A total of 21 met inclusion criteria. Of those included in this review 169, mothers were the primary family to recall experiences. The meta-synthesis identified four major themes related to family member experiences prior to the initiation of mental health services for FEP: the misinterpretation of signs, the emotional impact of FEP on family members, the effect of stigma on family members, and engaging with resources prior to mental health services for FEP. Conclusions: Additional research is needed to develop healthy communication strategies that effectively deliver educational information about psychosis. This meta-synthesis also identified the need to understand help-seeking behaviors among families of those with FEP in effort to reduce the duration of untreated psychosis and improve pathways to care often initiated by a family member.

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Family carers' involvement strategies in response to sub-optimal health services to older adults living with dementia - a qualitative study

Background: While dementia policy strategies emphasize the importance of partnerships between families and formal carers to provide tailored care and effectively allocate community resources, family carers often feel left out or excluded. Poor communication has been identified as one reason for the lack of good partnerships. Few studies have investigated how family carers seek to involve themselves when they experience sub-optimal services, and how their strategies may depend on different considerations and personal abilities. Methods: Qualitative in-depth interviews were conducted with 23 family carers to explore their experiences with, perspectives on, contributions to, and interactions with healthcare services provided to older adults living with dementia. To capture nuances and variations, a semi-structured interview guide was used. Interviews were audio-recorded and transcribed verbatim. A four-step analysis of the transcripts was conducted, informed by hermeneutic and phenomenological methodology. Results: Two main involvement strategies were identified: 1) being "the hub in the wheel" and 2) getting the wheel rolling. The first strategy was used to support and complement health services, while the second was used to add momentum and leverage to arguments or processes. The two main strategies were used differently among participants, in part due to differences in personal resources and the ability to utilize these, but also in light of family carers' weighing conflicting concerns and perceived costs and benefits. Conclusions: Awareness and acknowledgment of family carers' strategies, personal resources, and considerations may help policymakers and healthcare personnel when they build or maintain good partnerships together with family carers. A better understanding of family carers' own perspectives on carer involvement is a necessary precursor to developing good care partnerships.

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Family Caregiving for Individuals With Heart Failure: A Scientific Statement From the American Heart Association

Many individuals living with heart failure (HF) rely on unpaid support from their partners, family members, friends, or neighbors as caregivers to help manage their chronic disease. Given the advancements in treatments and devices for patients with HF, caregiving responsibilities have expanded in recent decades to include more intensive care for increasingly precarious patients with HF-tasks that would previously have been undertaken by healthcare professionals in clinical settings. The specific tasks of caregivers of patients with HF vary widely based on the patient's symptoms and comorbidities, the relationship between patient and caregiver, and the complexity of the treatment regimen. Effects of caregiving on the caregiver and patient range from physical and psychological to financial. Therefore, it is critically important to understand the needs of caregivers to support the increasingly complex medical care they provide to patients living with HF. This scientific statement synthesizes the evidence pertaining to caregiving of adult individuals with HF in order to (1) characterize the HF caregiving role and how it changes with illness trajectory; (2) describe the financial, health, and well-being implications of caregiving in HF; (3) evaluate HF caregiving interventions to support caregiver and patient outcomes; (4) summarize existing policies and resources that support HF caregivers; and (5) identify knowledge gaps and future directions for providers, investigators, health systems, and policymakers.

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Family Caregiving at the End of Life and Hospice Use: A National Study of Medicare Beneficiaries

BACKGROUND/OBJECTIVES Hospice care confers well‐documented benefits to patients and their families, but it is underutilized. One potential reason is inadequate family support to make end‐of‐life decisions and care for older adults on hospice at home. We assessed the association between amount of family support and hospice use among a population of decedents and among specific illness types. DESIGN Prospective cohort study using the National Health and Aging Trends Study waves 2011 to 2017, linked to Medicare claims data. SETTING Contiguous United States. PARTICIPANTS A total of 1,868 NHATS decedents. MEASUREMENTS Outcome variable was 1 day or longer of hospice. Family caregiving intensity was measured by self‐reported hours of care per week and number of caregivers. Covariates included probable dementia status and other demographic, clinical, and functional characteristics. RESULTS: At the end of life, hours of family caregiving and numbers of helpers vary widely with individuals with dementia receiving the most hours of unpaid care (mean = 64.5 hours per week) and having 2.4 unpaid caregivers on average. In an adjusted analysis, older adults with cancer receiving 40 hours and more of unpaid care/week as compared with fewer than 6 hours per week were twice as likely to receive hospice care at the end of life (odds ratio = 2.0; 95% confidence interval = 1.0–4.1). This association was not seen among those with dementia or among decedents in general. No significant association was found between number of caregivers and hospice use at the end of life. CONCLUSION: Older adults at the end of life receive a high number of hours of help at the end of life, many from more than one caregiver, which may shape hospice access. Better understanding of disparities in hospice use can facilitate timely access to care for older adults with a serious illness. 

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Family caregivers' involvement in decision-making processes regarding admission of persons with dementia to nursing homes

The current Western health policy of ageing in place relies on a triad collaboration among patients, healthcare service providers and family caregivers. Such collaborations presuppose involvement in a vague juridical landscape. This article explores family caregivers' experiences with involvement in and influence on nursing home decision-making processes for persons with dementia. The data consist of 12 in-depth interviews with family caregivers. Using positioning theory, we demonstrate how family caregivers strive to balance their assumed duty to care for the person with their needs to care for themselves. Their involvement (or non-involvement) in the complex decision-making process is demonstrated through the following seven positions: (1) self-condemning determiner, (2) dominant, (3) proponent, (4) saluting, (5) pending, (6) prisoner, and (7) stooge. Furthermore, we discuss why expedient positions are more available for some individuals and the consequences of family caregivers' various positions on the healthcare policy aims of collaboration and equal healthcare services.

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Factors influencing the transition experience of carers for persons with dementia, when the person with dementia moves into residential care: systematic review and meta-synthesis

Aims: To understand factors influencing the experience of carers for people with dementia, when that person moves from living in the community to living in residential care. Specifically, we aimed to identify facilitators and inhibitors of carer adjustment during this transition. Method: A systematic search of CINAHL, EMBASE, PubMed, and PsycINFO databases was conducted. Nine qualitative articles published between 2001 and 2017, based on the experiences of 141 carers, were included. Thematic analysis was applied to the data, with the concepts of transition inhibitors and facilitators being used to structure the analytic process. Results: Analysis produced five themes, representing factors that could affect carer experiences of the focal transition-process: modifying the difficulty of this process according to their presence or absence. The themes were (1) Connection, pertaining to the carer feeling connected to the person with dementia and professionals during this transition; (2) Informed & Informing, relating to exchange of information between the carer and facility staff or health professionals; (3) The facility: welcoming & skilful, dealing with carer perceptions of the facility and their confidence in the staff; (4) It's What You Make of It, discussing the meaning the carer made of the admission and the impact this had; and (5) Sharing Responsibility, addressing how carers were affected by the perceived sharing of responsibility for care-provision. Conclusions: A supportive network has a significant role to play in facilitating this transition for carers. However, further research into what carers would find useful during this time is needed.

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Experiences on Providing Home Care for A Relative with Heart Failure: A Qualitative Study

The aim of this study was to explore and describe the lived experiences of persons providing home care for community-dwelling relative with heart failure (HF) in Jordan. Design: It was a phenomenological study. Methods: Data were collected through interviews with 29 participants and analyzed using a thematic analysis approach. Findings: Four core themes have emerged: caregiving as a mandatory responsibility, positive experiences, negative experiences, and factors influencing the quality of the experiences. Conclusion: Although the hallmark of the participants' experience was negative, they showed a strong commitment to caring for their ill relatives. Clinical Evidence: The findings underscore the need for frequent assessment and support of family caregivers. 

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Experiences of oldest-old caregivers whose partner is approaching end-of-life: A mixed-method systematic review and narrative synthesis

Background and objectives: Population ageing has rapidly increased the number of people requiring end-of-life care across the globe. Governments have responded by promoting end-of-life in the community. Partly as a consequence, older spouses are frequently providing for their partner's end-of-life care at home, despite potentially facing their own health issues. While there is an emerging literature on young-old caregivers, less is known about spouse carers over 75 who are likely to face specific challenges associated with their advanced age and relationship status. The aim of this review, therefore, is to identify and synthesise the literature concerning the experiences of caregiver's aged 75 and over whose partner is approaching end-of-life. We conducted a mixed-method systematic review and narrative synthesis of the empirical literature published between 1985 and May 2019, identified from six databases: Medline, PsychINFO, Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature, Embase, Sociological Abstracts and Social Service Abstracts. Hand searching and reference checking were also conducted. Gough's Weight of Evidence and Morgan's Feminist Quality Appraisal tool used to determine the quality of papers. From the initial 7819 titles, 10 qualitative studies and 9 quantitative studies were included. We identified three themes: 1) "Embodied impact of care" whereby caring was found to negatively impact carers physical and psychological health, with adverse effects continuing into bereavement; 2) "Caregiving spouse's conceptualisation of their role" in which caregiver's navigated their self and marriage identities in relation to their partner's condition and expectations about gender and place; 3) "Learning to care" which involved learning new skills and ways of coping to remain able to provide care. We identified a recent up-surge in published papers about very old spousal caregivers, which now comprise a small, medium-quality evidence base. This review outlines a range of potential lines of inquiry for future research including further clarification of the impact of caregiving on the likelihood of mortality, the incidence of men and women providing end-of-life care amongst this age group, and the role of anticipatory grief in shaping their perceptions of their relationship and their own longevity. 

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The experiences of family caregivers living with breast cancer patients in low-and middle-income countries: a systematic review

Introduction: Caregivers of women with breast cancer in low-and-middle-income countries experience significant physical and economic burdens. The review aimed to map the evidence of studies that had reported on the experiences of family caregivers of women diagnosed with breast cancer. Methods: A systematic literature search was conducted in CINAHL, PubMed, PsycINFO, Scopus, and Web of Science databases using a combination of key search terms and medical subject heading terms such as "family caregiver," "breast cancer," "home care," "low-and-middle-income countries," "experience," "effect," and "coping mechanism." A total of 1781 articles were retrieved and screened. Nineteen studies addressing caregiving experiences were included in the final review based on the inclusion and exclusion criteria. Results: The systematic review yielded 19 studies that focused on caregivers' motivation, needs of caregivers, intervention for caregivers, and consequences of caregiving. The most significant correlates of the quality of life among caregivers were disease severity, functional status of patients, and family income. The challenges encountered by caregivers were mostly psychosocial. Conclusions: Caregivers play a crucial role in the management of women with breast cancer. However, they are faced with increasing challenges in their caregiving roles. Understanding the nature and extent of the burden experienced by family caregivers in developing countries will facilitate the development of appropriate interventions that can help improve caregivers' quality of life. Gaps in recent studies were identified, and suggestions for future research were also addressed in this review. Systematic review registration: PROSPERO CRD42019118391 

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The Experiences of Couples Affected by Stroke and Nurses Managing Patient Rehabilitation: A Descriptive Study in Singapore

Background: Stroke in a family affects both patients and their spousal caregivers. Despite advances in the medical management of stroke, less is known about the social and cultural factors that impact couples regarding stroke recovery. Purpose: The purpose of this study was to explore the experiences of stroke from the perspectives of couples affected by stroke and the nurses managing patient rehabilitation. Methods: An interpretive descriptive study was conducted. Purposive sampling was used to enroll 17 participants, comprising eight nurses, five spousal caregivers, and four stroke survivors. Individual, in-depth interviews were performed at a rehabilitation hospital in Singapore in June 2018. Results: The primary theme was the diverse meanings of stroke recovery attributed to limited conversations about the care decisions made by couples and rehabilitation nurses. The second theme was the challenges in nursing responsibilities that hindered the recovery of patients with stroke. Conclusions/Implications for Practice: The meaning of recovery differs between patients and their informal and formal care providers. This issue should be explored in patient–provider conversations, as these conversations highlight the values and preferences that affect the stroke recovery trajectory. Enhancing shared decision making by patients, spousal caregivers, and healthcare providers during the stroke trajectory may promote the alignment of values that are critical to the stroke recovery experience. Further research into whether and how to incorporate shared decision making in rehabilitation hospital settings as an interventional component is warranted to better support stroke survivors before discharge. 

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Experiences and perspectives of the parents of emerging adults living with type 1 diabetes

Introduction Whereas it is widely recognized that emerging adulthood can be a difficult time in the life of an individual living with type 1 diabetes, relatively little is known about the experiences of their parents or guardians. These individuals once shouldered much of the burden for their child's diabetes 'self'-management, yet their contribution is often overlooked by the adult healthcare system. Here, we set out to gain an understanding of the perspectives of parents of emerging adults living with type 1 diabetes. Research design and methods Semi-structured interviews were performed with a purposeful sample of parents of emerging adults with type 1 diabetes recruited from two urban young adult diabetes clinics and through a national diabetes charity. Thematic coding was derived using a constant comparative approach. Results Analysis of interviews with 16 parents of emerging adults with type 1 diabetes identified three themes: parental experiences of the transition to adult care; negotiating parent-child roles, responsibilities and relationships; and new and evolving fears. Parents spoke in detail about the time surrounding their child's diagnosis of type 1 diabetes to emphasize the complexity of diabetes care and the need to establish a 'new normal' for the family. In turn, adolescence and emerging adulthood required a renegotiation of roles and responsibilities, with many parents continuing to play a role in high-level diabetes management. Several parents of emerging adults with type 1 diabetes (particularly those of young men) vocalized worries about their child's readiness to assume responsibility for their self-care, and some expressed frustration with the apparent dichotomy in the role expectations of parents between the pediatric and adult care settings. Conclusions Adult healthcare providers should recognize both the ongoing involvement of parents in the 'self'-management of emerging adults with type 1 diabetes and the unique aspects of the caregiver burden that they experience.

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Expanding Perspectives on Family Caregiving

We hope you enjoy the creative perspectives on family caregiving presented by our authors, and that they serve as a catalyst for expanding research and interventions for family caregiving in new and interesting directions.

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Do caregivers' personality and emotional intelligence modify their perception of relationship and communication with people with aphasia?

Background: There is a wide agreement that family and friends of people with aphasia (PWA) can play a crucial role in the rehabilitation of interpersonal communication. Therefore, speech and language therapists (SLTs) should include family and friends in the process of therapy. However, little has been said about the role of caregivers of severely disabled PWA in the rehabilitation of communication functions. Aims: To examine how caregivers of severely disabled PWA perceive their relationship and communication with PWA, how they facilitate communication with PWA, and whether the caregiver's personality and emotional intelligence modify the abovementioned processes. Methods & Procedures: The study involved 123 caregivers of severely disabled stroke survivors with aphasia. Participants took part in a structured interview based on a structured interview guide created for the purpose of this study. The standardized psychological questionnaires NEO Five‐Factor Inventory (NEO‐FFI) and Schutte Emotional Intelligence Scale (SEIS) were used. Outcomes & Results: The caregiver's positive attitude towards the PWA correlated with the active facilitation of communication. The personality traits of caregivers and their level of emotional intelligence were associated with the tendency to use certain techniques to facilitate communication with PWA. Conclusions & Implications: Caregivers' positive attitude towards PWA is beneficial for the rehabilitation of communicative functions. Personality traits and emotional intelligence could modify the caregiver's strategy of coping with aphasia‐related challenges and should be taken into consideration when providing support. What this paper addsWhat is already known on the subjectInterpersonal communication must by definition involve at least two people. Therefore, there are a lot of approaches in SLT where support is given not only to the PWA but also to the communication partners. The most important group is significant others, which is usually understood as family members and friends. There is an increasing recognition that SLTs should include them in therapy.

What this paper adds to existing knowledge: For those PWA who need constant care, caregivers may have a significant influence on the quality of communication. Their positive attitude towards PWA corresponds with more active facilitation of communication and can make rehabilitation more efficacious. Caregivers should be educated on the cognitive and behavioural aspects of aphasia and encouraged to look actively for a PWA's positive characteristics. Caregivers' personality traits play a role in facilitating communication. For example, caregivers with high agreeableness are more likely to enjoy providing care, while those with higher conscientiousness declare using more techniques to facilitate communication with the PWA. What are the potential or actual clinical implications of this work? Caregivers' personality traits play a role in caring. Their positive attitude towards PWA corresponds to more active facilitation of communication, which can lead to more effective rehabilitation. This should be taken into account when training caregivers. Training programmes should include cognitive and behavioural aspects of aphasia as well as emphasize the need to maximize the PWA's abilities. 

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Communicating emotional support: family caregivers' visits with residents living with dementia in nursing homes

This study characterized emotional connections between largely female caregivers and female care recipients with dementia living in nursing homes with the research question: How does interpersonal communication between family caregivers and older adults with dementia convey enacted emotional support? Ten dyads (8 with at least one female) of regularly-involved family caregivers (7 female; 3 male) and their relatives with dementia (5 female; 5 male) were videotaped. Qualitatively, three themes emerged: 1) distinct conversational topics, 2) shared physical proximity and silence, and 3) catalysts for natural interaction. These findings may help improve the quality of life of these predominantly female dyads.

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Characteristics of the skills of caregivers of people with dementia: observational study

Background: Due to demographic change within an aging population as announced by the WHO, the involvement of caregivers is essential. Caregivers are required to change their roles within the family unit. Such life transitions experienced by caregivers to people confronted with dementia-type pathologies are sometimes difficult, necessitating the acquisition and development of certain skills. Few studies have shown that caregivers develop specific and essential skills to promote quality care and safety. To characterize their skills, there is a need to identify the abilities, knowledge, resources, obstacles and constraints that contribute to caregivers' transitions. The research question for this study was: What skills do caregivers use to care for their loved one with dementia? Methods: Qualitative observational research based on the epistemological paradigm of socioconstructivist knowledge was conducted. The study was carried out in the canton of Geneva and recruitment was carried out through the participation of the Alzheimer's association and the association for the support and assistance of elderly people in medical and social institutions and their families (APAF). Observations and semi-structured interviews were conducted in the homes of 14 family carers caring for their loved one with dementia. The observations were transcribed on observation grids and the interviews were recorded. Subsequently, according to the classic distinction of Denzin (Interpretive interractionism, 2001), we analysed the observation notes and verbatims, then as recommended by Miles et al. (Qualitative data analysis: a methods sourcebook, 2014), two researchers triangulated the results. Results: The results identified five types of situations regularly experienced by caregivers. The study characterized 11 skills that caregivers use to cope with their daily lives. The learning process and maladaptive behaviours in caring for their loved ones with dementia were also highlighted. Conclusion: This study was able to point out that today's caregivers have developed more competency than their predecessors. This evolution can be explained by new paradigms of care requiring caregivers to be more involved. Although some caregivers need training, others through their experiences can act upon and provide knowledge. To improve the quality and safety of care for people with dementia, this expertise can be the subject of partnerships between caregivers and health care staff. 

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Changing Shapes of Care: Expressions of Filial Piety among Second-generation Chinese in the Netherlands

This study explored perceptions of filial care among second-generation Chinese immigrants in the Netherlands. The provision of filial help or care can be regarded as a cultural phenomenon known as filial piety and it can be considered within the broad scope of caregiving as "family care". Fifteen interviews were conducted, and a thematic analysis was applied. The findings showed that care was given in the form of language brokering, information inquiry, home visits, and facilitative and social support. Care was perceived as a moral duty among the participants and was grounded in their perceived sense of responsibility. The participants' perspectives on current and future care included practical and normative considerations for meeting parental needs, and included opinions based on filial piety norms. In conclusion, this study showed that filial piety, specifically filial care, is still relevant to the younger immigrant Chinese community in the Netherlands. 

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Challenges and barriers in mental healthcare systems and their impact on the family: A systematic integrative review

The aim of this systematic integrative review is to analyse the challenges and barriers found in mental healthcare systems and the impact they have on the family. Searches were made of the Web of Science, Scopus, Medline and Cochrane databases using terms relating to mental health, family care and healthcare systems. We included and critically evaluated studies published in English between 2015 and 2019 that directly or indirectly analysed public mental health policies and the consequences they have for the family. We analysed our findings following the inductive content analysis approach. A total of 32 articles that met quality indicators were identified. Very closely related structural, cultural, economic and healthcare barriers were found that contribute to the treatment gap in mental health. The family covers the care systems’ deficiencies and weaknesses, and this leads to overload and a diminishing quality of life for caregivers. It is acknowledged that people with mental illness and their families should be able to participate in the development of policies and thus contribute to strengthening mental healthcare systems worldwide.

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Caring for caregivers: Understanding and meeting their needs in coping with first episode psychosis

Aim: The first episode of psychosis is a challenging time for both patients and those who care for them. Although literature on treatment is plentiful, literature on how to best support caregivers is more scarce. This review was undertaken to better understand the caregiver experience, determine which interventions most effectively alleviate their burden and examine which other factors may affect outcomes. Methods: Articles were retrieved from PubMed and OVID using the following search terms: first episode psychosis (FEP), schizophrenia, caregiver, intervention and burden in various combinations. Only peer‐reviewed articles germane to FEP caregiver experience and interventions written in English were included. Results: Caregivers can experience grief, guilt and anxiety during this time. While concerned for their loved one, their own lives take a back seat and their mental and physical health are adversely affected. Some are better prepared to cope and are typically warm, decisive, confident and optimistic. Their families are organized and flexible. Others are less prepared and are more likely to have poor self‐esteem, use avoidant coping strategies and be overly critical. Their families are controlling and have difficulty with communication and balance. These caregivers stand to benefit most from interventions. Conclusions: Effective interventions incorporate psychoeducation, problem solving strategies, peer support and clinician guidance. A higher level of interaction with facilitators and peers is associated with better results. Benefits include decreases in caregiver burden, depressive and anxious symptoms and feelings of shame and isolation. Although the literature has yet to isolate the key factors of a successful intervention, this review provides practical suggestions for clinicians and further illustrates the need for more research. 

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Caregiving experiences of Korean family caregivers of cancer patients: An integrative literature review

Objective: The purpose of this study was to describe the experiences of Korean family caregivers of patients with cancer by reviewing recent literature. Methods: Five electronic databases were searched—MEDLINE, the Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature (CINAHL), and PubMed for English literature, and Korean Information Service System (KISS), and Research Information Sharing Service (RISS) for Korean literature for articles published from January 2010 to March 2020 using the key words cancer, caregiver, and Korean. Twenty‐six articles met the inclusion criteria and remained in the final review. Results: No intervention study was found and most of studies were quantitative without theoretical/conceptual framework. All the studies were conducted with Koreans living in Korea. No previous study has been conducted with Koreans living in the U.S. or other countries. Most studies focused on caregivers' quality of life, burden, unmet needs, and resilience/adaptation/post‐traumatic growth. Conclusions: Comprehensive intervention studies focused on improving quality of life, burden, and adaptation to their complex roles as caregivers in the context of Korean culture would be helpful. Further research is needed in examining the caregiver‐patient dyad interactions longitudinally to understand the dynamic complicated processes of caregiving. 

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Caregivers of cancer patients: what are their information-seeking behaviours and resource preferences?

Cancer impacts not only the patient but also the family members who share the distressing trajectory of the patient. The literature indicates that caregivers have many unmet information needs while providing care and support to the cancer patients, and caregivers have to resort to seeking information to supplement their information needs. This study aims to establish the prevalence of health-information-seeking behaviours among caregivers of cancer patients as a means of ascertaining if their information needs have been met and their information source and resource preference. Data were obtained via a self-reported questionnaire from caregivers of cancer patients at the National Cancer Centre Singapore between 10 September and 7 December 2018. A total of 986 caregivers responded of which 180 (18%) caregivers did not undertake information search and the common reasons were 'trust healthcare professionals' (HCPs) more than other sources (64%), and 'HCPs provide enough information' (59%). Among the 795 caregivers who have searched for cancer information, about half of these caregivers (54%) have searched information on the Internet and another 15% have obtained their information from HCPs in their most recent search. A total of 371 (47%) caregivers have used their preferred source of information to conduct their most recent information search. The top three most commonly sought information was treatment (35.6%), disease (35.6%) and side effects (26.5%). Almost half (46%) of these caregivers was concerned about the quality of information they have found on the Internet. Our study supports that information-seeking is prevalent amongst caregivers of cancer patients and reveals the prevalence of Internet use and the concerns associated with its use. Patterns of information-seeking revealed a discrepancy between preferred and actual source. The results also suggest that HCPs play a significant role in the information-seeking behaviours of caregivers of cancer patients. 

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Caregivers' Experience of Caring for a Family Member with Alzheimer's Disease: A Content Analysis of Longitudinal Social Media Communication

Background: The population aging together with an increased incidence of Alzheimer's disease (AD) should also be accompanied by a growing interest in healthcare research. Therefore, this study examines the nature of the caregiver's work, its mental and physical demands, experience and questions, and the relationship between the person with AD, the caregiver, and family members. Methods: As social media has become the place where people share family situations, a Facebook private discussion group of caregivers was chosen as the analytical data source. The study documented the daily-life situations of one-hundred dyads based on 2110 posts published during a six-month or longer period. A content analysis classified communication into 35 categories of basic, instrumental, and extended activities of daily livings (ADLs) and newly designed caregiver's daily issues (CDIs). Results: The frequently discussed topics were related to exhaustion and feelings of "giving up" by caregivers and interpersonal communication and help from family members. The highest support was found for the topics of aging and dying and family events. Conclusion : The communications of caregivers were diverse and rather associated with co-occupational ADLs and CDIs than basic or instrumental ADLs. The support of the group was mainly provided in coping with fundamental life changes.

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An autoethnography of death and dying in Northern Ireland: Managing Community Care

Purpose In Northern Ireland, access to good quality palliative care is an accepted and expected part of modern cancer care. The “Transforming Your Palliative and End of Life Care” programme “supports the design and delivery of coordinated services to enable people with palliative and end of life care needs to have choice in their place of care, greater access to services and improved outcomes at the end of their lives”. The purpose of this autoethnography is to share the author’s lived experience so that it might be used to improve services. Design/methodology/approach Autoethnography is employed as the research method. The author describes her experience of caring for father over the last six months of his life. She explores the tensions between the different players involved in the care of her father and the family and the internal conflict that developed within her as daughter, carer, care coordinator and doctor. Using multiple data sources, selected data entries were explored through reflexive, dyadic interviews to explore the experience and meaning in each story. Findings The author found that autoethnography was a powerful tool to give voice to the carer experience. Narration can be a powerful tool for capturing the authentic lived experiences of individuals and families and is a tool seldom utilised in integrated care. This account provides an insight into the author's expectations of integrated palliative care, as a designer and implementer and now an academic in integrated care and concludes with some reflections about the gap between policy and practice in palliative care services in Northern Ireland. Originality/value Autoethnography can be a powerful tool for capturing the authentic lived experiences of individuals and families and is an essential component of the quadruple aim.

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Associations between informal care costs, care quality, carer rewards, burden and subsequent grief: the international, access, rights and empowerment mortality follow-back study of the last 3 months of life (IARE I study)

Background: At the end of life, formal care costs are high. Informal care (IC) costs, and their effects on outcomes, are not known. This study aimed to determine the IC costs for older adults in the last 3 months of life, and their relationships with outcomes, adjusting for care quality. Methods: Mortality follow-back postal survey. Setting: Palliative care services in England (London), Ireland (Dublin) and the USA (New York, San Francisco). Participants: Informal carers (ICrs) of decedents who had received palliative care. Data: ICrs reported hours and activities, care quality, positive aspects and burdens of caregiving, and completed the Texas Revised Inventory of Grief (TRIG). Analysis: All costs (formal, informal) were calculated by multiplying reported hours of activities by country-specific costs for that activity. IC costs used country-specific shadow prices, e.g. average hourly wages and unit costs for nursing care. Multivariable logistic regression analysis explored the association of potential explanatory variables, including IC costs and care quality, on three outcomes: positive aspects and burdens of caregiving, and subsequent grief. Results: We received 767 completed surveys, 245 from London, 282 Dublin, 131 New York and 109 San Francisco. Most respondents were women (70%); average age was 60 years. On average, patients received 66-76 h per week from ICrs for 'being on call', 52-55 h for ICrs being with them, 19-21 h for personal care, 17-21 h for household tasks, 15-18 h for medical procedures and 7-10 h for appointments. Mean (SD) IC costs were as follows: USA $32,468 (28,578), England $36,170 (31,104) and Ireland $43,760 (36,930). IC costs accounted for 58% of total (formal plus informal) costs. Higher IC costs were associated with less grief and more positive perspectives of caregiving. Poor home care was associated with greater caregiver burden. Conclusions: Costs to informal carers are larger than those to formal care services for people in the last three months of life. If well supported ICrs can play a role in providing care, and this can be done without detriment to them, providing that they are helped. Improving community palliative care and informal carer support should be a focus for future investment.

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"I've always been the one who drops everything": the lived experiences and life-course impacts of young adult women carers

Based on findings from a Canadian-based study, this article examines the stories of young adult women carers. Young adult women caring for a parent or grandparent were interviewed using social network maps, participant-driven photography and care timelines. The findings reveal numerous impacts on the women's lives, which we categorise according to three temporal periods: the past (how they came to be carers); the present (their daily realities of care); and the future (how they imagine what is ahead). We conclude with a discussion regarding the tensions between the women's personal stories and the social forces that shape young women's caring.

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Lifetime Active Care: A qualitative study of long-term family carers of people with spinal cord injury in Australia

This study reports the findings of a qualitative, grounded theory study which explored the experiences of partners and other long-term family carers living with and supporting loved ones with spinal cord injury. The study is exploratory in that little was previously known about the experience of long-term care-giving in this context in Australia. Most research in this area has focused on this experience during the first 5 years postinjury. This study focuses on the experiences of family carers beyond that 5-year period. The study aimed to explore the experience of partners and other long-term family carers of people with spinal cord injury, and illuminate their daily lives, interests, concerns and caring approaches in this context. Data collection included in-depth interviews, a focus group and an on-line, password-protected research blog for participant narrative reflections. Findings revealed that the experience of long-term caring is complex, all-encompassing and lifelong. This experience is conceptualised here as lifetime active care which always involves what we describe as protective, negotiated, surreptitious and strategic caring. These dimensions of caring are interdependent and deeply embedded in the daily, active support provided by long-term carers of people with spinal cord injury. We argue that carers in this context are involved in processes that have, in other contexts, been conceptualised as narrative reconstruction and also that the four dimensions of caring identified involve significant emotion work. The social processes of lifetime active care may shed light on the experiences of family carers in other long-term care contexts.

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Decision-making for receiving paid home care for dementia in the time of COVID-19: a qualitative study

Background: The lockdown imposed in the UK on the 23rd of March and associated public health measures of social distancing are likely to have had a great impact on care provision. The aim of this study was to explore the decision-making processes of continued paid home care support for dementia in the time of COVID-19. Methods: Unpaid carers caring for a person living with dementia (PLWD) who were accessing paid home care before COVID-19 and residing in the UK were eligible to take part. Participants were interviewed over the phone and asked about their experiences of using paid home care services before and since COVID-19, and their decision-making processes of accessing paid home care since the outbreak and public health restrictions. Results: Fifteen unpaid carers, who were also accessing paid care support for the PLWD before COVID-19, were included in the analysis. Thematic analysis identified three overarching themes: (1) Risk; (2) Making difficult choices and risk management; and (3) Implications for unpaid carers. Many unpaid carers decided to discontinue paid carers entering the home due to the risk of infection, resulting in unpaid carers having to pick up the care hours to support the person living with dementia. Conclusions: This is the first study to report on the impact of COVID-19 on paid home care changes in dementia. Findings raise implications for providing better Personal Protective Equipment for paid carers, and to support unpaid carers better in their roles, with the pandemic likely to stay in place for the foreseeable future.

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Covid-19 and the Impact on Family Carers

This paper will examine key rapid surveys and research studies which have been conducted by various researchers and organisations both in a specifically Irish context and internationally.

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Tensions in dementia care in China: An interpretative phenomenological study from Shandong province

Aims: The study aims to analyse the tensions and the challenges of dementia care that are experienced by people with dementia and their family caregivers in China. Background: China has the largest dementia population in the world; however, dementia care services and related support services are still developing. Caring for a person with dementia is very challenging, as evidenced by many studies. As the majority of people with dementia are looked after by their family in their homes in China, it is very important to understand what people with dementia and their family caregivers are experiencing in the context of dementia care services that are in the process of developing. Design: Interpretative phenomenological analysis (IPA) was used. Method: Semi-structured individual interviews with 24 participants (10 people with dementia and 14 unrelated family caregivers) recruited from a mental health centre in Shandong Province. Findings: Three main themes emerged that highlighted unmet need: (a) Lack of support services, (b) Insufficient institutional care and (c) Social attitude and social stigma towards dementia. Conclusions: These themes reveal the challenges that the participants face in the context of dementia care services that are in the process of development in China; and how their lived experiences have been affected by the constraints of social support, public services, healthcare access, long-term care services and social stigma. Implications for practice: This study highlights the tensions that are identified by people with dementia and family caregivers. The research recommends that more support services would be beneficial for this group and would also enhance family support dementia care in China. Looking after an older family member is a culturally, socially and legally embodied norm in Chinese society, so it is important to address education for dementia awareness and the sustainability of family support care services in China by providing dementia services and resources to support both people with dementia and family caregivers.

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Association of illness understanding with advance care planning and end-of-life care preferences for advanced cancer patients and their family members

Purpose: Little has been determined regarding the association between patients’ and families’ illness understanding and preferences for medical care. We aimed to evaluate the association of illness understanding with advance care planning (ACP) and preferences for end-of-life care, such as aggressive care, early palliative care (EPC), and hospice care, among advanced cancer patients and their family caregivers. Methods: Patients were recruited for a prospective cohort study at outpatient and inpatient facilities in nine university hospitals in Korea (n = 150), and their primary family caregivers were also asked to participate (n = 101). Data on ACP and end-of-life care preferences were collected only at baseline in the cohort study with optional questions and were used to analyze these study results. Results: Patients with illness understanding were more likely to have documented physician orders for life-sustaining treatment (POLSTs) (adjusted odds ratio [aOR] of 4.94) and to have discussed ACP with their families (aOR 2.15) than those who did not. Being expected to live for several months, they were unlikely to prefer active treatment. Caregivers understanding patients’ illness were more likely to write advance directives (ADs) and to discuss ACP; furthermore, they had already discussed ACP with family members. They did not prefer active treatment or life-sustaining treatments when their family members were expected to die within a few weeks. There was no significant association between illness understanding and preferences for EPC. Conclusion: Accurately recognizing an incurable disease is associated with preferences for more ACP and less aggressive care but not with preferences for EPC or hospice care among both advanced cancer patients and their family caregivers. 

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Lived Experience of Spouses of Persons with Motor Neuron Disease: Preliminary Findings through Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis

Introduction: Motor neuron disease (MND) is a progressive neuromuscular disorder that can have significant and debilitating impact on the affected patient and families. Spouses are the primary carers for persons with MND in India, and the life of the person with MND and their spouse is never the same after the diagnosis. Aim: The objective was to explore the lived experience of spouses of persons diagnosed with MND. Methods: A qualitative exploratory study with three-point interviews was conducted with spouse caregivers of two persons diagnosed with MND who were receiving treatment from a national tertiary referral care center for neurological disorders. All the patients were diagnosed as definite MND according to the modified El Escorial criteria. With the spouses, in-depth interviews were conducted at their home, lasting on an average of 1 hour using a semi-structured interview guide (prompts). Interpretative phenomenological analysis was used to derive themes from the interviews. Results: The major themes emerged from the analysis were meaning of MND which contained the subthemes of delay in diagnosis and deterioration, psychological response across illness trajectory, relationship with the subthemes of changing roles in being acarer, marital relationship, to be seen as doing "right," and communication; adaptation with the subthemes of coping strategies and support system and life without the loved one. Conclusion: The changes in the lives of spouses and in strategies for caring the partner with deterioration of symptoms in the illness trajectory are explained in this study. The palliative approach in the management of MND has to take into account, the experiences and needs of carers since care happens at home.

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The Influence of Caregiver Preparedness on Caregiver Contributions to Self-care in Heart Failure and the Mediating Role of Caregiver Confidence

BACKGROUND: Caregiver contributions (CC) to heart failure (HF) self-care maintenance (ie, CC to maintaining HF stability) and management (ie, CC to dealing with HF signs and symptoms) improve patient outcomes, but it is unknown whether caregiver preparedness influences CC to self-care and whether caregiver confidence mediates this process. OBJECTIVES: We evaluated the influence of caregiver preparedness on CC to HF self-care maintenance and management and the mediating role of caregiver confidence. METHODS: This is a secondary analysis of the MOTIVATE-HF study. Patients were 18 years or older, with a diagnosis of HF in New York Heart Association classes II to IV, who had insufficient self-care and did not have severe cognitive impairment. Patients' informal caregivers were those people inside or outside the family who gave most of the informal care to the patients. We used the Caregiver Preparedness Scale and the Caregiver Contribution to Self-Care of HF Index. We tested a path analysis model and the indirect effects. RESULTS: Caregivers (n = 323) were 55 (SD, 15) years old on average and predominantly female (77%). The path analysis showed that higher scores in caregiver preparedness were associated with higher scores in caregiver confidence. In turn, higher caregiver confidence was associated with higher CC to self-care maintenance and management. Caregiver confidence mediated the association between caregiver preparedness and CC to self-care maintenance and management. CONCLUSIONS: Caregiver confidence may play a role in CC to self-care. Interventions to improve CC to HF self-care should not only be focused on improving caregiver preparedness but also should consider the role of caregiver confidence.

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Uncertainty in Transition of African American Caregivers

The purpose of this study was to gain an understanding of the ambiguities and uncertainties experienced by a diverse group of African-American caregivers. The study applied Schlossberg's transition theory (TT) and Mishel’s revised uncertainty theory to narratives of self-identified African-American caregivers who provided care at least 5 h a week. The men (6) and women (8) were mostly unmarried, mostly caring for a parent or grandparent. The caregivers’ average age was 52 (SD = 19; ages ranged from 24 to 82 years); and the care recipients’ average age was 84 (SD = 9). Six care recipients had dementia and the remainder had multiple disease diagnoses. Narratives were obtained by in-depth interviews or focus group discussions. These were audio-recorded, transcribed verbatim professionally and analyzed independently by trained coders. Schlossberg’s TT contextualized whereas Mishel’s RUIT illuminated the characteristics of the transition, its associated uncertainty, and their relationship to the development of caregiver stress. Situational factors such as difficulties with illness symptoms of the care recipient, conflict between previous experience and current expectations and the adjustments to the new caregiving role, burdened younger caregivers more than older caregivers. Self-factors related to lack of knowledge about the illness and feelings of lack of control. Social support was predominantly provided by family members, and its absence resulted in conflict among siblings and caregiver stress. The most common coping strategies include religiosity, expectations of reciprocity, and coming to terms with the uncertainty. Understanding the feelings, perceptions and needs of caregivers in transition is tantamount to providing nursing care. 

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The association between activities of daily living and long hours of care provided by informal caregivers using a nationally representative survey in Japan

Highlights

  • We determined the relationship between long hours of care and the assistance in each activity of daily living (ADL) element.

  • The assistance in wiping of the body, dressing and toileting were significantly associated with longer hours of care .

  • To support caregivers effectively, it is important to consider the kinds of ADL elements of the care recipients.

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Experiences of Caregivers Caring for a Family Member Who Is Using Hemodialysis

In this qualitative phenomenological study using a purposive sample, six caregivers of patients on hemodialysis were interviewed about their experiences of caring for a family member who uses hemodialysis. Six major themes and 12 subthemes were identified. Perceptions of caregivers are that caregiving is hard work and stressful; however, caregivers found the experience to be meaningful, even though the stress may interfere with their own health status. Study limitations include a small sample that may not represent the entirety of caregivers' perspectives. Implications for practice include developing informal and formal support systems and exercise programs that help this population manage the stress associated with caregiving for family members using hemodialysis.

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Understanding family caregivers' needs to support relatives with advanced progressive disease at home: An ethnographic study in rural Portugal

Background: Family caregivers play an important role supporting their relatives with advanced progressive disease to live at home. There is limited research to understand family caregiver needs over time, particularly outside of high-income settings. The aim of this study was to explore family caregivers' experiences of caring for a relative living with advanced progressive disease at home, and their perceptions of met and unmet care needs over time. Methods: An ethnographic study comprising observations and interviews. A purposive sample of 10 family caregivers and 10 relatives was recruited within a rural area in the north of Portugal. Data were collected between 2014 and 16 using serial participant observations (n = 33) and in-depth interviews (n = 11). Thematic content analysis was used to analyse the data. Results: Five overarching themes were yielded: (1) provision of care towards independence and prevention of complications; (2) perceived and (3) unknown caregiver needs; (4) caregivers' physical and emotional impairments; and (5) balancing limited time. An imbalance towards any one of these aspects may lead to reduced capability and performance of the family caregiver, with increased risk of complications for their relative. However, with balance, family caregivers embraced their role over time. Conclusions: These findings enhance understanding around the needs of family caregivers, which are optimally met when professionals and family caregivers work together with a collaborative approach over time. Patients and their families should be seen as equal partners. Family-focused care would enhance nursing practice in this context and this research can inform nursing training and educational programs. 

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Making Women's Unpaid Care Work Visible in India: Importance and Challenges

From the 1970s onward, the work performed by women within the household was critically examined, and a feminist critique of Marx emerged. The critique was first developed in the Campaign for Wages for Housework, founded in 1972, by Mariarosa Dalla Costa, Selma James and other renowned feminists. A major contribution of this critique was to highlight women's domestic labor in the process of capital accumulation, an issue which Marx did not address. This movement therefore sought to make visible women's work which was naturalized into nonexistence by capitalism. This problem of visibility exists all over the world, and women continue to bear the brunt of unpaid care work; they are perceived as "natural" caregivers and shunned for seeking paid care services. Although this phenomenon is common all over the world, this paper will deal with the importance of making women's unpaid work visible in India, as India is a developing country and more people tend to engage in unpaid subsistence work (production for self-consumption, unpaid work in family enterprises and care related work) in developing countries compared to wealthier countries. Portraying the importance and challenges of making women's unpaid care work visible in India can trigger economic and social development of the country. This paper aims to put forward the value of women's unpaid care work in India, and to pinpoint the obstacles that stand in the way of exposing their unpaid contributions. Considering the context of India this paper will examine the following questions: 1. Why is it important to make unpaid care work visible? 2. What are the challenges of making unpaid care work visible? The questions mentioned above will be answered by looking at suitable literature so that theoretical and methodological issues that have emerged can be brought forward and the problems and recommendations can be grasped to arrive at a conclusion.

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Decision-Making in Dementia Care: a Qualitative Study of Chinese Family Caregivers in Singapore

Extract: Besides their feeling of helplessness and uncertainty in making treatment decisions on behalf of PWD, family caregivers tended to rely on medical practitioners to make difficult EOL care decisions. 

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Caregiving Self-efficacy and Knowledge Regarding Patient Positioning Among Malaysian Caregivers of Stroke Patients

Background Most family caregivers of stroke patients in Malaysia do not receive adequate prior preparation or training. This study aimed to determine levels of patient positioning knowledge and caregiving self-efficacy among caregivers of stroke patients. Methods This cross-sectional study was conducted at an urban teaching hospital involving 128 caregivers of stroke patients. The caregivers were conveniently sampled and completed the data collection forms, which comprised their socio-demographic data, patients' functional status, the Caregiving Knowledge For Stroke Questionnaire: Patient Positioning (CKQ-My(C) Patient Positioning) to measure caregiver's knowledge on patient positioning, and the Family Caregiver Activation Tool (FCAT(C)) to measure caregivers' self-efficacy in managing the patient. Descriptive and multivariate inferential statistics were used for data analysis. Results Among the caregivers sampled, 87.3% had poor knowledge of positioning (mean score 14.9 +/- 4.32). The mean score for FCAT was 49.7 +/- 6.0 from a scale of 10 to 60. There was no significant association between knowledge on positioning and self-efficacy. Multiple linear regression showed that caregivers' age (B = 0.146, p = 0.003) and caregiver training (B = 3.302, p = 0.007) were independently associated with caregivers' self-efficacy. Conclusion Caregivers' knowledge on the positioning of stroke patients was poor, despite a fairly good level of self-efficacy. Older caregivers and receiving caregiver training were independently associated with better caregiver self-efficacy. This supports the provision of caregiver training to improve caregiver self-efficacy.

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Barriers and facilitators of adherence to a perioperative physical activity intervention for older adults with cancer and their family caregivers

Purpose: Perioperative physical activity behavior change in older adults with cancer is complex. Identifying the barriers and facilitators to physical activity before and after surgery can help predict adherence and optimize outcomes. We aimed to determine the barriers and facilitators of adherence to a perioperative physical activity intervention in older adults with lung and gastrointestinal (GI) cancers and their family caregivers (FCGs). Methods: A qualitative analysis of physical therapy/occupational therapy (PT/OT) baseline geriatric/functional assessment and intervention sessions notes were undertaken (N = 34 dyads). Written text documents (N = 6 independent PT/OT notes per dyad) were transcribed into a spreadsheet for coding and thematic analysis. Content analysis qualitative approach was used to identify themes and guide data interpretation. Results: Ten themes for barriers and five themes for facilitators emerged, reflecting barriers to and facilitators of perioperative physical activity adherence. Primary barriers to adherence included comorbid health conditions, physical symptoms, functional limitations, anxiety, other roles and responsibilities, unexpected life events, lack of time and motivation, not accustomed to physical activity, and environment/weather. Facilitators that enabled intervention adherence included physical activity as part of routine, coping strategies, setting goals for motivation, social/family support, and experiencing benefits from walking. Conclusions: Barriers and facilitators to a perioperative physical activity is multidimensional, and focused on social-ecological determinants of health behaviors, including intrapersonal, interpersonal, and environmental factors. Perioperative physical activity interventions for older adults with cancer and their FCGs should integrate strategies to promote self-efficacy, support realistic activity goals, enhance motivation, and optimize social support.

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The experiences and perspectives of family surrogate decision-makers: A systematic review of qualitative studies

Objective: Surrogate decision-makers play an increasingly important role in the lives of older adults who have lost their ability to make decisions. Currently, there is a lack of evidence to support family surrogates in making a variety of decisions. Additionally, a greater understanding of family caregivers’ experiences and perspectives toward making surrogate decisions is needed. Methods: This study employed a qualitative systematic review and thematic synthesis of the research evidence using the methodologies of the Joanna Briggs Institute (2014) and Thomas and Harden (2008). Results: Decisions were classified per three main types: intensive care treatment, end-of-life treatment, and placement. Six themes were identified concerning surrogates’ experiences: struggle and reluctance, seeking reassurance, communication with healthcare professionals, family support, older adults’ wishes, and negative impact. Conclusion: Family surrogates often lack adequate preparation and education regarding decision-making. Quality communication between surrogates and healthcare providers helps reduce the anxiety and guilt experienced when making surrogate decisions. Further research is required to elucidate these experiences with more cultural and racial nuances. Practice implications: This review informs healthcare providers’ awareness of the challenges faced by surrogates and fosters improved surrogate decision-making experiences.

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Estranged relations: Coercion and care in narratives of supported decision-making in mental healthcare

Supported decision-making has become popular among policymakers and mental health advocates as a means of reducing coercion in mental healthcare. Nevertheless, users of psychiatric services often seem equivocal about the value of supported decision-making initiatives. In this paper we explore why such initiatives might be rejected or ignored by the would-be beneficiaries, and we reflect on broader implications for care and coercion. We take a critical medical humanities approach, particularly through the lens of entanglement. We analyse the narratives of 29 people diagnosed with mental illness, and 29 self-identified carers speaking of their experiences of an Australian mental healthcare system and of their views of supported decision-making. As a scaffolding for our critique we consider two supported decision-making instruments in the 2014 Victorian Mental Health Act: the advance statement and the nominated person. These instruments presuppose that patients and carers endorse a particular set of relationships between the agentic self and illness, as well as between patient, carer and the healthcare system. Our participant narratives instead conveyed 'entangled' relations, which we explore in three sections. In the first we show how ideas about fault and illness often coexisted, which corresponded with shifting views on the need for more versus less agency for patients. In the second section, we illustrate how family carers struggled to embody the supported decision-making ideal of the independent yet altruistic nominated person, and in the final section we suggest that both care and coercion were narrated as existing across informal/formal care divisions. We conclude by reflecting on how these dynamic relations complicate supported decision-making projects, and prompt a rethink of how care and coercion unfold in contemporary mental healthcare. 

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Carers’ experience of using assistive technology for dementia care at home: a qualitative study

OBJECTIVE: Assistive technology (AT) can help carers (family, friends and neighbours) and people with dementia to stay well and safely at home. There are important gaps in what we know about experience of using AT from the perspective of carers of persons with dementia. This study investigates carers' experience of using AT in supporting and caring for persons with dementia who live at home. DESIGN: Qualitative phenomenological study with semi-structured interviews to achieve data saturation and thematic analysis to identify key themes. SETTING: Community-based within the UK. PARTICIPANTS: Twenty-three (14 women, nine men) adult carers of persons with dementia who have used at least one AT device. RESULTS: All participants reported benefiting to varying degrees from using AT. There were five themes and 18 subthemes that highlighted reasons for using AT and use of AT over time. Providing care for a person with dementia, motivation for using AT, changes to roles and routines, carer knowledge and skills for using AT and social, environmental and ethical considerations were the main themes. This study showed that AT can provide reassurance and support for carers of persons with dementia but there are difficulties with acquiring and continued use of AT as dementia progresses. CONCLUSIONS: Carers consider AT as an adjunct to care they provided in caring for a person with dementia. Use of AT should be considered in the personal, social and environmental context of persons with dementia and their carers. Further research and policy interventions are needed to address best use of resources and guidance on data sharing and data protection while using AT.

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Perceptions of the impact of chorea on health-related quality of life in Huntington disease (HD): A qualitative analysis of individuals across the HD spectrum, family members, and clinicians

Chorea, a hallmark symptom of Huntington's disease (HD), is characterized by jerky involuntary movements affecting the whole body that can interfere with daily functioning and impact health-related quality of life (HRQOL). To characterize chorea's impact on everyday functioning and HRQOL and identify patterns of perception and experiences of chorea among patients, caregivers, and providers. Data from focus groups of individuals with manifest HD (n = 8 early-stage HD; n = 16 late-stage HD), individuals at-risk or prodromal HD (n = 16), family HD caregivers (n = 17), and HD clinicians (n = 25). Focus group recordings were transcribed verbatim and analysed via constant comparison to identify meaningful and salient themes of living with chorea. Global themes of chorea's impact identified included: watching for chorea, experiences of stigma, and constraints on independence and relationships. Themes distinct to specific respondent groups included: Vigilance (at risk, prodromal); adaptation to chorea (early-stage); loss of autonomy and social life (late-stage); monitoring engagement (family caregivers) and safety (clinical providers). Living with chorea significantly constrains daily functioning, interactions, and HRQOL across the HD disease spectrum. Addressing these impacts via appropriate management of chorea can potentially enhance functioning, HRQOL, and overall satisfaction for persons with HD and their families.

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Leveraging institutional support for family caregivers to meet the health and vocational needs of persons with disabilities

Background: Family caregivers might enhance veteran engagement in health and nonhealth services (i.e., vocational/educational assistance). Purpose: To describe how veterans with disabilities perceive their recovery needs, identify types of social support from caregivers that help veterans engage in Veterans Affairs (VA) health and nonhealth services, and explore participant views of VA institutional support for caregivers to help veterans engage in these services. Methods: Joint in-depth qualitative interviews with U.S. veterans and family caregivers (n = 26). Findings: Caregivers performed social support functions that helped veterans engage in health and vocational/educational services and institutional support from VA enhanced caregivers’ capacity. Discussion: Caregivers are well positioned to align health and nonhealth services with patient needs to enhance recovery. Staffing a point person for caregivers within the health system is key to help families develop a coordinated plan of treatment and services to improve patient success across health and nonhealth domains. Nurses are well suited to perform this role. 

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Resuming Normal Life as a Family Caregiver During Drip-Like Recovery of Older Persons With Cognitive Impairment Recovering From Hip Surgery: A Grounded Theory

Purpose: This study was undertaken to develop a theoretical framework explaining family caregiving processes for older persons with cognitive impairment recovering from hip fracture surgery. Design and Methods: In this grounded theory study, data were collected in audio-recorded face-to-face interviews with 21 family caregivers. Among these caregivers, 14 cared for hip-fractured persons with cognitive impairment, and seven cared for those without cognitive impairment. Caregivers were interviewed five times after patients’ discharge: at 1 week and at 1, 3, 6, and 12 months. Data were analyzed by constant comparative analysis. Findings: The core category explaining the family caregiving process for hip-fractured persons with cognitive impairment was “resuming normal life during drip-like recovery.” This category captures the slowness of the recovery process, as slow as dripping water. During the early postoperative period, caregivers attempted to gain control of the postoperative situation, using various maintenance and improvement strategies to deal with the chaos in individuals and the family and to protect hip-fractured persons with cognitive impairment from further harm. The goal of recovery was to get back to their original life. Conclusions: Family caregivers of hip-fractured older persons with cognitive impairment needed to deal with more complex chaotic situations, exerted more efforts to administer safety measures, and required more time to achieve a stable life pattern. Clinical Relevance: Since postoperative recovery was perceived as extremely slow, family caregivers of hip-fractured older persons with cognitive impairment should be patient regarding recovery and be informed before hospital discharge of different strategies to resume normal life during postoperative recovery. 

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Care organising technologies and the post-phenomenology of care: An ethnographic case study

Care organising technologies are software applications that are intended primarily for informal carers, to help organise, document and coordinate caring work. These may be purchased privately or provided as part of state support. Take-up to date remains low. Based on empirical case studies of three such technologies and drawing on post-phenomenology and political science, we examined people's experience of caring when caring technologies find a way into their lives. Our findings show how care organising technologies have evolved in a political context that assumes informal support will supplement and sometimes substitute for state support. Technologies were largely designed to foreground the technical and organisational aspects of care such as planning meals, coordinating medication, and allocating and monitoring tasks among carers. For carers, the result was often a flattening of the landscape of care such that the socio-emotional work of caring was rendered invisible and relations between cared-for and caregiver were configured in narrow transactional terms. For a small number of carers, the focus on tasks was out of tune with their (often emotionally charged) experiences of care and led to active rejection of the technology. However, we also found examples of caregivers and the individuals they cared for using technologies adaptively to facilitate and embed existing care relationships. In these examples, the material/technical, socio-emotional and bodily aspects of caring were interwoven with the situated context of close, unique and evolving relationships. We conclude that the design and development of caring technologies would benefit by being informed by a broader orientation of caring as a relational practice. 

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Living with Chronic Heart Failure: Exploring Patient, Informal Caregiver, and Healthcare Professional Perceptions

Due to the complexity of heart failure (HF) and its treatment process, a high level of patient and informal caregiver engagement is required for management results. We aimed to explore the views of HF patients, informal caregivers, and healthcare professionals about personal experiences, perceived needs, and barriers to optimal HF management. A qualitative study using semi-structured interviews with HF patients (n = 32), their informal caregivers (n = 21), and healthcare professionals (n = 5) was conducted in the outpatient HF clinic in Slovenia in 2018. A content analysis method was used to analyze the data. Negative emotional response to disease and its limitations (especially the inability to continue with work) and changes in family roles were the most prevalent topics regarding the impact of HF on livelihood. Among the most common barriers to HF self-care, were the difficulties in changing lifestyle, financial difficulties due to the disease, traditional cuisine/lack of knowledge regarding a healthy diet and lack of self-confidence regarding physical activity. Despite psychological and social difficulties due to HF being highlighted by patients and informal caregivers, only healthcare professionals emphasized the need to address psychosocial aspects of care in HF management. Established differences could inform the implementation of necessary support mechanisms in HF management.

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Caregiver involvement in psychiatric inpatient treatment - a representative survey among triads of patients, caregivers and hospital psychiatrists

Aims Studies on the frequency of caregiver involvement in representative inpatient samples are scarce. The aim of our study was to conduct a representative survey on caregiver involvement in routine inpatient care involving all three parties (patients, caregivers, psychiatrists). Therefore, we performed face-to-face interviews consisting of open-ended questions to gain a deeper understanding of when and how caregivers are involved in care treatment and to identify which topics are mainly discussed. Methods This cross-sectional survey included inpatients from 55 acute psychiatric wards across ten psychiatric hospitals, their treating psychiatrists and, when possible, their caregivers. In total, we performed semi-structured face-to-face interviews with 247 patients, their treating psychiatrists and 94 informal caregivers. Each psychiatrist named the next two to three patients to be discharged. After a patient had given informed consent, the interview was performed by a researcher. In addition, the psychiatrist and, when possible, the primary caregiver identified by the patient, were also interviewed. Results It was perceived by both patients and psychiatrists that contact between caregiver and psychiatrist had taken place in one-third of the patient cases. Predictors for psychiatrist-caregiver-contact were revealed in the patient's diagnosis (schizophrenia), a lower history of inpatient stays, and the respective hospital. According to psychiatrists the most frequent subjects of discussion with caregivers involved therapeutic issues and organisational and social-psychiatric topics (e.g. work, living and social support). Patients and caregivers stated that psychiatric treatment and the diagnostic classification of the mental illness were the most frequent topics of conversation. For all three groups, the most often cited reason for missed caregiver involvement was the subjective perception that a caregiver was not in fact needed. Conclusions Whether or not caregivers were contacted and involved during an inpatient stay strongly depended on the individual hospital. The frequency of involvement of caregivers can certainly be increased by changing processes and structures in hospitals. All three parties (patients, caregivers and psychiatrists) most often stated that the caregiver was not involved in the treatment because they thought it was unnecessary. Evidence demonstrates the positive effect of caregivers' involvement on the therapeutic process but also on the well-being of the caregiver, therefore it is necessary to increase awareness of this evidence among all three interest groups.

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Experiences of Family Caregivers of Individuals With Chronic Psychiatric Illness in Turkey: A Qualitative Study

The purpose of the current descriptive qualitative study was to reveal experiences of family caregivers of individuals with chronic psychiatric illness. Family caregivers who provided care to 16 individuals with chronic mental illness were interviewed. Three themes emerged from the interviews: Illness Management, The Caregiver's World: Changes and Effects, and Coping From the Caregiver's Point of View. Understanding the experiences of family caregivers contributes to content development of family intervention programs. 

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“I’ve learned to just go with the flow”: Family caregivers’ strategies for managing behavioral and psychological symptoms of dementia

Background and objectives: Behavioral and psychological symptoms of dementia are highly prevalent, stressful, and challenging to manage. Caregivers’ approaches for handling these behaviors have implications for both care partners’ well-being. Yet the specific strategies that caregivers use in their daily management of behavioral and psychological symptoms of dementia are relatively unknown. This study used in-depth focus group data to examine family caregivers’ strategies for managing behavioral and psychological symptoms of dementia. Design: As part of a larger study (NINR R01NR014200), four focus groups were conducted with a total of 26 family caregivers of older adults with dementia. Caregivers were asked to describe the strategies they use to manage behavioral and psychological symptoms of dementia. Data from audio-recorded sessions were transcribed, coded to identify relevant concepts, and reduced to determine major categories. Results: Caregivers managed behavioral and psychological symptoms of dementia through (1) modifying interactions within the care dyad (e.g., simplifying communication); (2) modifying the care environment (e.g., using written prompts); (3) activity engagement; (4) humor; (5) self-care; and (6) social support. Conclusion: Family caregivers manage behavioral and psychological symptoms of dementia using strategies to minimize stress and address the needs of both care partners. Caregivers’ own accounts of these approaches reveal a window into their everyday management of difficult behaviors. The present findings generate key information for routine clinical care and targeted interventions to promote caregiver well-being. 

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Persistent barriers and facilitators to seeking help for a dementia diagnosis: A systematic review of 30 years of the perspectives of carers and people with dementia

Objective: To identify barriers and facilitators to help seeking for a dementia diagnosis from the perspective of carers and people with dementia.Design: A systematic review of the literature was conducted according to the PRISMA guidelines (PROSPERO protocol registration CRD42018092524). Nine electronic databases were searched for qualitative, quantitative, and mixed methods primary research studies. Two independent reviewers screened titles and abstracts, full texts of eligible studies, and conducted quality appraisal of included articles. A convergent qualitative synthesis approach was used. Results: From 7496 articles, 35 papers representing 32 studies from 1986 to 2017 were included. Studies originated from 13 countries across 4 continents. Barriers and facilitators were reported predominantly by carers. A small number of studies included people with dementia. Barriers included denial, stigma and fear, lack of knowledge, normalization of symptoms, preserving autonomy, lack of perceived need, unaware of changes, lack of informal network support, carer difficulties, and problems accessing help. Facilitators included recognition of symptoms as a problem, prior knowledge and contacts, and support from informal network. Conclusions: Studies from a 30-year period demonstrated that barriers to help seeking persist globally, despite increasing numbers of national dementia policies. Barriers and facilitators rarely existed independently demonstrating the complexity of help seeking for a diagnosis of dementia. Multiple barriers compounded the decision-making process and more than one facilitator was often required to overcome them. Multi-faceted interventions to reduce barriers are needed, one approach would be a focus on the development of dementia friendly communities to reduce stigma and empower people with dementia and carers. 

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“I was Confused About How to Take Care of Mom Because this Disease is Different Everyday”: Vietnamese American Caregivers’ Understanding of Alzheimer’s Disease

Family members provide the majority of caregiving to individuals living with Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and related dementias. Asian American families are disproportionately impacted by the burden of caregiving due to limited knowledge about the disease in this community. This study explored how Vietnamese American caregivers understand AD and provide care to family members with AD. Twenty caregivers who have provided care to a family member with AD participated in a semi-structured qualitative interview. Data were analyzed using thematic analysis. Several themes were identified in the caregivers’ understanding of AD: (a) “Now I know:” the disruptions, shocks and surprises leading up to the initial diagnosis; (b) The frustrations of managing family members’ cognitive impairments; (c)“Going with the flow:” challenges in managing personality and behavioral changes; (d) The exhaustion of around-the-clock caregiving; (e)“Taking it day by day” in the face of progressively worsening symptoms. Underlining the participants’ descriptions of AD was a shared understanding of the progressively worsening, complex and unpredictable nature of the disease that makes it challenging for family caregivers on a daily basis. Findings provide important implications for healthcare workers’ outreach to Vietnamese American families to ease the caregiving experience through culturally-responsive education, thereby enhancing the families’ ability to recognize the early symptoms and seek appropriate help.

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Informal support for people with Alzheimer's disease and related dementias in rural Uganda: a qualitative study

Background The generation of people getting older has become a public health concern worldwide. People aged 65 and above are the most at risk for Alzheimer's disease which is associated with physical and behavioral changes. This nurtures informal support needs for people living with dementia where their families together with other community members are the core providers of day to day care for them in the rural setting. Despite global concern around this issue, information is still lacking on informal support delivered to these people with dementia. Objective Our study aimed at establishing the nature of informal support provided for people with dementia (PWDs) and its perceived usefulness in rural communities in South Western Uganda. Methods This was a qualitative study that adopted a descriptive design and conducted among 22 caregivers and 8 opinion leaders in rural communities of Kabale, Mbarara and Ibanda districts in South Western Uganda. The study included dementia caregivers who had been in that role for a period of at least 6 months and opinion leaders in the community. We excluded trained health workers. Results The study highlights important forms of informal support offered to PWDs such as support in activities of daily living, enabling access to medical attention, recovering misplaced items, provision of herbal remedy, informal counseling, and sourcing carers from other families to offer presence and support in the hope to impact positively on behavioral outbursts and the frustration of living with dementia. Conclusion The study revealed various forms of informal support that are available for PWDs in South Western Uganda and stressed the role of caregivers and the perceived usefulness of the care provided.

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Migrant caregivers of older people in spain: Qualitative insights into relatives’ experiences

The traditional structure of families is undergoing profound changes, causing the so-called “crisis of family care.” This study describes the experiences and emotions of the family member who hires migrant caregivers for the older people. This is a qualitative study using a phenomenological design with nine women participants between 53 and 72 years of age. The data collection was carried out through two in-depth interviews and a focus group. There were three major topics: (1) the women in this study recognized that they were not able to take care of the family member directly, due to their responsibilities as female workers and mothers. The fact that migrant caregivers were chosen was conjunctural, where economic reasons were more important. (2) The family members supported the caregivers by teaching them about care and also resolving conflicts produced by culture shock. (3) Trusting the caregiver was a gradual process; the family members felt a complex set of emotions (insecurity, gratitude for the help, moral obligation). In conclusion, they wanted a caregiver who would provide the elder dependent with the love and compassion that they, as daughters, would provide if they had time to do so. The family became the caregiver’s managers and assumed the responsibility of training and helping them. 

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Lived experiences of caregivers of patients with borderline personality disorder: A phenomenological study

Background: Having a patient with borderline personality disorder (BPD) in the family is a complicated and stressful experience. The caregivers’ experiences and the problems they have in care of patient with BPD have remained unknown. The aim of this research was to explore the experiences of the caregivers while living with BPD patients in Iran. Methods: This interpretive phenomenological research was performed on 10 caregivers of patients with BPD at Ibn-sina Hospital in Mashhad, Iran, in 2019. Purposeful sampling was used for sampling. Data were collected through semi-structured interviews and saturated after 16 interviews. The analysis of data was concurrently carried out using the method proposed by Diekelman (1989). The MAXQDA software (Ver.10) was used for data organization. Results: The participants in this study were aged 25 to 55 years. After data analysis, three themes (“life in hell”, “chain to the feet”, and “black shadow of stigma”) and six sub-themes (“disrupted from the life”, “self-discrepancy”, “care bottlenecks”, “in the fence of restriction”, “society dagger” and “resort to secrecy”) emerged. Conclusion: The results of this study showed that the caregivers of patients with BPD during the period of care were faced with a variety of problems. It is suggested that health policy-makers should pay more attention to the problems related to the mental health of caregivers. 

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"It's just part of life": African American daughters caring for parents with dementia

The purpose of this study was to gain a greater understanding of the experiences of African American daughters caring for parents with Alzheimer's disease or a related dementia (ADRD). In this secondary analysis of a subset (N = 12) of the sample from a previous study, daughters averaged 54 years of age and were caring for parents with moderate to severe ADRD. Results revealed two main categories: Caregiver Concerns and Caregiver Coping. Subcategories included challenging behaviors, social aspects, integration, and family culture and values. Findings offer insight into cultural factors relevant to practice along with research recommendations.

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Guidance for behavioural interventions aiming to support family support providers of people with spinal cord injury: A scoping review

Rationale: Research has extensively examined the adverse outcomes of being family support provider also known as a family caregiver, of someone with spinal cord injury (SCI) such as psychological distress, poor health, and burden. Despite clear evidence of the negative impact of this social role, few interventions exist aiming to support family support providers of people with SCI. Objective: This scoping review aimed to guide future intervention development by identifying the components necessary to develop an intervention to support SCI family support providers using the Behaviour Change Wheel (BCW). Methods: Electronic databases (CINAHL, PsycINFO, Medline, Embase) were searched in May 2017. Articles relating to outcomes and/or behaviours of support providers of people with SCI were identified. Intervention components of the BCW, including behaviours, factors influencing behaviours, intervention content, and evaluation methods, were extracted from included articles. Results: Of the 59 included articles, most emphasized the outcomes of being a support provider but provided little evidence of behaviours, which may influence such outcomes. The most commonly identified behaviours included engaging in leisure time or daily activities, problem-solving, and providing support. Very few measures were used to measure engagement in behaviours objectively. The literature suggests that behaviours are often influenced by family support providers' physical and social environments. However, barriers may vary between behaviours and contexts. Conclusion: The results of this review show that there are many viable behavioural targets for intervention. Therefore, intervention efforts may need to be tailored to individuals' needs. A promising intervention approach may be to use a theory which promotes change in the ecological context of family support providers while encouraging behavioural strategies to overcome individual barriers. Future research should further examine the factors that influence specific behaviours to more comprehensively understand the context of the behaviour as well as effective intervention strategies to promote change.

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“I Know Who I Am; the Real Me, and That Will Come Back”: The Importance of Relational Practice in Improving Outcomes for Carers of People With Dementia

Effective support to carers of people with dementia can be critical to maintain quality of life for people with dementia and their families and to sustain the future of health and care systems. Qualitative interviews were undertaken with 14 carers of people with dementia across Scotland, and the data were analysed to identify the outcomes important to the carers. The importance of relationships emerged as the core theme, including relationship with the person with dementia, family members, other carers, and professionals. Although not evident in the literature, the authors noted that the concept of self-relationship was important to carers in the context of changing relationships with others. A multilayered approach to understanding relationships, and an approach to engagement that enables carers to define and express their priorities, is necessary to fit with the relational nature of care. 

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How Children of Parents With Dementia Can Make Their Subject Positions Understandable and Meaningful

The families of people diagnosed with dementia are commonly first-in-line caregivers. This can have a considerable effect on their lives, health, and relationships. However, few studies have focused on the children in such families. Therefore, the aim of this study was to describe how children, in their own narratives, construct themselves as subjects growing up and caring for a parent with dementia. The study applies discourse analysis. The findings show three subject positions: parent to your parent(s), orphan with parents, and time traveler stuck in time. There is a need to support these children, both as children and as young adults. More knowledge is necessary regarding the kind of support they might want or need. For health care professionals, it is important to know that it might not always be easy to ask for information or support as a child caring for a sick parent.

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The care capacity goals of family carers and the role of technology in achieving them

Background: As global populations age, governments have come to rely heavily on family carers (FCs) to care for older adults and reduce the demands made of formal health and social care systems. Under increasing pressure, sustainability of FC's unpaid care work has become a pressing issue. Using qualitative data, this paper explores FCs' care-related work goals, and describes how those goals do, or do not, link to technology. Methods: We employed a sequential mixed-method approach using focus groups followed by an online survey about FCs' goals. We held 10 focus groups and recruited 25 FCs through a mix of convenience and snowball sampling strategies. Carer organizations helped us recruit 599 FCs from across Canada to complete an online survey. Participants' responses to an open-ended question in the survey were included in our qualitative analysis. An inductive approach was employed using qualitative thematic content analysis methods to examine and interpret the resulting data. We used NVIVO 12 software for data analysis. Results: We identified two care quality improvement goals of FCs providing care to older adults: enhancing and safeguarding their caregiving capacity. To enhance their capacity to care, FCs sought: 1) foreknowledge about their care recipients' changing condition, and 2) improved navigation of existing support systems. To safeguard their own wellbeing, and so to preserve their capacity to care, FCs sought to develop coping strategies as well as opportunities for mentorship and socialization. Conclusions: We conclude that a paradigm shift is needed to reframe caregiving from a current deficit frame focused on failures and limitations (burden of care) towards a more empowering frame (sustainability and resiliency). The fact that FCs are seeking strategies to enhance and safeguard their capacities to provide care means they are approaching their unpaid care work from the perspective of resilience. Their goals and technology suggestions imply a shift from understanding care as a source of 'burden' towards a more 'resilient' and 'sustainable' model of caregiving. Our case study findings show that technology can assist in fostering this resiliency but that it may well be limited to the role of an intermediary that connects FCs to information, supports and peers. 

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Reasons for Drug Administration Problems and Perceived Needs for Assistance of Patients, Family Caregivers, and Nurses: A Qualitative Study

OBJECTIVE: Investigation of drug administration problems, respective causes, and needs for assistance. METHODS: Focus group discussions with patients, family caregivers, and nurses were conducted using a semi-structured interview guideline for a focused exploration of the participants' drug administration experiences and perceived needs for assistance. All discussions were audio-recorded and video-recorded, verbatim transcribed, and analyzed according to Mayring's qualitative content analysis. RESULTS: In total, 6 focus group discussions were conducted. The qualitative content analysis revealed that patients and family caregivers frequently trivialized drug administration, were unaware of errors, and primarily blamed the dosage form of causing administration problems. Nurses also considered health-care system-related conditions and patient factors as potential causes of administration problems. CONCLUSIONS: The administration problems and perceived causes were multifaceted and often directed toward inappropriate dosage forms or health-care system-related conditions rather than critically questioning the medicine user's administration skills. To increase medicine users' motivation to scrutinize wrong administration practices, health-care professionals should consider individual perspectives on administration problems and perceived causes, assist medicine users' to identify the true cause of a distinct problem, and provide individualized support.

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Caregiving motivations and experiences among family caregivers of patients living with advanced breast cancer in Ghana

Introduction Significant number of women present with advanced-stage breast cancer in Ghana. These women usually depend on family caregivers for their multi-dimensional needs. Yet, there are gaps in research about what motivates family caregivers to assume the caring role and their experiences with caregiving within the Ghanaian context. Aim To explore and describe the caregiving motivations and experiences among family caregivers of patients living with advanced breast cancer. Methods In-depth, semi-structured qualitative interviews were conducted with 15 family caregivers who were providing unpaid care for women living with advanced breast cancer. Colaizzi's thematic analysis was used to analyze the data. Results Family relationship normally prescribed the caregiving role among family caregivers. Due to the lack of home-based palliative services in Ghana, findings suggest that family caregivers are the main managers of advanced breast cancer-related symptoms in the home. These findings are discussed under three major themes: (i) motivation for assuming the caregiving role; (ii) meeting self-care and psychosocial needs of the patient; and (iii) symptom management and monitoring. Conclusion Socio-cultural values influence the role of family caregivers in Ghana. This presents opportunities for health professionals and relevant stakeholders to develop a culturally-appropriate intervention to support informal caregivers in their home-based care for women living with advanced breast cancer in Ghana.

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The influence of the combination of visiting frequency of family caregivers and pre-admission frailty status on dependency after discharge among hospitalized older patients: a clinically-based prospective study

Purpose: This study aims to determine whether the combination of visiting frequency of the family caregiver and frailty status has an additive effect on the incidence of dependency among hospitalized older patients. Methods: We analyzed the prospective cohort data of hospitalized older patients (65 years and older) with internal medical problems. The main outcome showed patients’ dependency from admission to a month after discharge. We investigated the visiting frequency of family caregivers and the frailty status and categorized respondents into 4 groups: group 1, visiting frequency 3–7 times a week and non-frailty; group 2, visiting frequency 0–2 times a week and non-frailty; group 3, visiting frequency 3–7 times a week and frailty; or group 4, visiting frequency 0–2 times a week and frailty. We used the Cox proportional hazards regression to estimate the hazard ratios (HR) and confidence intervals (95% CI) of relationships between the combination of visiting frequency and frailty status, and dependency. Results: A total of 182 participants who completed the follow-up were analyzed. During the follow-up period, 45 participants (24.7%) showed some dependency. The hazards regression showed that the low visiting frequency group with presence of frailty had the most increased dependency, compared to other groups (adjusted HR 8.61 [95% CI 3.38–21.98]). Conclusions: The coexistence of low visiting frequency and the presence of frailty influenced dependency more strongly than each factor alone. These findings suggest that the combination of visiting frequency and frailty status is a useful predictor for future dependency. 

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“Caregiving is a full‐time job” impacting stroke caregivers' health and well‐being: A qualitative meta‐synthesis

Family caregivers contribute to the sustainability of healthcare systems. Stroke is a leading cause of adult disability and many people with stroke rely on caregiver support to return home and remain in the community. Research has demonstrated the importance of caregivers, but suggests that caregiving can have adverse consequences. Despite the body of qualitative stroke literature, there is little clarity about how to incorporate these findings into clinical practice. This review aimed to characterise stroke caregivers' experiences and the impact of these experiences on their health and well‐being. We conducted a qualitative meta‐synthesis. Four electronic databases were searched to identify original qualitative research examining stroke caregivers' experiences. In total, 4,481 citations were found, with 39 studies remaining after removing duplicates and applying inclusion and exclusions criteria. Articles were appraised for quality using the Critical Appraisal Skills Programme (CASP), coded using NVivo software, and analysed through thematic synthesis. One overarching theme, ‘caregiving is a full‐time job’ was identified, encompassing four sub‐themes: (a) restructured life, (b) altered relationships, (c) physical challenges, and (d) psychosocial challenges. Community and institution‐based clinicians should be aware of the physical and psychosocial consequences of caregiving and provide appropriate supports, such as education and respite, to optimise caregiver health and well‐being. Future research may build upon this study to identify caregivers in most need of support and the types of support needed across a broad range of health conditions.

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Caregivers of Patients With Brain Metastases: A Description of Caregiving Responsibilities and Psychosocial Well-being

BACKGROUND: There are increasing numbers of cancer patients with brain metastases, and there is a high potential for caregiving burden. Little work has explored caregiving responsibilities and psychosocial well-being in informal family caregivers (FCGs) of cancer patients with brain metastases. This study aimed to address this gap in the literature. METHODS: Data were drawn from baseline pilot study data. Caregivers completed demographic information and provided a self-report of their caring responsibilities and psychosocial well-being via questionnaire. RESULTS: Participants were 21 FCGs of patients with brain metastases. Many caregivers are devoting extensive time to providing care; there was high variability in the number and types of caregiving activities reported. Although many caregivers report feeling well supported, other aspects of psychosocial well-being were less robust, including anxiety, depression, burden, and coping self-efficacy. CONCLUSION: Although FCGs reported mitigating factors such as social support, they still experience significant distress. Findings support previous work suggesting that neuro-oncology caregiving is burdensome, with adverse effects on health and well-being. Foundational work, such as this, will set the stage to identify areas for future intervention.

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The Impact of Lifelong Family Care on Family Caregivers’ Perceptions of the Sexuality of Young Adults with Intellectual Disabilities in the Western Cape of South Africa

This paper presents findings of a constructivist grounded theory study conducted within the Western Cape Province of South Africa. The study explored how family caregivers respond to sexuality issues of their young adults with intellectual disabilities (ID). Indepth interviews and focus group discussions were used as methods of data collection. Twenty-five family caregivers participated in the study. The family caregivers’ perceptions highlight how the lifelong care relationship and the living arrangements attached to it may become a hindrance to people with ID exercising sexual autonomy. The family caregivers felt responsible for the young adults’ behavior and determined what was appropriate or not with regards to the young adults’ sexuality. Concerns about the young adults’ future care were central in the family caregivers’ responses. We conclude that without the appropriate forms of support for both the young adults and their caregivers, the young adults will continue to be policed by the family caregivers and not have choices and opportunities to enjoy and express their sexuality. The support interventions needed should alleviate the burden of care from the family caregivers and also ensure independent living and more choices for the young adults with ID. 

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Development and validation of the scale for partnership in care—for family (SPIC-F)

This study aims to develop and validate the Scale for Partnership in Care between staff and families of older adult nursing home (NH) residents—for Family (SPIC-F). The components of partnership were identified on the basis of literature reviews and focus group interviews. The content validity of 41 preliminary items was verified by 10 experts, and a pilot study was conducted. The reliability and validity of the instrument was tested on 330 families of older adult NH residents. The final instrument comprised 20 items in three categories: professional caring and support, cooperative relationship and information sharing, and participation in care. Each item is rated on a four-point Likert scale, with total scores ranging from 20–80. The reliability of the instrument was 0.95, and test–retest ICC was 0.83. This instrument could be utilized to develop interventions to establish an efficient partnership and assess its outcomes. 

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Co-creation of a family-focused service model living with younger onset dementia

Families living with younger onset dementia face unique social challenges, which services do not currently address. There is a gap in understanding the experiences of families affected by younger onset dementia, including the interactions and relationships within the family units, and with existing services and supports. In this qualitative research study, semi-structured interviews were conducted across Australia with seven health and social care providers, five persons living with younger onset dementia, six spouse/carers, and 17 children. A thematic analysis was conducted using a theoretical lens drawn from the combined perspectives of the social model of disability and family systems-illness model. Two central themes emerged in the data: (1) Understanding the social demands on the family - lifecycle challenges living with younger onset dementia from a social and family context; and (2) Interactions of health and social care providers with families living with younger onset dementia - opportunities and challenges in providing support and services geared to a whole family approach. In order to provide families for those living with younger onset dementia with optimal assistance and support, co-creation of a family-focused services model is proposed. Its purpose is to support effective therapeutic interactions and service development among service users, service providers, and stakeholders.

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The lived experience of supporting people with mild stroke

Background: Mild stroke occurrences are rising and in order to comprehensively understand the experience of this health phenomenon, the context in which people with mild stroke live must be explored. Spouses are an important part of the lives of this population, but their experiences are yet to be fully understood. Aims/Objectives: To answer the question: “What is the essence of the mild stroke experience from the perspective of spouses during the first 9-months after acute hospital discharge, in Australia?” Materials and Methods: Qualitative study involving four spouses at 9-months post-acute hospital discharge for their family member. Interpretative phenomenological analysis used to analyze interview transcripts. Results: Two themes identified: (1) Activities gained but time lost, and (2) Small changes but big impacts. The first theme portrays the increase in daily activity that spouses experienced due to caregiving related activities, which impacted on their occupational participation. The second highlights the impact that people with mild strokes’ behavioral and emotional changes can have on spouses. Conclusions and Significance: Whilst spouses generally return to their daily routines after a family members’ mild stroke, some will experience increased time pressures and occupational disruptions. Health providers should prepare spouses for behavioral and emotional changes in people with mild stroke. 

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Family Caregiving During the Hospitalization of an Older Relative

The purpose of the current study was to examine the role and activities of family caregivers for older relatives during hospitalization. The Family Care Actions Index was completed by 293 family caregivers of hospitalized older adults. Results indicated that the scope of caregiving activities extended beyond providing care to the patient and included working together with the health care team. Activities requiring interaction with providers, such as care coordination, planning, evaluation, and oversight, were frequently performed by family caregivers. Family caregivers are assuming a greater role during the hospital stay of older relatives. Partnering with family caregivers provides hospital staff an opportunity to improve care, outcomes, and satisfaction. 

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“I have to be both mother and father”: The impact of Young-onset dementia on the partner’s parenting and the children’s experience

There has been increasing research on the experience and needs of caregivers for persons with YOD, who are mainly spouses. Yet one little-explored area is their evolving parental role. As the person with YOD becomes less able to parent, the partner must take on more and more parental responsibilities. This occurs in much-changed familial context, with children often asked to assume caretaking roles and experiencing strong feelings such as grief, anger, and fear. How do the parents without YOD understand and negotiate their ever-changing parenting role, and how do their children experience it? We conducted in-depth, semi-structured interviews with four parents without YOD (coincidentally all mothers) and eight children ages 16–20 (3–18 when parent was diagnosed) regarding the changing nature of the parental-child relationship. These data were analyzed using thematic narrative analysis, in which respondents' material is closely read as it is gathered and analyzed for patterns. Three primary themes emerged. First, there are significant changes in family structures and role. Mothers increasingly assume all parental responsability. Children assume roles of carers and earners, and at times reluctant decision-making partners. Such responsabilities can feel overwhelming at times. However, the children discribed not wanting to burden mother with their feelings and experience, a second prominent theme. Finally, such muting of their experience likely contributes to mothers feeling they are managing the YOD so as to minimize the impact on their children, creating divergent experiences of the YOD on family life. Facilitating family members' articulation of what feel like “inadmissible” feelings, improving familial communication, and developing a range of support and resources are all important areas for intervention. 

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Knowledge, attitude and health-seeking behavior among family caregivers of mentally ill patients at Assiut University Hospitals: a cross-sectional study

Background: Mental illness is associated with misunderstanding and unfavorable attitude worldwide. The belief in its spiritual nature made traditional healers the main service consultants for mentally ill patients. The present study is a cross-sectional study conducted among 425 main family caregivers of mentally ill patients at Assiut University Hospital. The objective of the study was to assess the caregivers’ knowledge and attitude towards mental illness as well as their health-seeking behavior for their mentally ill relatives. Results: The studied caregivers had low scores of knowledge and attitude towards mental illness. Age of the caregivers, their education, and the type of first consulted care and aggressive behavior of the mentally ill relatives were the significant predictors of caregivers’ knowledge and attitude towards mental illness. The majority of caregivers (80.2%) sought advice for the first time from traditional healers. Traditional healers referred only 16.4% of caregivers’ mentally ill relatives to psychiatric care. Conclusion: The studied caregivers had poor knowledge and a negative attitude towards mental illness. Traditional healers were the main consulted care. So, increasing awareness of mental illness is highly recommended. 

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The experiences of, and need for, palliative care for people with motor neurone disease and their informal caregivers: A qualitative systematic review

Background: Despite being a terminal neurodegenerative disease, the role of palliative care is less recognised for motor neurone disease than for other life-limiting conditions. Understanding the experiences of, and need for, palliative care for patients and carers is key to configuring optimal policy and healthcare services. Aim: To explore the experiences of, and need for, palliative care of people with motor neurone disease and their informal carers across the disease trajectory. Design: A systematic review of qualitative research conducted using Thematic Synthesis – PROSPERO registration CRD42017075311. Data Sources: Four electronic databases were searched (MEDLINE, CINAHL, PsycINFO, Social Science Citation Index) using terms for motor neurone disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, palliative care, and qualitative research, from inception to November 2018. Included papers were data extracted and assessed for quality. Results: A total of 41 papers were included, representing the experiences of 358 people with motor neurone disease and 369 caregivers. Analytical themes were developed detailing patients’ and carers’ experiences of living with motor neurone disease and of palliative care through its trajectory including response to diagnosis, maintaining control, decision-making during deterioration, engaging with professionals, planning for end-of-life care, bereavement. Conclusion: The review identified a considerable literature exploring the care needs of people with motor neurone disease and their carers; however, descriptions of palliative care were associated with the last days of life. Across the disease trajectory, clear points were identified where palliative care input could enhance patient and carer experience of the disease, particularly at times of significant physical change. 

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Young carers research project: Summary of findings

A number of recent studies have highlighted the challenges facing young people as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Like their peers, young people aged 16 to 25 who are caring for a family member or friend have experienced significant change and instability during this unprecedented period.

During the peak of the COVID-19 lockdown, Carers NSW conducted online interviews and focus groups with 28 young carers to better understand their experiences and support needs and to learn how to engage with them more effectively. This summary report includes powerful stories of young people caring for loved ones while juggling study, work, family and social responsibilities.

This report shares insights from young carers across a range of themes, including education, employment, service provision and relationships, embedding the young carer voice throughout. These insights will help to inform ongoing and future service provision, research and systemic advocacy conducted by Carers NSW and our partners and stakeholders.

A review of existing research literature (see Appendix I) and internal consultation with Carers NSW staff working with young carers, conducted in the scoping phase of this project, identified that young carers are often isolated and experience socio-economic disadvantage as a result of their caring responsibilities. However, they are often reluctant to disclose their caring responsibilities to others and commonly perceive their own needs and experiences as less important than those of the person they care for. These factors can make it more difficult for researchers and others to successfully engage with young carers.

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Informal caregiver quality of life in a palliative oncology population

Purpose: Many patients with advanced cancer receive primary supports from informal caregivers (IC). As patient health deteriorates, IC assume increasing responsibility, often accompanied by distress. We investigated the quality of life (QOL) of IC of patients referred to a palliative radiotherapy (PRT) program. Methods: IC accompanying patients to a dedicated PRT clinic completed a survey based on the validated Caregiver Quality of Life Index-Cancer (CQOLC). Demographics, burden, and engagement in support services were evaluated. Summary statistics were calculated, and parameters were assessed for association with CQOLC scores by a generalized linear model. Results: Two hundred one surveys were analyzed representing 197 unique patients. The mean age was 68.3 years, with predominantly lung (25.0%) and prostate (19.3%) malignancies. 24.4% had been in hospital/long-term care within the previous 7 days. IC were 60.8% female, and 60.6% were the patient’s spouse. 69.5% lived with the patient and 38.3% were additionally employed. IC spent a daily mean of 6.6 h (SD 7) assisting with instrumental (72.5%) and basic (37.5%) activities of daily living. Mean CQOLC score was 82.1/140 (SD 20). 63.8% of IC had previously accessed support service(s), most commonly home care (37.2%) and pharmacy (29.1%). 55.9% indicated interest in services not yet accessed. Multivariate analysis revealed additional employment, cohabitation, poor patient performance status, and interest in accessing more support services significantly correlated with higher IC burden. Conclusions: Employing the CQOLC to screen IC of patients referred to a PRT program permits early identification of vulnerable IC to facilitate linkage with appropriate supports.

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Providing care to a family member affected by head and neck cancer: a phenomenological study

Background: Cancer is recognized as a family illness as many head and neck cancer (HNC) patients after treatment require assistance from a family caregiver throughout the rest of their life. The purpose of this study was to explore the lived experience of primary family caregivers of HNC patients dealing with laryngectomy regarding their complex supportive role. Methods: Phenomenological study based on individual interviews of twelve primary caregivers of HNC patients, recruited by purposeful sampling. Interview contents were analyzed in depth, in accordance with Colaizzi’s descriptive analysis framework, to explore and identify significant themes and subthemes. Results: Analysis evidenced three main topics and subthemes embracing various aspects of the caregiver’s lived experiences: (1) experiencing disease and the pathway of care, (2) handling changes to everyday life, and (3) support received by others. Conclusion: Given the essential role the caregiver has in the patient’s post-treatment recovery, future planning of HNC patient care must consider the caregivers’ needs. In order to guarantee an appropriate and effective health professional care, it is important to consider caregivers’ issues and needs as part of HNC patient care planning from the diagnosis to the follow-up. 

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Supporting informal carers during the covid-19 pandemic

A working list of things to be aware of/ consider in supporting informal carers (family and friends who support patients in an unpaid role) impacted by COVID-19. This is partly evidence-based and partly grounded in our combined experience of working in applied research on informal carer support needs

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Identifying Outcomes Important to Patients with Glomerular Disease and Their Caregivers

BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: Shared decision making in patients with glomerular disease remains challenging because outcomes important to patients remain largely unknown. We aimed to identify and prioritize outcomes important to patients and caregivers and to describe reasons for their choices. DESIGN: , setting, participants, & measurementsWe purposively sampled adult patients with glomerular disease and their caregivers from Australia, Hong Kong, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Participants identified, discussed, and ranked outcomes in focus groups using the nominal group technique; a relative importance score (between zero and one) was calculated. Qualitative data were analyzed thematically. RESULTS: Across 16 focus groups, 134 participants (range, 19-85 years old; 51% women), including 101 patients and 33 caregivers, identified 58 outcomes. The ten highest-ranked outcomes were kidney function (importance score of 0.42), mortality (0.29), need for dialysis or transplant (0.22), life participation (0.18), fatigue (0.17), anxiety (0.13), family impact (0.12), infection and immunity (0.12), ability to work (0.11), and BP (0.11). Three themes explained the reasons for these rankings: constraining day-to-day experience, impaired agency and control over health, and threats to future health and family. CONCLUSIONS: Patients with glomerular disease and their caregivers highly prioritize kidney health and survival, but they also prioritize life participation, fatigue, anxiety, and family impact. 

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Impact of COVID-19 pandemic restrictions on community-dwelling caregivers and persons with dementia

Restrictions related to the 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pose unique and significant challenges for community-dwelling caregivers and people with dementia, including disrupted routines, a lack of structure, decreased access to respite care, and new or worsening safety issues related to interpersonal violence and hygiene. In addition to identifying issues confronting caregivers, the authors also describe possible ways to address some of these pressing concerns.

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Caregivers of patients with hematological malignancies within home care: A phenomenological study

The role of caregivers in homecare settings is relevant to the patient’s wellbeing and quality of life. This phenomenon is well described in the literature for the oncological setting but not specifically for that of hematological malignancies. The aim of this study was to explore the experience of primary caregivers of patients with hematological malignancies within home care. We conducted a phenomenological study based on interviews with 17 primary caregivers of hematological patients. Analysis of the contents led to the identification of five main themes. Perhaps, the innovative aspects of this study can be summarized in three points: This service was demonstrated to fulfil the ethical aspects of providing the patient with a dignified accompaniment to the end of life. Secondly, the efficiency of the service and the benefit are directly dependent on the caregivers’ wellbeing, so knowledge of the dynamics and emotions involved can lead to the development and implementation of programs for hematological malignancies. Lastly, a collaborative caregivers–professionals relationship can improve a sense of accomplishment for all parties involved, lessening the family’s frustration related to not having done their best. Home care brings significant benefits for both the patient and the caregivers and fulfils the ethical obligation of providing the patient dignified end-of-life care. 

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Support in the context of allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation - The perspectives of family caregivers

Background and aim: Family caregivers are often involved in helping recipients during allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (allo-HSCT). Although the distress that often arises along the trajectory is evident to family caregivers, research on their perceptions of providing and receiving support is limited. The aim of this study was to explore family caregivers’ experiences of providing and receiving support during allo-HSCT. Method: Data were collected through semi-structured interviews with fourteen family caregivers 16 weeks after the recipient's allo-HSCT. Inductive qualitative content analysis was used to analyse the data. Results: The analysis revealed four generic categories that focus on prerequisites for family caregivers' ability to provide support: Individual characteristics influence the ability to be supportive, Social context influences the ability to be supportive, Medical information provides knowledge and a sense of participation and Interaction with the healthcare organization provides a sense of participation. These prerequisites are linked in the fifth generic category: Family caregivers' support is multifaceted and dependent on the recipient's health. Conclusions: Family caregivers’ risk of experiencing a stronger sense of uncertainty and lack of participation is higher in the absence of the above-mentioned prerequisites. Professional support is thus required, which implies that the healthcare organization is responsible for identifying the needs of each family caregiver and delivering individualized support. 

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Seeking relational information sources in the digital age: A study into information source preferences amongst family and friends of those with dementia

Despite an increasing number of sources providing information and advice about dementia, those living with the condition feel inadequately informed. The reasons for this remain unclear. This study has three aims: to identify where people with dementia and their carers currently access dementia-related information from; to determine how accessible, credible and comprehensible people with dementia and their carers consider the available sources of information; and to determine how people with dementia and their carers would like to receive information. An online or postal survey was completed by 171 female and 41 male participants with a close family member or friend with dementia. Accessibility above quality held the greatest influence over an individual’s use of an information source. Participants preferred relational sources such as healthcare professionals as these were able to give individualised information, yet these were poorly accessible and lacked dementia specific knowledge. Therefore, individuals used non-relational sources such as the internet. However, increased use of the internet was linked to feeling overwhelmed by information. It was not the end result of the information search but the effort taken to reach the information that influenced participant’s perception of information gathering. Future research should look at ways of designing and providing accessible information sources that act and feel like relational contact. 

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Investigating 'optimal time': perspectives on the timing of people living with dementia moving into care homes: research findings

This briefing summarises the findings of a study into whether there is a universal optimal time for people living with dementia to move to a care home. The research drew on the experiences of people living with dementia and family carers, as well as social workers and care home managers. It found that factors to consider include the wellbeing of the person living with dementia, the ability of family members to support them and the availability of suitable care home places.

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Caring for older people: relational narratives of attentiveness, commitment and acceptance

Informal care evolves from an existing relationship with the care recipient. This study aims to understand the relational nature of such care. Six participants caring for a spouse or parent chose their own methods of data collection, including keeping a journal, telephone interviews or face-to-face interviews. Participants drew on personal narratives to reveal different identities, which included a guardian, a partner, a coper, and a campaigner on behalf of the person receiving care. These findings demonstrate how providing good care is part of each carer’s relational identity. Acknowledging the relational nature of care will enable better support for carers.

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The COVID-19 Pandemic: Challenges and opportunities for carers in NSW

Carers NSW has been closely monitoring COVID-19 developments in NSW, the ongoing government response and the wide ranging impacts the virus and associated social distancing requirements have had on carers. Carers have experienced a variety of impacts, both in relation to the people they care for and in relation to their own health and overall wellbeing. Many carers provide care and support to people who are in higher risk categories, and many are in higher risk categories themselves due to age or an existing health condition. These factors have resulted in complexities surrounding provision of care, particularly in maintaining social distancing.  [...]

Carers NSW determined that it was crucial to hear directly from carers and other key stakeholders in order to gain a clear and accurate picture of the key issues, challenges and opportunities for carers during the pandemic. This report identifies the key findings of consultation conducted to inform Carers NSW service adjustments and systemic advocacy. 

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Caring behind closed doors: Forgotten families in the coronavirus outbreak

Carers UK carried out an online survey between 3rd April and 14th April 2020. A total of 5,047 carers and former carers responded to the survey. This included 4,830 current carers and 217 former carers. Compared to the carer population as a whole, respondents to this survey were more likely to be female and caring for a high number of hours every week. As not all respondents completed every question in the survey, a number of the figures given in this report, including those presented here, are based upon responses from fewer than 5,047 carers.

Of current carers responding to the survey:

  • 67% live in England, 19% live in Scotland, 9% live in Northern Ireland, and 6% live in Wales.
  • 81% identify as female and 18% identify as male.
  • 23% consider themselves to have a disability.
  • 1% are aged 0–24, 4% are aged 25–34, 13% are aged 35–44, 27% are aged 45–54, 32% are aged 55– 64, 17% are aged 65–74, and 5% are aged 75 and over.
  • 4% identified as lesbian, gay or bisexual.
  • 4% described their ethnicity as black or minority ethnic.
  • 18% also have childcare responsibilities for a nondisabled child under 18.
  • 36% have been caring for 15 years or more, 17% for between 10–14 years, 24% for 5–9 years, 20% for 1–4 years, 2% for less than one year and just 1% have been caring since the beginning of the coronavirus outbreak. 
  • Most (71%) care for one person, 20% care for two people, 6% for three people, and 2% care for four or more people. 
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Caring Through COVID: Life in Lockdown

This report sets out the findings of a national survey undertaken by Family Carers Ireland between April 14th and May 5th 2020 which examined family carers’ experience of caring during the COVID-19 pandemic. The online survey was completed by 1,307 current family carers representing a range of caring situations – parents caring for children with a disability, those caring for an adult, carers of older people and those caring for multiple people. The survey was open to respondents 18 years and older. As not all respondents completed every question in the survey, a number of the figures given in this report, including those presented here, are based upon responses from fewer than 1,307 carers. A family carer is someone who is providing an ongoing significant level of care to a person who is in need of that care in the home due to illness, disability or frailty.

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Carers need respite from care. COVID-19’s limiting the options & pushing many to breaking point

One in ten Australians provide care for a loved one, sustaining families and saving governments huge sums on care services. But what do they do now?

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Using Patient- and Family-Reported Outcome and Experience Measures Across Transitions of Care for Frail Older Adults Living at Home: A Meta-Narrative Synthesis

Background and Objectives: Our aim was to create a "storyline" that provides empirical explanation of stakeholders' perspectives underlying the use of patient- and family-reported outcome and experience measures to inform continuity across transitions in care for frail older adults and their family caregivers living at home.; Research Design and Methods: We conducted a meta-narrative synthesis to explore stakeholder perspectives pertaining to use of patient-reported outcome and experience measures (PROMs and PREMs) across micro (patients, family caregivers, and healthcare providers), meso (organizational managers/executives/programs), and macro (decision-/policy-makers) levels in healthcare. Systematic searches identified 9,942 citations of which 40 were included based on full-text screening.; Results: PROMs and PREMS (54 PROMs; 4 PREMs; 1 with PROM and PREM elements; 6 unspecified PROMs) were rarely used to inform continuity across transitions of care and were typically used independently, rarely together (n = 3). Two overarching traditions motivated stakeholders' use. The first significant motivation by diverse stakeholders to use PROMs and PREMs was the desire to restore/support independence and care at home, predominantly at a micro-level. The second motivation to using PROMs and PREMs was to evaluate health services, including cost-effectiveness of programs and hospital discharge (planning); this focus was rarely at a macro-level and more often split between micro- and meso-levels of healthcare.; Discussion and Implications: The motivations underlying stakeholders' use of these tools were distinct, yet synergistic between the goals of person/family-centered care and healthcare system-level goals aimed at efficient use of health services. There is a missed opportunity here for PROMs and PREMs to be used together to inform continuity across transitions of care.

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Using focus groups to explore caregiver transitions and needs after placement of family members living with dementia in 24-hour care homes

Objectives: Family caregivers (defined broadly as family and friends) of persons with dementia are challenged to cope with myriad stressors and changes that occur along the dementia trajectory. The purpose of this study was to explore the transitions experienced by caregivers of persons with dementia after their relative relocated to a 24-hour care home. Method: Qualitative thematic and conversational analysis were used: themes were co-created and modes of speech and syntactical patterns analysed to expose discourses related to caregiving after placement in 24-hour care homes. Results: Four main themes were co-constructed from the data analysis: living with loss, relinquishing, redefining the caregiving role, and rediscovering and recreating a new self. Discussion: Caregiving continues after placement of family members with dementia in 24-hour care homes. Caregivers are at-risk group and require ongoing support throughout the caregiving journey. Study participants reported that navigation skills such as relationship building, communication, and advocacy were particularly salient to the post-placement period, when navigating the complex health care environment was a significant obstacle. Ultimately, findings from these focus groups will be used to inform an online intervention to support caregivers of a family member with dementia residing in a 24-hour care home.

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Thai family caregivers' experiences helping dependent elders during medical emergencies: a qualitative study

Aim: To describe the experience of family caregivers of dependent elders during medical emergencies in rural settings in Thailand.; Methods: This was a descriptive qualitative research using in-depth interviews of 15 participants. Content analysis was applied to transcribed interviews, including data reduction as well as identification of key words, phrases, and themes.; Results: The findings described the experience of caregivers of dependent older persons who faced emergency illness. Most of the family caregivers described their roles in unusual situations as practising assessment first and doing something that may relieve the symptoms experienced by the older persons before initiating and calling for help from relatives, neighbors, and, finally, the emergency medical services. The caregivers four main barriers to them feeling competent: (1) lack of home monitoring devices, (2) inexperienced caregivers in assessing warning signs to report during emergency care, (3) lack of information and understanding of patient rights in emergency health services, and (4) delayed arrival of emergency medical services.; Conclusions: There are barriers to the development of competency in caregiving skills, especially in assessing and recognizing warning signs and initiating first aid accurately before the arrival of the emergency health care team.

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Role of family caregivers regarding sexual and reproductive health for women and girls with intellectual disability: A scoping review

Background: While people with intellectual disability (ID) face disparities relating to sexual and reproductive health (SRH) services, little is known about the role of family caregivers who assist women and girls with ID access SRH services. This scoping review examined the findings of studies to elucidate the role of family caregivers with regard to SRH for women and girls with ID.; Method: We used Arksey and O'Malley's six-stage scoping framework, with Levac, Colquhoun and O'Brien's revisions, to evaluate identified sources. We searched three electronic databases, six ID journals and reference lists in full-text articles. Inclusion criteria included (1) primary and secondary source research studies in peer-reviewed journals; (2) published in English; (3) all research methodologies (i.e. qualitative, quantitative, mixed methods and systematic reviews or commentaries); (4) published between 2000 and 2016; and (5) studies from any country.; Results: The search yielded 2062 studies; 57 articles met inclusion criteria. Most studies employed purposive, convenience or criterion sampling. Participants included people with ID, family caregivers, paid caregivers and health-care professionals. Findings were summarised thematically: (1) menstruation and menopause; (2) vaccinations and preventive screenings; (3) supporting sexuality and healthy relationships; (4) coordinating with health-care providers and (5) contraception and sterilisation.; Conclusions: Findings from this scoping review underscore the need for more and better-quality research, including how family caregivers assist women and girls with ID access perinatal and preventive SRH services and sexual abuse education. Family caregivers, women and girls with ID and health-care providers need increased access to information about SRH.

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Prevalence and predictors of family accommodation in obsessive–compulsive disorder in an Indian setting

Background: Family accommodation (FA) is a phenomenon whereby caregivers assist/facilitate rituals or behaviors related to obsessive–compulsive disorder (OCD). FA, however, has been explored primarily in the Western population, and it is unclear to what extent it might be present in diverse cultural settings. At present, little is known about the extent and predictors of FA among caregivers of adult OCD patients in India. Aims: The study aims to assess the extent, clinical correlates, and predictors of FA in the caregivers of adults with OCD. Settings and Design: Cross-sectional study conducted in an outpatient setting in a tertiary-care hospital. Materials and Methods: Hundred and one adult patients of either gender with Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders-5 diagnosis of OCD and 101 caregivers were included. The patients were assessed using Yale–Brown Obsessive Compulsive Scale (YBOCS), Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression (HAM-D), World Health Organization Disability Assessment Schedule Version 2.0 12-item version (WHO-DAS 2.0.12), Clinical Global Impressions Scale for Severity (CGI-S), and Clinical Global Impressions Scale for Improvement. The FA Scale-Self Rated Version (FAS-SR) was applied on caregivers after Hindi translation. Statistical Analysis: Descriptive statistics, group comparisons, and Pearson's product moment correlations were carried out. Multiple linear regression modeling was performed with the total FAS-SR score as the dependent variable. Results: About 92% of caregivers displayed at least some form of FA. Higher scores on HAM-D, YBOCS, WHODAS, and CGI-S were associated with higher scores on FAS-SR scale, which reached statistical significance (P < 0.01). Conclusions: FA in OCD appears to be a frequent phenomenon. Higher FA is associated with higher symptom severity and disability, emphasizing its clinical and research relevance for future studies.

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Perceptions of Family Caregivers of Home-Dwelling Persons with Dementia regarding Access to Information and Involvement in Decisions

This cross-sectional study explored factors affecting information about available health services, content of services provided, and involvement in decisions regarding services as perceived by the family caregivers of home-dwelling persons with dementia in Northern Norway. Altogether, 788 family caregivers were invited to participate in a survey, with a response rate of 54.6% (n = 430). The respondents reported modest levels of perceived information and involvement. Few of the expected predictors were associated with the outcomes. Ordinal logistic regression analyses revealed that primary school as the highest level of education and perception of caregiving as moderately or very demanding predicted lower scores on family caregivers' perceived level of information about available services, information on service content, and involvement in decisions. In addition, medium household income predicted lower scores on information about service content. The results may point to mechanisms that create inequalities in the processing of information and involvement in care decisions regarding care arrangements among different caregiver groups. Health authorities should investigate potential social inequalities in complementary health care for home-dwelling persons with dementia.

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Managing Urinary Incontinence

This article is part of a series, Supporting Family Caregivers: No Longer Home Alone, published in collaboration with the AARP Public Policy Institute. Results of focus groups, conducted as part of the AARP Public Policy Institute's No Longer Home Alone video project, supported evidence that family caregivers aren't given the information they need to manage the complex care regimens of family members. This series of articles and accompanying videos aims to help nurses provide caregivers with the tools they need to manage their family member's health care at home.The articles in this new installment of the series provide simple and useful instructions that nurses should reinforce with family caregivers. This article is the second of two that provide an update on urinary incontinence and its management in older adults. It includes an informational tear sheet-Information for Family Caregivers-that contains links to the instructional videos. To use this series, nurses should read the articles first, so they understand how best to help family caregivers, and then encourage caregivers to watch the videos and ask questions. For additional information, see Resources for Nurses.

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Informal carers' experiences of caring for a person with heart failure in a community setting

Heart failure (HF) is a life-limiting condition with a poor prognosis and unpredictable disease trajectory. HF brings physical and emotional challenges for patients and their carers. Predominantly the informal carer population consists of older females, however, caring is evolving as longevity increases and complex conditions are becoming more commonplace. Consequently, more men and younger people are contributing to daily care. The aim of this study was to explore the positive as well as negative dimensions of caring in HF across a range of carer characteristics. Fourteen semi-structured interviews were conducted with informal carers of people with HF in the UK (median age 71; female 10). Interviews were transcribed verbatim and analysed with the assistance of NVivo10 using Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis. Findings from the study demonstrated that most participants considered caring as integral to their relationships. Dimensions facilitating positivity in caring included compassion, thoughtfulness and understanding. An ability to cope was influenced by a range of attributes including quality of relationships in the carer/patient dyad and with formal social care providers who offered access to tailored and timely information and support. The unpredictable HF disease trajectory influenced the carer experience and enhanced the challenges encountered. The information needs of carers were not always adequately met and younger adult carers expressed particular difficulties with appropriate information and support. Expectations of our informal carer population are increasing and evolving. Health and social care policy requires innovative proposals for the funding and delivery of health and social care that has the contribution made by informal carers at its core.

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How do clients and (In)formal caregivers experience quality of home care? A qualitative approach

Aim: To explore and understand the views of clients and formal and informal caregivers about the experienced quality of home care for older people. Design: A descriptive qualitative study was conducted using individual interviews. Methods: Six home care clients, four formal and six informal caregivers were recruited from two Dutch home care organizations. Individual, semi‐structured interviews took place between April ‐ November 2018. The INDividually EXperienced QUAlity of Long‐term care framework was used to guide data collection and content analyses. Results: The analyses revealed several important attributes contributing to experienced quality of home care such as a preferred small number of caregivers, perceived sufficient time for care provision and a caring atmosphere facilitating open communication and humour. Participants indicated that care routines fitting with the care receiver's former way of living were important. A more 'close' personal care relationship related to trust, openness and empathy was preferred over a more 'detached' professional care relationship. Conclusion: This study identified a wide range of attributes related to experienced quality of care from the perspectives of clients and formal and informal caregivers in home care. Impact: Care providers are being challenged to structurally assess individual experienced quality of home care. This study underlines the importance of incorporating care preferences and experiences throughout the care process from a relationship‐centred care approach. Relevant care measures and outcomes should be determined to gain insight and further improve individual care provision.

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Health characteristics and outcomes of caregivers in the United States: An Analysis of the 2017 Health Information National Trends Survey (HINTS)

Background: Caregivers are essential for assisting people with disabilities to fully participate in their communities. Past research has primarily focused on family caregivers in the U.S. providing care to older adults rather than children and adults with disabilities.; Objective: This paper examines the demographic and health characteristics of caregivers of children and adults with disabilities across the lifespan using data from the 2017 Health Information National Trends Survey (HINTS).; Methods: Chi square, t-test, linear and logistic regression analyses show differences between caregivers and non-caregivers related to gender, age, employment, and specific health outcomes.; Results: Of 3285 respondents, 18% self-identified as caregivers of children or adults with disabilities (n = 546). Almost one-third of all caregivers reported being diagnosed with depression or an anxiety disorder as compared to one-fifth of non-caregivers. Psychological distress was associated with an increased risk for a diagnosis of depression/anxiety. We also found that distress decreased with age when controlling for other factors.; Conclusion: This paper increases knowledge of a growing segment of family caregivers providing care for members with disabilities across the lifespan. Research and policy needs are discussed.

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Functional Support and Burden Among Out-of-Home Supporters of Heart Failure Patients With and Without Depression

Objective: Over 20% of patients with heart failure (HF) experience clinical depression, which is associated with higher rates of mortality, morbidity, and hospitalization. Support from family members or friends (whom we refer to as care partners [CPs]) can lower the risk of these outcomes. We examined whether HF patients with depression received assistance from CPs living outside of their homes. Further, we examined whether patient depression was associated with support-related strain among out-of-home CPs. Method: We analyzed baseline survey data from 348 HF patients with reduced ejection fraction and their CPs. Patients with scores on the Center for Epidemiological Studies Depression Scale–10 (Kohout, Berkman, Evans, & Cornoni-Huntley, 1993) of ≥10 were classified as having clinically significant depressive symptoms (i.e., depression). Outcomes included CP-reported hr per week helping with health care and talking with patients via telephone and scores on the Modified Caregiver Strain Index. Negative binomial regression models examined differences in the amount of in-person and telephone support for patients with and without depression, controlling for patients' comorbidities, living alone, CP geographic distance, and CP emotional closeness to the patient. Results: CPs provided more in-person support to HF patients with depression (M = 3.64 hr) compared with those without depression (M = 2.60 hr per week, incident rate ratio [IRR] = 1.40, p =.019). CPs provided more telephone support to patients with depression (M = 3.02 hr) compared with those without depression (M = 2.09 hr per week, IRR = 1.42, p <.001). Patient depression had no effect on caregiver burden (IRR = 1.00, p =.843). Conclusion: Patients with clinically significant depressive symptoms receive more in-person assistance and telephonic support from CPs. Despite that additional contact, caregiver burden was not greater among the supporters of depressed patients.

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Family Caregiver-Receiver Mutuality: A Concept Analysis

There are more than 43 million family caregivers in the United States. In studies of family caregivers and receivers, evidence suggests that family caregiver-receiver mutuality is linked to health. Lack of a clear definition of family caregiver-receiver mutuality is an obstacle that prevents scientific progress and effective operationalization of the concept. To address this issue, the authors applied Walker and Avant's method for concept analysis and clarified the concept of family caregiver-receiver mutuality. A standardized definition of caregiver-receiver mutuality is presented along with antecedents, consequences, defining attributes, empirical referents, and case illustrations.

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Exploring perceptions and practices of cancer care among caregivers and care recipients of breast cancer in India

Background: Cancer care is physically and psychologically challenging both for care recipients and caregivers. Caregiving in cancer is an area that needs urgent attention in India. Much of caregiving literature in India is limited to mental illnesses. This study thus examines the perceptions and practices of psychological caregiving among caregivers and care recipients of breast cancer in India.; Methods: Participants were interviewed with the aid of a semi-structured qualitative interview guide. Participants included 39 caregivers and 35 care recipients in different breast cancer stages. Interviews were transcribed, translated to English, coded and themes were derived for further analysis. Informed consent from participants, and ethical clearance and permission from a tertiary hospital was obtained prior to data collection.; Results: Psychological caregiving as perceived by the participants included actions such as encouraging, convincing care recipients, companionship, and maintaining a stress free environment. Caregivers in particular felt that psychological caregiving meant, reacting calmly to sensitive queries of non-family members, providing emotional support to other family members and involvement in religious activities. Taking on such diverse responsibilities gave rise to several unmet psychological needs such as motivation and support in decision-making from other family members.; Conclusion: Irrespective of the status (caregiver or care recipient), participants in this study felt the need for structured counselling services to be incorporated into the standard care protocol. This is an area that needs to be further explored in the context of the breast cancer caregiver and care recipient dyad. 

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Experiences and support needs of informal caregivers of people with multimorbidity: a scoping literature review

Objective: Describe and synthesise existing published research on the experiences and support needs of informal caregivers of people with multimorbidity. Design: Scoping literature review. Primary database and secondary searches for qualitative and/or quantitative English-language research with an explicit focus on informal carers of people with multimorbidity (no date restrictions). Quality appraisal of included papers. Thematic analysis to identify key themes in the findings of included papers. Results: Thirty-four papers (reporting on 27 studies) were eligible for inclusion, the majority of which were rated good quality, and almost half of which were published from 2015 onwards. The review highlights common difficulties for informal carers of people with multiple chronic illnesses, including practical challenges related to managing multiple health care teams, appointments, medications and side effects, and psychosocial challenges including high levels of psychological symptomatology and reduced social connectedness. Current gaps in the literature include very few studies of interventions which may help support this caregiver group. Conclusion: Interest in this research area is burgeoning. Future work might fruitfully examine the potential benefits of audio-recorded health care consultations, and digitally delivered psychosocial interventions such as online peer support forums, for supporting and enhancing the caring activities and wellbeing of this caregiver group. 

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Do caregiver profiles predict the use of dementia care services? Findings from the Actifcare study

Objectives: Previously developed dementia caregiver profiles defined by caregiver age and burden, have been associated with caregiver quality of life, depression and perseverance time. The current aim was to investigate whether these caregiver profiles could predict subsequent service use. In addition, non-personal (e.g. meals on wheels) and supportive services (e.g. Alzheimer café) in early dementia were investigated as predictors. Methods: A total of 451 dyads of people with dementia and their informal caregivers from eight European countries were followed for one year. People were included if they did not use formal (personal) care but were expected to do so within 1 year. Logistic regression analyses were used with four clusters of service use as dependent variables (home social care, home personal care, day care and admission). The independent variables were caregiver profiles, and non-personal and supportive services at baseline. Results: Caregiver profiles were significant predictors of service use; those experiencing high strain were more likely to use formal care. The use of low-intensity, less intrusive services at baseline significantly predicted the use of home personal care and admission at follow-up. The use of day care at follow-up was predicted by the baseline use of supportive services. Conclusion: Caregiver profiles are valuable predictors for service use: this knowledge can aid professionals in ensuring optimal access to services, which is important for maintaining independence at home. In addition, the use of supportive and less intrusive, non-personal services in the early stages of dementia is to be advised. 

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Development and validation of 'caring ability of family caregivers of patients with cancer scale (CAFCPCS)'

Aim: Family caregivers have limited abilities that make them vulnerable to the care needs of patients. Therefore, it seems necessary to evaluate their caring ability. The aim of this study was to design an instrument for assessing the caring ability of family caregivers of cancer patients.; Methods: This was a sequential exploratory mixed-method study, carried out in two qualitative and quantitative phases. The concept of caring ability and its dimensions were explained using conventional content analysis in the qualitative phase. The research participants included 41 family caregivers of cancer patients and professional caregivers who were selected using purposeful sampling method until reaching data saturation. The scale items were designed using the results of the qualitative phase of the study, as well as the review of relevant literature. In the quantitative phase, the scale was validated using content and face validity, construct validity, as well as internal consistency and stability.; Results: The primary item pool was prepared in 108 items. Content validity was determined using CVR with a cut-off point (0.62), CVI with a cut-off point (0.8) and kappa coefficient (κ) (>0.75). The validity of 72 items was confirmed. Then, the overlapping items were merged and eventually the 45-item scale entered the face validity stage and five items with an impact factor < 1.5 were omitted. Results of KMO = 0.904 and Bartlett = 6184.012 (p < 0.001) justified the need for factor analysis. Scree plot indicates five factors with eigenvalues above 1 and 67.7% of the total variance, including 'Effective role play, Fatigue and Surrender, Trust, Uncertainty, and Caring ignorance'. Reliability of the 31-item instrument indicated a Cronbach's alpha coefficient of 0.93 and ICC of 0.94.; Conclusions: Caring abilities scale (CAI) of family caregivers of patients with cancer is a valid and reliable instrument that can assess caregivers' caring ability.

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Canadian Stroke Best Practice Recommendations: Rehabilitation, Recovery, and Community Participation following Stroke. Part Two: Transitions and Community Participation Following Stroke

The sixth update of the Canadian Stroke Best Practice Recommendations for Transitions and Community Participation following Stroke is a comprehensive set of evidence-based guidelines addressing issues faced by people following an acute stroke event. Establishing a coordinated and seamless system of care that supports progress achieved during the initial recovery stages throughout the transition to the community is more essential than ever as the medical complexity of people with stroke is also on the rise. All members of the health-care team engaged with people with stroke, their families, and caregivers are responsible for partnerships and collaborations to ensure successful transitions and return to the community following stroke. These guidelines reinforce the growing and changing body of research evidence available to guide ongoing screening, assessment, and management of individuals following stroke as they move from one phase and stage of care to the next without "falling through the cracks." It also recognizes the growing role of family and informal caregivers in providing significant hours of support that disrupt their own lives and responsibilities and addresses their support and educational needs. According to Statistics Canada, in 2012, eight million Canadians provided care to family members or friends with a long-term health condition, disability, or problems associated with aging. These recommendations incorporate aspects that were previously in the rehabilitation module for the purposes of streamlining, and both modules should be reviewed in order to provide comprehensive care addressing recovery and community reintegration and participation. These recommendations cover topics related to support and education of people with stroke, families, and caregivers during transitions and community reintegration. They include interprofessional planning and communication, return to driving, vocational roles, leisure activities and relationships and sexuality, and transition to long-term care.

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Health literacy of caregivers of adult care recipients: A systematic scoping review

Caregivers play a vital role in providing support to adults with a chronic condition, or cognitive or physical impairment. Low health literacy in caregivers has the potential to impact adequate care provision, and consequently, care recipient health outcomes. The aim of the study was to systematically review literature related to health literacy of caregivers of adult care recipients, and examine its relationship with care recipient, and caregiver, health outcomes. Electronic databases were searched for relevant English-language publications that assessed health literacy in caregivers. Included studies were abstracted into evidence tables and assessed using an eight-item quality scale. The search identified 2717 new titles and abstracts, with 67 shortlisted for full review. Twelve papers from 2003 to 2015 met the inclusion criteria. The prevalence of limited health literacy in caregivers ranged from 0% to 52.5% depending on the measure and cut-off criteria used. Associations were found between low caregiver health literacy and (i) poorer care recipient self-management behaviours; (ii) increased care recipient use of health services; and (iii) increased caregiver burden. The quality of the studies ranged from fair to excellent. Low health literacy in caregivers differed depending on the measures and scoring criteria used. Evidence to support the relationship between caregiver health literacy and care recipient, and caregiver health outcomes was limited to single studies. Recommendations for further research include: the development of caregiver health literacy measures across different populations; examination of associations between caregiver health literacy and care recipient outcomes; and the development of interventions designed to improve caregiver health literacy.

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Challenges and needs of informal caregivers in elderly care: Qualitative research in four European countries, the TRACE project

Background: Providing informal care may affects caregivers' life in different ways. Determining the needs of caregivers and supporting them can improve both the quality of life of the caregivers, as well as the elderly they take care of. Objective: To explore the experiences and needs of the informal caregivers in four countries. Design: Qualitative research method was used in the study. Methods: The qualitative data was collected through focus groups and individual interviews between December 2016–May 2017. In all countries interviews were conducted in the mother language of the informants. Informants of the qualitative research were adult people who take primary care of an individual with chronic diseases, aged 65 years or older. Data were collected from 72 informal caregivers from four European countries. Inductive content analysis was performed. Results: Informal caregivers identified 2 themes, 5 subthemes, 19 categories and 7 subtcategories. The themes highlighted two major issues: informal caregiver's challenges and needs related to the management of care of elderly and caregivers' personal needs. Conclusion: The important and charming results of the present study are, difficulties of managing caregiver's own life, and coping with emotions are common in four countries. Identifying challenges and needs of informal caregivers enable healthcare professionals to develop care strategies and plan interventions focused to support and help to reduce the burden of care for elderly with chronic diseases. 

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Deactivating a Pacemaker in Home Care Hospice: Experiences of the Family Caregivers of a Terminally Ill Patient

Objectives: Although the experiences of family members who care for relatives at the end of life have been researched extensively, little is known about the needs and experiences of families caring for hospice patients with pacemakers. Aim: To better understand the experiences of family caregivers of a terminally ill patient who received hospice care at home and chose deactivation of a pacemaker. Design: The exploratory, cross-sectional design involved semistructured, in-depth interviews. A narrative analysis focusing on form and content was chosen to analyze the data. Participants: Five bereaved caregivers from the Midwestern United States who provided care and participated in the deactivation of their family member’s pacemaker. Results: Four storylines that described, gave meaning to, and contextualized the caregivers’ experiences were identified: “I am done. I am not doing it anymore”; “Whatever you decide, I’ll support you”; “It is really difficult to watch, but you want to be there”; and “I will not have part of this.” Caregivers struggled with lack of support, understanding, and acceptance from medical providers when their family member decided to have her pacemaker deactivated, and they believed that the hospice model of care was appropriate to support and help them in that process. Conclusions: This research aids in understanding the ramifications of family-provided end-of-life care to a patient whose pacemaker has been deactivated. This can help to increase hospice clinicians’ knowledge regarding caregivers’ experiences facing deactivation of a pacemaker, before and after the patient’s death. 

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“Just a Heads Up, My Father Has Alzheimer’s”: Changes in Communication and Identity of Adult Children of Parents with Alzheimer’s Disease

Alzheimer’s disease is the most common type of dementia, accounting for 60–80 percent of cases. The disease causes devastating impairment and often loss of cognitive and relational functioning for the individual and creates disorder and chaos for the family system. Even when not stepping into the formal role of caretaker, children of parents with Alzheimer’s disease experience increased vulnerability to physical and psychological illness, changes in family roles, and uncertainty about navigating a relationship with a parent they no longer know. In the present study, I sought to understand, through the lens of identity and identity-work, how adult children of parents with the disease perceived that their communication with and about the parent changed. Data from interviews with 12 adult children, none of whom were formal caregivers to their parents with the illness but all reported experiencing shifts in their identity and roles as a child of a parent with the disease, revealed four significant communication changes: communicating with a parent who was the same but different, communicating in multiple roles, correcting or reprimanding the parent, and managing parent’s private information. I discuss these findings, their implications, practical suggestions from the data, and suggested areas of future research.

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Words Matter: The Language of Family Caregiving

The authors discuss the vocabulary used to describe caregivers, They mention the role of family caregiving in geriatric care, how the use of the word "informal" to describe this caregiving is inadequate for the work that is done, and efforts to change how family caregivers are described.

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A Unifying Approach for Investigating and Understanding Youth's Help and Care for the Family

Youth provide significant contributions to their families, ranging from completing household chores to taking care of members of the family. Researchers have examined correlates, predictors, and consequences of the variation in youth's contributions to their families. One body of work has examined family assistance—youth's help with household chores. Another has looked at youth caregivers who provide significant, ongoing care to family members with health needs. This research has been disaggregated across various theoretical models, methods, and terms, making it difficult to investigate and understand the full spectrum of youth's contributions to the family. In this article, we summarize evidence about youth's help and care for the family across a fuller spectrum of behaviors and intensity, and review the challenges and strengths of myriad methods and conceptual models. We propose a unifying approach for investigating youth's contributions to the family that capitalizes on the strengths of each discipline and prioritizes interdisciplinary sharing of resources. 

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Supporting Active Aging for Persons with Severe Disabilities and Their Families Across the Life Course

Individuals with severe disabilities and their families can engage in person-centered and family-centered planning for aging using a life course view. Viewing aging within the context of the family and disability is essential because many people with severe disabilities depend on their families for supports in daily living, social relationships, and for activities within communities. Since eligibility-based supports are often limited, parents and other family members play large roles both financially and socially in helping their family member move through the life course into active and healthy aging. Charting the LifeCourse is a framework that both people with disabilities and their families can use to achieve desired life outcomes over time. Issues that impact active and healthy aging for people with disabilities include the aging of caregivers, death of a caregiver, limited resources for supporting physical and health concerns, staying active in the community following retirement, and maintaining social emotional connections.

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Stroke Survivor and Family Caregiver Reports of Caregiver Engagement in Stroke Care

Purpose: The aim of the study was to identify areas of caregiver engagement in stroke care as viewed by stroke survivors and family caregivers.; Design: Interviews with stroke survivor/caregiver dyads (N = 71) from a population-based study of incident stroke.; Methods: We interviewed stroke survivors and caregivers about caregiver involvement at multiple stages of stroke care. We assessed similarities and differences between stroke survivor and caregiver reports and analyzed responses to open-ended questions.; Findings: Stroke survivor and caregiver reports of engagement were highly correlated (r = .89), although caregivers reported higher involvement. Open-ended comments suggested that, in about 25% of cases, stroke survivors and caregivers agreed that caregiver engagement led to major improvements in stroke survivor care, most commonly during onset of symptoms.; Conclusions: Stroke survivors and caregivers report significant and impactful caregiver engagement throughout the course of stroke.; Clinical Relevance: Clinicians may enhance stroke care by recognizing and facilitating caregiver efforts across all phases of stroke care.

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Secure Messaging with Physicians by Proxies for Patients with Diabetes: Findings from the ECLIPPSE Study

Background: Little is known about patients who have caregiver proxies communicate with healthcare providers via portal secure messaging (SM). Since proxy portal use is often informal (e.g., sharing patient accounts), novel methods are needed to estimate the prevalence of proxy-authored SMs.; Objective: (1) Develop an algorithm to identify proxy-authored SMs, (2) apply this algorithm to estimate predicted proxy SM (PPSM) prevalence among patients with diabetes, and (3) explore patient characteristics associated with having PPSMs.; Design: Retrospective cohort study.; Participants: We examined 9856 patients from Diabetes Study of Northern California (DISTANCE) who sent ≥ 1 English-language SM to their primary care physician between July 1, 2006, and Dec. 31, 2015.; Main Measures: Using computational linguistics, we developed ProxyID, an algorithm that identifies phrases frequently found in registered proxy SMs. ProxyID was validated against blinded expert categorization of proxy status among an SM sample, then applied to identify PPSM prevalence across patients. We examined patients' sociodemographic and clinical characteristics according to PPSM penetrance, "none" (0%), "low" (≥ 0-50%), and "high" (≥ 50-100%).; Key Results: Only 2.3% of patients had ≥ 1 registered proxy-authored SM. ProxyID demonstrated moderate agreement with expert classification (Κ = 0.58); 45.7% of patients had PPSMs (40.2% low and 5.5% high). Patients with high percent PPSMs were older than those with low percent and no PPSMs (66.5 vs 57.4 vs 56.2 years, p < 0.001) had higher rates of limited English proficiency (16.1% vs 3.2% vs 3.5%, p < 0.05), lower self-reported health literacy (3.83 vs 4.43 vs 4.44, p < 0.001), and more comorbidities (Charlson index 3.78 vs 2.35 vs 2.18, p < 0.001).; Conclusions: Among patients with diabetes, informal proxy SM use is more common than registered use and prevalent among socially and medically vulnerable patients. Future research should explore whether proxy portal use improves patient and/or caregiver outcomes and consider policies that integrate caregivers in portal communication.

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Rare health condition 27: Mayer-Rokitansky-Küster-Hauser syndrome; and the role of informal caregivers

The purpose of this series is to highlight a range of rare health conditions. Rare health conditions are those that affect no more and usually less than 1 person in every 2000 and many HCAs and nurses will encounter some of these conditions, given the high number of them. This 27th article will explore one of these conditions—Mayer-Rokitansky-KüsterHauser syndrome—and the role and support needs of the ‘informal’ family caregiver.

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Quality of patient, family, caregiver and public engagement in decision-making in healthcare systems: a scoping review protocol

Introduction: To advance person- and family-centred healthcare, government initiatives have supported the engagement of patients and family caregivers in decision-making in healthcare systems. There is, however, no consensus on how to define success for such initiatives. This scoping review aims to identify the key elements for defining the quality of patient and family caregiver engagement in decision-making across the engagement domains (individual, community/organisation, system) of British Columbia's healthcare system. We will use those elements to develop a conceptual evaluation framework.; Methods and Analysis: This scoping review follows Arskey and O'Malley's methodology. (1) The research question was identified through team discussions. (2) Articles for data source will be identified using a librarian-informed search strategy for seven bibliographic databases as well as grey literature sources. (3) Selected articles will be relevant to the evaluation of patient and family caregiver engagement in healthcare systems. (4) Two researchers will independently extract data into predefined and emerging categories. (5) The researchers will reconcile and organise the identified elements. The research team's collective perspective will then refine the elements, and select, interpret and summarise the results. (6) Persons from key stakeholder groups will be consulted to refine the emergent conceptual framework.; Ethics and Dissemination: We will seek ethics approval for the stakeholder consultation. This study follows an integrated knowledge translation approach. The results will inform evaluation of the Patients as Partners Initiative of the British Columbia Ministry of Health, and will be disseminated as a scientific article, a research brief, and presentations at conferences and stakeholder meetings.;

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Quality of Care for Huntington's Disease in the United States: Findings from a National Survey of Patients and Caregivers

Background: Little is known about the quality of care for people living with Huntington's disease (HD) in the United States. Objective: To document the current HD care experience and identify gaps in care provision in the United States. Methods: Web-based surveys for persons self-identifying as being affected by HD (PAHD, which included individuals with, or at risk for HD) or as caregivers/family members, were developed and refined with targeted input from focus groups comprised of caregivers and family members. The surveys were disseminated via social media and patient advocacy partners from April-May 2017. Results: Total valid responses numbered 797, including 585 caregiver/family respondents and 212 PAHD responses. Respondents reported care provision from HD specialty centers, primary care, movement disorder clinics, and other settings. One in five respondents reported that the person with HD was not currently receiving medical or community care. Respondents generally reported a good level of care, with HD specialists providing the highest rated healthcare experience. Caregiver/family respondents reported helping with a range of activities including budget/finances (60.5%), housekeeping (57.1%) and daily help (53.2%). Most respondents (97.9%) reported searching online, including general information about HD (86.4%), using HD social media channels (61.3%) and looking up clinical trials (59.8%). Respondents emphasized a need for support in financial planning and accessing care, and also for more HD education in the medical community. Conclusions: There is need for more support for HD patients and families. People desire more credible, accessible information. Improving resources available to patients and families should be a goal for HD organizations, along with measurement of patient outcomes. 

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A qualitative systematic review of factors affecting caregivers' decision-making for care setting placements for individuals with dementia

Aims: To synthesize factors that facilitates or hinders the choice of a new living environment for a person with dementia by the informal caregiver.; Background: In an effort to develop evidenced-based interventions to support caregivers, it is essential to explore their experience.; Design: A qualitative systematic review using thematic synthesis. Studies published up to July 2019 were retrieved from four electronic databases. Two independent reviewers selected studies and assessed their methodological quality.; Findings: Choosing a new living environment for a person with dementia includes two main concerns for caregivers: (1) evaluating the current living environment and caregiving arrangements; and (2) evaluating potential living environments. The key factor, that is acceptability, reflects the extent to which a change of living environment is personally and socially perceived as desirable, suitable, as well as decent for all stakeholders.; Conclusions: Future interventions must consider that caregivers' decision-making process is highly social and value-laden.

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The prevalence of young carers - a standardised survey amongst school students (KiFam-study)

Background: Children and adolescents who provide care, assistance or support for a chronically ill family member are called young carers. While there is a growing body of research about their specific situation, needs and impact of caring, only very few studies provide information on prevalence rates.; Objectives: The aim was to provide prevalence data for young carers in Germany, and to describe and quantify the nature and extent of their help.; Design: A cross-sectional study.; Settings: Data collection took place between 2016 and 2017 in 44 secondary schools (fifth to 13th grade) in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany.; Participants: A total of 6313 students aged from 10 to 22 years participated in this study. They represent 0.5% of the basic population.; Methods: Based on the results of a preliminary qualitative study, a standardised electronic questionnaire was developed, which comprised four subject areas: socio-demographic information, general daily aids, health-related quality of life and chronic illness within the family. Statistical analyses included chi-square tests for nominal data and univariate analyses of variance for metrical data together with 95% confidence intervals.; Results: 19.6% (n = 1238) of all respondents state that someone in their family needs help due to a chronic illness. Nevertheless, not all of them are involved in caring activities. The prevalence of those defined as young carers in this study is 6.1% (n = 383), 64% are girls. They take on a wide range of activities. In addition to domestic work, they help their ill relatives with mobility, dressing and undressing, medication, feeding, personal hygiene and with intimate care.; Conclusions: The data provide a good insight into the situation of young carers. The prevalence rate is higher than expected. It refers to the social relevance of this topic and the need for further investigations.

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Perception of physical health by patients with severe mental illness and their family caregivers: A qualitative study

Purpose: The aim of this study is to determine the perceptions of both individuals with severe mental illness and their family caregivers regarding the physical health status of patients. Design and methods: A descriptive qualitative design was implemented, and 11 individuals with severe mental illness and 12 caregivers were analysed. Findings: Two main themes emerged as a result of the content analysis: a "physical health‐related barriers" theme and a "need for better physical health" theme. Practice implications: Patients and their family caregivers experience a number of barriers and difficulties related to maintaining and improving physical health. Psychiatric nurses should recognize these barriers and assist in empowering both patients and their family caregivers to overcome them.

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Patient and caregiver experience with delayed discharge from a hospital setting: A scoping review

Background: Delayed hospital discharge occurs when patients are medically cleared but remain hospitalized because a suitable care setting is not available. Delayed discharge typically results in reduced levels of treatment, placing patients at risk of functional decline, falls and hospital‐related adverse events. Caregivers often take on an active role in hospital to mitigate these risks. Objective: This scoping review aimed to summarize the literature on patient and caregiver experiences with delayed hospital discharge. Search strategy: Seven electronic databases and grey literature were searched using keywords including alternate level of care, delayed discharge, patients, caregivers and experiences. Inclusion criteria: Included articles met the following criteria: (a) patient or caregiver population 18 years or older; (b) delayed discharge from a hospital setting; (c) included experiences with delayed discharge; (d) peer‐reviewed or grey literature; and (e) published between 1 January 1998 and 16 July 2018. Data extraction: Data were extracted from the seven included articles using Microsoft Excel 2016 to facilitate a thorough analysis and comparison. Main results: Study themes were grouped into five elements of the delayed discharge experience: (1) overall uncertainty; (2) impact of hospital staff and physical environment; (3) mental and physical deterioration; (4) lack of engagement in decision making and need for advocacy; and (5) initial disbelief sometimes followed by reluctant acceptance. Conclusion: This review provides a foundation to guide future research, policies and practices to improve patient and caregiver experiences with delayed hospital discharge, including enhanced communication with patients and families and programmes to reduce deconditioning.

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Overcoming a Bad Day: a Qualitative Look into the Dementia Caregiving Experiences of Mexican-Origin Women in East Los Angeles

The number of Latinos with Alzheimer's disease (AD) is projected to more than double by 2030. Yet, the current literature is lagging on Alzheimer's caregiving among Latinos. This study explores how Mexican origin women experience dementia caregiving, and the coping strategies they use to manage their caregiving situations. Nine women were identified as caregivers of a family member with AD or dementia from a larger study on caregiving. Interviews with them were collected and subsequently analyzed using a modified grounded theory approach to reduce the data to identify thematic content. All but one participant described caregiving as "tiring," "wearing," or "hard." They reported suffering from stress, insomnia, nervousness, migraines, and/or depression because of their caregiving experiences. Participants engaged in various coping strategies to help combat the perceived negative consequences of their caregiving experiences. The most commonly reported strategies were various forms of distraction, and meditation or prayer. The Mexican origin women in this study experience faced two types of interpersonal challenges related to dementia caregiving: changes in the care receiver's personality and behaviors, and physical care needs. They engaged in various coping to strategies to address the difficulties of their situation. This study provides formative research for identifying research questions and topics of examination in the future. 

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A Mobile Health App (Roadmap 2.0) for Patients Undergoing Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplant: Qualitative Study on Family Caregivers' Perspectives and Design Considerations

Background: Hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HCT), also referred to as blood and marrow transplantation (BMT), is a high-risk, but potentially curative therapy for a number of cancer and noncancer conditions. BMT Roadmap (Roadmap 1.0) is a mobile health app that was developed as a family caregiver-facing tool to provide informational needs about the health status of patients undergoing inpatient HCT.; Objective: This study explored the views and perceptions of family caregivers of patients undergoing HCT and their input regarding further technology development and expansion of BMT Roadmap into the outpatient setting (referred to as Roadmap 2.0).; Methods: Semistructured qualitative interviews were conducted among 24 family caregivers. Questions were developed from existing literature coupled with prior in-depth observations and interviews in hospital-based settings to explore the study objectives. Participants were recruited during routine outpatient clinic appointments of HCT patients, and all interviews were conducted in the participants' homes, the setting in which Roadmap 2.0 is intended for use. A thematic analysis was performed using a consistent set of codes derived from our prior research. New emerging codes were also included, and the coding structure was refined with iterative cycles of coding and data collection.; Results: Four major themes emerged through our qualitative analysis: (1) stress related to balancing caregiving duties; (2) learning and adapting to new routines (resilience); (3) balancing one's own needs with the patient's needs (insight); and (4) benefits of caregiving. When caregivers were further probed about their views on engagement with positive activity interventions (ie, pleasant activities that promote positive emotions and well-being such as expressing gratitude or engaging in activities that promote positive thoughts, emotions, and behaviors), they preferred a "menu" of positive activities to help support caregiver health and well-being.; Conclusions: This study involved family caregivers as participants in the development of new components for Roadmap 2.0. Our research provided a further understanding of the many priorities that hematopoietic stem cell transplant family caregivers face while maintaining balance in their lives. Their schedules can often be unpredictable, even more so once the patient is discharged from the hospital. Our findings suggest that expanding Roadmap 2.0 into the outpatient setting may provide critical caregiver support and that HCT caregivers are interested in and willing to engage in positive activities that may enhance well-being and attenuate the stress associated with caregiving.; International Registered Report Identifier (irrid): RR2-10.2196/resprot.4918

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A Linguistic Model of Communication Types in Palliative Medicine: Effects of Multidrug-Resistant Organisms Colonization or Infection and Isolation Measures in End of Life on Family Caregivers' Knowledge, Attitude, and Practices

Background: This study examines communication profiles and associated attitudes toward health care professionals in interviews with family caregivers of hospitalized patients with confirmed multidrug-resistant organisms (e.g., methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus or multiresistant gram-negative bacteria) diagnosis at the end of life. Objectives: This study aims to replicate and complement findings from a previous investigation using a different methodological framework. The benefits of linguistic research in medical contexts are highlighted. Design: Fifty interviews with family caregivers were analyzed linguistically. The considered parameters include lexical choices such as evaluative wording, metaphors, and specialized terminology, as well as higher level categories—turn-taking, sentence-length, and personal deixis. These characteristics serve to assess attitudes toward medical staff, hygiene measures, knowledge, and its transfer and general emotional states. Conclusions: Linguistic expertise adds benefits to the classical analysis of language data as used in social sciences. Family caregivers' linguistic and attitudinal profiles vary depending on whether their involvement in the overall situation is active or passive, and whether their relationship toward staff and hospital is cooperative or confrontative. Depending on the four possible combinations of those characteristics, different recommendations for communication strategies on the staff's side can be given. In all cases, clear and patient/family centeredness are considered beneficial.

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Informal caregivers' experiences of caring for persons with dementia in Estonia: A narrative study

This paper presents the results of a qualitative study aimed at exploring the experiences and needs of informal caregivers of persons with dementia and identifying caregiver expectations for support. The research was based on phenomenological and social constructionist approaches; it also took experience-centred and culturally oriented approaches to narratives. It was conducted in Estonia in 2017 by means of unstructured in-depth interviews with 16 informal caregivers who had relatives with dementia. The narrative approach used in this study proved to be an appropriate and valuable method to understand the situations of the caregivers of the people with dementia, in identifying their needs and expectations, and in developing social understanding for caregivers. The results are divided under four thematic headings: awareness of dementia; process of caregiving and different caregiving roles; influence of caregiving on personal life; and expectations of empowerment. We found that it is necessary to raise public awareness of dementia and develop person-centred support services for the people living with dementia.

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I becomes we, but where is me? The unity-division paradox when caring for a relative with dementia: A qualitative study

Background: The number of older people living with dementia is increasing. Admiral Nurses work with these individuals and their families in the UK to manage challenges associated with the condition, providing guidance, advice and reassurance, alongside practical solutions.; Aim: To explore the input of Admiral Nurses as part of people's journey to becoming and being a carer for someone with dementia.; Design: A qualitative study was conducted to describe and understand how Admiral Nurses are experienced and encountered by carers as part of their narrative around supporting a relative with dementia.; Methods: Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 19 carers between November 2017-April 2018. They lasted between 45 and 90 min. Thematic analysis was used to interpret data.; Findings: An overarching concept of "the unity-division paradox" was derived from the data. This highlights the complex interchange between the carer with (a) the person with dementia, (b) other individuals and (c) external services. Such interactions can make carers feel part of a larger network (unity) but also as if they are on their own, fighting on behalf of the person with dementia (division). This concept was underpinned by the following themes: (a) I becomes we; (b) My private world is encroached by dementia; (c) I'm left navigating an unwieldy system; (d) Are you with or against us?; and (e) Recreating boundaries to rediscover me.; Conclusion: The identity and unique characteristics and interests of those caring for a person with dementia may be lost as they encounter tensions associated with the unity-division paradox. Admiral Nurses can help carers feel less alone in managing internal and external struggles by supporting them to do their best for a loved one with dementia.; Implications For Practice: Understanding carers' experience and supporting their work may help to increase and sustain their capacity to provide care.

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'The Future is Probably Now': Understanding of illness, uncertainty and end‐of‐life discussions in older adults with heart failure and family caregivers

Background: Earlier end‐of‐life communication is critical for people with heart failure given the uncertainty and high‐risk of mortality in illness. Despite this, end‐of‐life communication is uncommon in heart failure. Left unaddressed, lack of end‐of‐life discussions can lead to discordant care at the end of life. Objective: This study explores patients' and caregivers' understanding of illness, experiences of uncertainty, and perceptions of end‐of‐life discussions in advanced illness. Design: Interpretive descriptive qualitative study of older adults with heart failure and family caregivers. Fourteen semi‐structured interviews were conducted with 19 participants in Ontario, Canada. Interviews were transcribed verbatim and content analysis was used to analyse the data. Main results: Understanding of illness was shaped by participants' illness‐related experiences (e.g. symptoms, hospitalizations and self‐care routines) and the ability to adapt to challenges of illness. Participants were knowledgeable of heart failure management, and yet, were limited in their understanding of the consequences of illness. Participants adapted to the challenges of illness which appeared to influence their perception of overall health. Uncertainty reflected participants' inability to connect manifestations of heart failure as part of the progression of illness towards the end of life. Most participants had not engaged in prior end‐of‐life discussions. Conclusion: Detailed knowledge of heart failure management does not necessarily translate to an understanding of the consequences of illness. The ability to adapt to illness‐related challenges may delay older adults and family caregivers from engaging in end‐of‐life discussions. Future research is needed to examine the impact of addressing the consequences of illness in facilitating earlier end‐of‐life communication.

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Family experience in providing support and the achieving of post-stroke late adulthood development

Objectives: Supporting the achievement of post-stroke late adulthood development is a unique experience that impacts heavily on families. The purpose of this study was to provide an overview of family experience in providing support post-stroke to a family member and enabling them to achieve late adulthood development and then to interpret this.; Method: The research used a qualitative design with a descriptive phenomenology approach. The participants were 14 caregivers of the elderly.; Results: The results (1) the impact of the bio-psycho-socio-spiritual on the elderly post-stroke survivor, (2) how the family fulfills the needs of the post-stroke elderly person, (3) the impact of the post-stroke period on the elderly by family members, (4) the achievement of post-stroke late adulthood development by family members, and (5) the meaning of providing care for the post-stroke elderly survivor.; Conclusions: This research identified 5 themes and recommendations are that psychoeducation for the carers of stroke survivors should be improved.

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Family carers' perspectives of managing activities of daily living and use of mHealth applications in dementia care: A qualitative study

Aim: To examine the needs, barriers and challenges experienced by family carers of people with dementia concerning the management of their care recipients' functional disabilities, and their experiences and opinions of using mobile health (mHealth) applications in health information seeking.; Background: Functional disability is a significant problem among people with dementia and management can be challenging for family carers. Evidence suggests that mHealth applications can support knowledge needs of patients and families.; Design: A qualitative descriptive exploratory study.; Methodology: In-depth interviews were conducted with a purposive sample of family carers using a semi-structured interview guide. An inductive thematic analysis method was used. The COREQ reporting guideline was followed.; Results: Five spousal and five child carers participated in this study. Four key themes were identified: (a) Challenges faced that contribute to psychological distress and burden; (b) Essential role of support systems in dementia care; (c) Information and educational needs of family carers, and (d) Experiences and attitudes of mHealth applications as an educational and supportive resource.; Conclusion: Providing functional care is demanding, challenging and stressful, and leads to carer burden. The complexity of dementia is a barrier in the organisation of functional care and access to a support network is vital to care provision. The information needs of family carers can potentially be addressed through an mHealth application.; Relevance To Clinical Practice: This study provides important information on family carers' needs, and the barriers and challenges related to functional care for people with dementia. Findings from this study can assist nurses and other health professionals in the planning of educational and supportive programs for family carers. Furthermore, the use of mHealth applications could positively contribute to the delivery of these programs.

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Family Caregiving and Cancer Pain Management

Family caregivers are centrally involved in cancer pain management, especially for patients with advanced disease. This issue is becoming ever more important as care shifts to the outpatient setting and home care and as the aging population creates more patients who have multiple illnesses and family caregivers who often live with serious illnesses. This narrative review evaluated current knowledge and literature regarding family caregivers' involvement in cancer pain management and identified areas for future research and clinical practice. There is a need for additional research in this area and for clinical models of support for family caregivers as they provide pain management for patients with cancer.

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Experiencing the care of a family member with Crohn's disease: a qualitative study

Objectives: To explore the experiences of caregivers living with relatives affected by Crohn's disease (CD) in a context in which the family provides social support.; Design: A qualitative study based on a phenomenological approach was conducted through in-depth interviews.; Setting: Participants living in Alicante (Spain) were recruited Participants: Eleven family caregivers of people with CD were interviewed.; Methods: The in-depth interviews took place in the participants' homes and were audio recorded and then transcribed for a qualitative thematic analysis.; Results: Five themes and accompanying subthemes were identified: (1) adaptation to the caring experience, (2) dichotomy 'with or without me', (3) unending burden, (4) need for knowledge and control of the disease, and (5) getting used to CD and normalising life.; Conclusion: The findings contribute to an increase in the knowledge and comprehension of the experience of being the caregiver of a relative with CD, which could be useful for professionals towards improving the quality of the CD caring process. Due to the temporal dimension of CD with frequent bouts of exacerbation and remission, family caregivers must adapt and acquire skills during chronic illness evolution. Moreover, the lack of family caregivers' inclusion and follow-up within the Spanish health system makes them feel invisible and useless, which may contribute to caregivers' burdens.

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Experiences of informal caregivers after cardiac surgery: a systematic integrated review of qualitative and quantitative studies

Objectives: To provide a comprehensive synthesis of informal caregivers' experiences of caring for a significant other following discharge from cardiac surgery.; Design: Systematic integrated review without meta-analysis.; Data Sources: A bibliographic search for publications indexed in six databases (Cochrane Library, CINAHL, MEDLINE, EMBASE, AMED and PsycINFO), including a scan of grey literature sources (GreyNet International, Google Scholar, Web of Science, WorldCat and the Clinical Trials Registry) was conducted in October 2018.; Eligibility Criteria For Selecting Studies: Studies were included if they described views and perspectives of informal caregivers of cardiac surgery patients (non-intervention studies (qualitative and quantitative)), and the effectiveness of interventions to evaluate support programme for informal caregivers of cardiac surgery patients (intervention studies).; Results: Of the 4912 articles identified in searches, 42 primary research studies were included in a narrative synthesis with 5292 participants, including 3231 (62%) caregivers of whom 2557 (79%) were women. The median sample size across studies was 96 (range 6-734). Three major themes emerged from the qualitative study data: (1) caregiver information needs; (2) caregiver work challenges and (3) caregivers adaption to recovery. Across the observational studies (n=22), similar themes were found. The trend across seven intervention studies focused on caregiver information needs related to patient disease management and symptom monitoring, and support for caregivers to reduce symptoms of emotional distress.; Conclusion: Informal caregivers want to assist in the care of their significant others after hospital discharge postcardiac surgery. However, caregivers feel insecure and overwhelmed and they lack clear/concise discharge information and follow-up support during the early at-home recovery period. The burden of caregiving has been recognised and reported since the early 1990s, but there remains a limited number of studies that assesses the effectiveness of caregiver interventions.; Prospero Registration Number: CRD42018096590.

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The experiences of family members witnessing the diminishing drinking of a dying relative: An adapted meta-narrative literature review

Background: Addressing the concerns of family members is an important aspect of palliative and end-of-life care. One aspect that commonly causes family caregivers concern is the decline of patients' oral fluid intake in the last few days of life. Aim: To map the narratives in which family members' experiences of witnessing the diminishing drinking of a dying relative have been researched, review the findings within each narrative and consider directions for future research. Design: An adapted meta-narrative review approach. Data Sources: The Cumulative Index of Nursing and Applied Health Literature, Medline, PsycINFO, Psycharticles and Scopus databases were searched for relevant research published between January 1982 and December 2017. Quality was assessed using the Quality Assessment and Review Instrument. Results: A total of 22 papers met the inclusion criteria. No study focused specifically on the experiences of family members when witnessing the diminishing drinking of dying relatives. However, research about diminishing drinking was identified within studies broadly focusing on cancer cachexia, clinical decision-making about hydration and/or nutrition and support in a hospice context. The research indicates that family members' experiences of diminishing drinking vary with their views about the significance of drinking, dying well and their expectations of themselves and healthcare professionals. Conclusion: While some understanding of the topic can be inferred from research in related areas, there is a paucity of information specifically about family members' experiences when witnessing the diminishing drinking of a dying relative.

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The experience of patients and family caregivers in managing pneumoconiosis in the family context: A study protocol

Aim: This study aims to explore the illness experience and needs of patients with pneumoconiosis and the caregiving experience of their respective family caregivers. Design: This is an exploratory qualitative study. Methods: Participants will be recruited during the annual patient interview with purposive sampling. Those with a confirmed diagnosis of pneumoconiosis for at least 1 year will be eligible. Patients with different levels of physical dependency will be recruited. The respective family caregivers of these patients, who are ≥21 years of age, assuming the role as primary caregivers of a pneumoconiosis patient will also be invited to join. In‐depth interviews will be conducted in patients' home separately for patients and their caregivers and a home environment assessment will also be undertaken. The interview data will be transcribed verbatim, managed with the software NVivo 11 and analysed with content analysis. The ethical approval has obtained, and this study is supported by a research grant from the Pneumoconiosis Compensation Fund Board of Hong Kong on 14 August 2018. Discussion: This study will advance the knowledge on how pneumoconiosis patients and their family caregivers manage the disease in the family context. The findings of this study can inform the development of a family‐oriented care model to support the pneumoconiosis patients and their family caregivers to manage this condition better. Impact Statement: Pneumoconiosis is the most common type of occupational lung disease in the Chinese population. These patients require long‐term comprehensive services and support to assist their disease self‐management. However, little is known about how these patients and their family caregivers manage the disease in the family context. The current study addresses this gap by exploring patients' illness experience and their family members' caregiving experience, which is timely to inform the design of family‐oriented model of care to support this clinical cohort. Clinical Trial Registration: This study has been registered at ClinicalTrials.gov (NCT04022902). 

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Differences within Differences: Gender Inequalities in Caregiving Intensity Vary by Race and Ethnicity in Informal Caregivers

Among the 50+ million informal caregivers in the US, substantial gender, racial/ethnic, and socioeconomic disparities in caregiving intensity are well-documented. However, those disparities may be more nuanced: gender disparities in caregiving intensity may vary by race/ethnicity (White, Black, and Hispanic) and socioeconomic status (SES). We used data from the 2011 National Study of Caregiving and applied generalized linear models to estimate associations between three measures of caregiver intensity (ADLs, IADLs, and hours caregiving/month) and the three sociodemographic factors with their interaction terms. Black female caregivers provided significantly higher levels of care than White females and males for both IADL caregiving and hours/month spent caregiving. Black caregivers spent an average of 28.5 more hours/month (95%CI 1.7-45.2) caregiving than White caregivers. These findings highlight the need to understand the complex disparities within population subgroups and how intersections between gender, race/ethnicity, and SES can be used to develop effective policies to reduce disparities and improve caregiver quality-of-life. 

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Correlation between Supportive Care Needs of Women with Breast Cancer and Quality of Life of their Family Caregivers

Background: Breast Cancer is highly prevalent among women. The supportive care needs of such patients not only affect their quality of life (QoL) but also that of their family caregivers. The present study aimed to assess the correlation between the supportive care needs of women with breast cancer and the QoL of their family caregivers.; Methods: The present cross-sectional study was conducted from September 2017 to June 2018. The target populations were breast cancer patients (N=150) and their primary family caregivers (N=150) who attended the Omid Chemotherapy and Radiotherapy Center affiliated with Hormozgan University of Medical Sciences, Bandar Abbas, Iran. Data collection tools included a demographic information form, the Supportive Care Needs Survey-Short Form 34, and the Caregiver Quality of Life Index-Cancer Scale. The data were analyzed using SPSS software (version 22.0) with descriptive statistics and Pearson's correlation coefficient. P<0.05 was considered statistically significant.; Results: The mean age of the patients was 45.76±10.44 years. Of the family caregivers, 99 (66%) were the patients' spouses. Of the different dimensions of the supportive care needs, the score for the physical needs (40.60±23.50) was the highest. In terms of the QoL of the family caregivers, mental and emotional burden scored the highest (20.19±7.38). There was a significant correlation between the caregivers' mental and emotional burden and the physical needs of the patients (r=0.19, P=0.02).; Conclusion: The result of the present study showed that physical needs were the most common supportive care needs of patients with breast cancer. Such needs also significantly undermined the QoL of the caregivers in terms of emotional burden and financial concerns.

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Context, mechanisms and outcomes in end-of-life care for people with advanced dementia: family carers perspective

Background: Keeping people living with advanced dementia in their usual place of residence is becoming a key governmental goal but to achieve this, family carers and health care professionals must negotiate how to provide optimal care. Previously, we reported a realist analysis of the health care professional perspective. Here, we report on family carer perspectives. We aimed to understand the similarities and differences between the two perspectives, gain insights into how the interdependent roles of family carers and HCPs can be optimised, and make recommendations for policy and practice. Method: Qualitative study using a realist approach in which we used the criteria from guidance on optimal palliative care in advanced dementia to examine key contexts, mechanisms and outcomes highlighted by family carers. Results: The themes and views of family caregivers resonate with those of health care professionals. Their overlapping anxieties related to business-driven care homes, uncertainty of families when making EOL decisions and the importance of symptom management referring to contexts, mechanisms and outcomes, respectively. Contexts specific to family carers were ad hoc information about services, dementia progression and access to funding. Not all family carers identified dementia as terminal, but many recognised the importance of continuity of care and knowing the wishes of the person with dementia. New mechanisms included specific resources for improving EOL care and barriers to discussing and planning for future care. Family carers identified the importance of comfort, being present, the meeting of basic care needs and feeling the right decisions have been made as good outcomes of care. Conclusions: Family carers and health care professionals share similar concerns about the challenges to good EOL dementia care. Better understanding of the effects of dementia at the advanced stages would improve confidence in EOL care and reduce uncertainty in decision making for family carers and health care professionals.

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Constructing Normalcy in Dementia Care: Carers' Perceptions of Their Roles and the Supports They Need

Background and Objectives: People with dementia are critically dependent on their carers when accessing and utilizing health care. To inform health care development and delivery, we aimed to explore carers' perceptions of their role in caring for a family member with dementia and to identify carers' skills and attributes and factors impacting on care.; Research Design and Methods: We used semistructured interviews to collect data from 25 carers supporting older adults with dementia. Data were thematically analyzed and the paradigm model was used to guide theory development.; Results: "Constructing normalcy" was central to all carers did, impacted by stage of life and relationship status and driven by a holistic focus on their care-recipient's quality of life. Goals guiding care were: keeping the peace; facilitating participation, happiness and independence; and ensuring safety. Enablers included: social contact; knowledge; and quality social services. Barriers included health and legal issues; symptoms of dementia; and reduced knowledge. These goals kept the peace and reduced stress for the cared-for person, but often at the cost of unrelenting responsibility and loss of carers' original roles. Discussion and Implications: As carers are so critical to the access and uptake of health care of those with dementia, health professionals and services need to support carers in their quest to construct normalcy. Our findings provide guidance to assist in ensuring appropriate support and understanding of carers work in order to optimize dementia health care delivery.

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Caring for People With Young Onset Dementia: An Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis of Family Caregivers' Experiences

People with young onset dementia (YOD) experience many unique challenges. Similarly, family caregivers experience changing personal, familial, and societal roles. However, YOD is under recognized and under resourced with a lack of dedicated models of care. The current study explored family members' experience of caregiving for persons with YOD to identify barriers and opportunities to accessing support. Qualitative interviews were conducted with six family caregivers, using interpretative phenomenological analysis. Findings show that caregivers experience significant uncertainty within their role, difficulty accessing timely diagnosis, and face unclear care pathways and age-related restrictions to accessing support. These findings also reflect elements of ambiguous loss and anticipatory grief: caregivers experienced sudden changes to relationships and family structure, along with the anticipation of a changed future. Optimum models of care should target timely diagnosis and clear post-diagnosis pathways and services that are flexible, relevant, and accessible. Services should offer psychosocial support for family members as they adjust to their new role as caregivers.

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Caring for migrant older Moroccans with dementia in Belgium as a complex and dynamic transnational network of informal and professional care: A qualitative study

Background: Due to its labour migration history, Belgium is confronted with an increasingly older population of people of Moroccan background who have been diagnosed with dementia. These migrants came to the country during the labour migration wave of the nineteen-sixties and seventies to work in mines and other industries and they are now ageing. Yet little is known about how dementia care is provided to this older population.; Objectives: This study explores how dementia care is provided to these Moroccan older people with dementia, and what challenges do caregivers face in providing care.; Methods: A qualitative study including 31 informal caregivers of older Moroccan migrants with dementia and professional caregivers in the field of dementia care in several Belgian cities was conducted. After an initial focus group including 6 informal and professional caregivers, individual in-depth interviews were held with 12 informal caregivers of Moroccan decent and 13 professional caregivers. In order to be included in the study, informal caregivers had to have a recent experience in caring for an older family member with dementia. The professional caregivers had to be active in the field of dementia care (General Practitioners, nurses, psychologists,…) and have experience with older migrants with dementia.; Results: Analyses of the collected data reveal that current dementia care is a challenging, complex and dynamic search process. This process is shaped by (1) multiple factors reflecting the changing care needs of the care recipient during the course of the dementia, (2) the individual (transnational) recourses of the informal caregivers and the (3) current (lack of) accessibility of professional dementia care (driven by the absence of an accessible migration-, culture- and religion-sensitive professional care). The limited professional service-use is predominantly compensated through the search for transnational external helpers. The limited migration, cultural and religious sensitivity of current dementia care is often overlooked by professional caregivers.; Conclusion: The study provides a better understanding of the complex reality of dementia care for older migrants in which these different aspects intersect. This understanding enable health professionals and policy makers to develop a better suited care for older migrants with dementia.

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Caregiving tasks and unmet supportive care needs of family caregivers: A U.S. population-based study

Objective: To describe the type of care provided by a nationally-representative sample of informal caregivers, the frequency of unmet supportive care needs, and examine characteristics associated with unmet needs.; Methods: Using data from the Health Information National Trends Survey, we identified caregivers of an adult care recipient. Descriptive statistics examined support provided by caregivers for activities of daily living (ADLs) and instrumental activities of daily living (IADLs) and caregiver perceptions of their needs in five areas: medical/nursing tasks, accessing services, respite care, support groups, and counseling for caregivers. Bivariate statistics examined sociodemographic and caregiver characteristics associated with each need.; Results: Among 316 caregivers, 30.9% reported at least one unmet supportive care need. Caregivers most often provided support for 0-2 ADLs and 5-7 IADLs. Younger age and longer duration of time caregiving were associated with unmet supportive care needs for medical/nursing training (p = 0.02 and 0.04, respectively). Caregivers providing assistance with more ADLs reported needs for respite care support (p=0.03).; Conclusion: Subgroups of caregivers that may be most vulnerable with greater unmet supportive care needs are those that are younger, have provided care for longer, and those assisting with more ADLs. Future research should explore these factors to inform intervention development.

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Advance care planning for people with dementia: Ordinary everyday conversations

Advance care planning for people with dementia has become a focus of dementia care policies in developed countries. In New Zealand, the framework for dementia care relies on the person with dementia having a level of competence to enable them to participate in the planning process. For people with dementia, it may be too late to initiate these discussions in terms of decision-making capacity. Consequently, decisions about end-of-life care for people with dementia are typically made by a family member who acts as a surrogate decision maker on behalf of the person with dementia. An exploratory qualitative study of 23 people who had been carers or provided support for a family member with dementia who had died within five years of the interview was undertaken. The overarching theme, 'ordinary everyday conversations', describes how informal conversations and discussions within the family relating to preferences at the end of life had been embedded in interactions within the families over years. Sub-themes revealed three important components enabling adherence to the prior wishes of the person with dementia through these conversations: knowing the person and belief in 'doing the right thing'; the importance of Wills and Enduring Power of Attorney; and negotiating unexpected encounters. There is potential for families to be well prepared for the time when they may need to make decisions for the person with dementia based on ordinary everyday conversation that take place within families and throughout life. This study also suggests that more innovative approaches to making a Will may provide an important vehicle for expressing advanced care wishes.

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59 Male Family Carers' Perceptions of Formal Support Services, a Meta-ethnography

Background Family carers provide thousands of hours of unpaid work every year, a third of whom are men, however this group are generally under-represented in research. Comparative studies have shown that male carers experience their caring role differently to female counterparts. Social concepts related to masculinity can help to explain help-seeking behaviours of male carers, as well as their attitudes to accessing outside support. Compared to women carers, men have lower rates of uptake of formal support services. This aim of this review, therefore, was to examine accounts of male carers' experiences and perceptions of receiving formal support. Methods The study followed a meta-ethnography process starting with a systematic literature search of five electronic databases. The methodological quality of the included studies was evaluated using the McMaster checklist. Using NVivo 12 software, primary qualitative data was analysed and key themes were identified. Results were synthesised using Noblit and Hare's (1988) process of meta-ethnography, retaining direct quotes from the studies. Results Eighteen studies were included in the final paper. Three main themes were identified: 1) asserting control over the caring role 2) desire to excel in caring role and 3) coping without formal support. Conclusion For the most part, male carers expressed a desire to be competent in their caring role. Perceived loss of control within the caring relationship was a key factor when men had low trust and dissatisfaction with services. Support services that were collaborative, education-based and gender-sensitive were favoured by the men. To engage more male carers, service providers should acknowledge men's experience and capabilities as well as their wish to stay involved in decision-making around care for their family member. For men over the age of 85 male family carers outnumber females in Ireland (CSO 2016). It is important to understand male carers' experience to develop more inclusive supports and consequently increase service uptake

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Silent voices: Family caregivers' narratives of involvement in palliative care

Aim To explore how family caregivers experience involvement in palliative care. Design A qualitative design with a narrative approach was used. Methods Purposive sampling and narrative interviews were conducted. Eleven bereaved family caregivers for patients with cancer receiving palliative care were interviewed in Mid‐Norway between November 2016–May 2017. Results We identified four themes related to family caregivers' experiences of involvement in the early, middle, terminal and bereavement phases of palliative care: (a) limited involvement in the early phase; (b) emphasis on patient‐centred care in the middle phase; (c) lack of preparation for the dying phase; and (d) lack of systematic follow‐up after death. Family caregivers experienced low level of involvement throughout the palliative pathway. Conclusion The involvement of family caregivers in palliative care may not be proportional to their responsibilities. The needs of family caregivers should be addressed in nursing education to give nurses competence to support family caregivers in providing home‐based care.

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Struggling for a dignifying care: experiences of being next of kin to patients in home health care

Background Home healthcare services are becoming more complex as a result of changing demographics in society and patients having multiple health problems requiring advanced nursing care. Next of kin often experience that they put their own life on hold, and may feel that they stand alone when life takes an unexpected turn. Aim The aim of this study was to explore next of kin's views of dignity in home healthcare services. Methods This study has a qualitative approach and content analysis was applied. The purposeful sample consisted of next of kin to patients who received services from home healthcare or in nursing homes (n = 11). One focus group was conducted in 2016. Results Five themes emerged from the data analysis concerning struggling for a dignifying care in home healthcare services: Indignity implies double vulnerability, desire for respect and recognition, experiencing responsibility for a dignifying life, undignifying care due to lack of competence, and the home as a common sanctuary is gradually lost. Conclusions This study highlights the importance of ensuring dignity in care for patients living at home. Next of kin should be seen as a partner with the need for recognition and support. Maintaining human dignity for loved ones requires competence, respect and recognition.

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A Review of the Complex Role of Family Caregivers as Health Team Members and Second-Order Patients

In Palliative Care, the unit of care is the patient and their family. Although members of the health care team often address the family caregiver's opinions and concerns, the focus of care remains on the needs of the patient. The readiness and willingness of the family caregiver is often overlooked as they are expected to assume a complex caregiving role. When family caregivers are not intellectually or emotionally prepared or physically capable, the caregiver is at high risk for serious health issues and cognitive, emotional, and physical decline particularly as caregiving extends over time. Family caregivers are often a neglected and at-risk population. Illustrated through the use of a case study, this article addresses the complex role of family caregivers, as both health team members and second-order patients. It emphasizes the importance of family assessment and interventions to balance the burdens and benefits of family caregiving and protect caregivers' health and well-being.

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Non-spouse companions accompanying older adults to medical visits: a qualitative analysis

Background Medical Visit Companions (MVCs) are encouraged for older adults' routine medical encounters. Little data exist on the experiences and contributions of non-spouse companions for the growing population of older adults without a living spouse. Methods We conducted six focus groups with forty non-spouse MVCs identified through churches in Baltimore, Maryland. Thematic analysis was used to identify key issues before the visit, during the visit itself, after the visit, and in the overall companion experience. Results MVCs described their experiences positively but also highlighted many challenges related to the role that extended far beyond the visit itself. These included scheduling, transportation, communication, and coordination of care expectations. Conclusion Our increasingly complex healthcare system can be challenging for older adults to navigate successfully. The diverse nature of tasks performed by companions in this study highlight the many benefits of having a companion accompany older patients to medical visits. The positive experience of the companions studied and their willingness to continue their role in the future highlights the untapped potential for increased social facilitation to improve the quality of healthcare visits and achieve patient-centered care for all older patients.

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Family carers' experiences of nutritional care for people living with dementia at home: An interpretative phenomenological analysis

Objectives Few studies have captured the experiences of family carers who manage the nutritional needs of family members living with dementia at home. The identification and management of symptoms that may affect nutritional status is often reliant upon the family carer. This interpretative phenomenological study aimed to explore the experiences and perceptions of the nutritional care of people living with dementia at home from the perspectives of the family members who support them. Method Semi-structured interviews were conducted between October 2017 and February 2018. Participants were also asked to keep a diary of experiences for two weeks before the interview. An Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis approach was used throughout. Findings: Eight participants, with a mean age of 69.6 years residing in South West England were recruited and represented a range of familial roles. Following analysis, three superordinate themes were identified: 'becoming carer and cook', 'changing role and relationships' and 'emotional eating'. Conclusion Family carers make food and drink decisions daily, and feel a duty to take on the responsibility for food shopping and cooking. They are conscious about 'doing the right thing' when it comes to providing nutritional care, and some feel uncertain about the food choices they are making, particularly regarding a reliance on convenience foods. Changes in appetite, food preferences and mealtime habits related to dementia can lead to disruption affecting the dyad. It is important that family carers and people living at home with dementia are provided with adequate support regarding identifying nutritional risks, making appropriate food and drink choices and preventing the risk of malnutrition in the dyad.

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Contextual factors influencing medication management by rural informal caregivers of older adults

Background: Managing medications is an important part of the rural informal caregiver's role in the community setting, and the context within which care is provided plays an important role in shaping the work they perform. However, little is known about the intra- and interpersonal factors that impact the rural caregiver's involvement in and performance of medication management. Objectives: To identify contextual factors influencing medication management by rural informal caregivers of older adults. Methods: Four separate focus groups with rural caregivers of older adults were conducted with 5-9 caregivers per group. Participants were asked to describe the medication management activities performed and problems they encountered while providing assistance. Focus groups were recorded, transcribed verbatim, and analyzed for themes using an inductive approach. Results: Care recipient independence, or their ability and preference to perform medication-related activities without supervision, was a key factor driving the caregiver's involvement in medication management and how it was performed. Many caregivers used a team-based approach to medication management that supported the care recipient's independence. Care recipient health and function was a driver behind the need for caregiving, and declines in physical and mental health led to changes in how medication management was carried out over time. Caregiver location also impacted the ways in which medication management was performed by caregivers. Conclusions: Interventions and pharmacy services to support medication management by rural informal caregivers should be designed in a way that preserves and promotes the care recipient's independence, and should be tailored to the context within which caregiving is performed.

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Addressing cancer patient and caregiver role transitions during home hospice nursing care

Objective Many family caregivers and hospice patients experience role changes resulting from advancing illness and the need for increased caregiver responsibility. Successful navigation of conflicts that arise because of these role transitions has been linked to higher quality of patient care and improved caregiver bereavement adjustment. Nursing communication with patients and their caregivers plays an important role in facilitating these transitions. Our objective is to describe patient-caregiver-nurse communication during transitions at end of life. Method A secondary, qualitative analysis was conducted on transcripts. Using an iterative process of constant comparison, coders inductively categorized nurse, caregiver, and patient communication behavior into overarching themes. Participants were home hospice nurses and cancer patient/spouse caregiver dyads; participants were >45 years of age, English speaking, and cognitively able to participate. Research took place in the home during nurse visits. Result Nineteen unique home hospice visits were analyzed. Patient-caregiver conflict occurred in two major content themes (1) negotiating transitions in patient independence and (2) navigating caregiver/patient emotions (e.g., frustration, sadness). Nurse responses to transition conflict included problem-solving, mediating, or facilitating discussions about conflicts. Nurse responses to emotional conflict included validation and reassurance. Significance of results Our findings provide insight into the topics and processes involved in patient and caregiver transitions in home hospice and the role hospice nursing communication plays in mediating potential conflict. Nurses are often asked to take on the role of mediator, often with little conflict resolution communication education; results can be used for nursing education.

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Hassles with medication management perceived by caregivers of adults who have intellectual or developmental disabilities

Background Medication management is undertaken by caregivers of people who have intellectual or developmental disabilities. Objective The objectives were to measure the medication management hassles reported by caregivers of adults who have intellectual or developmental disabilities and to describe associations between characteristics of caregivers, medication regimens, and the person with intellectual or developmental disability and the scale score. Setting Web-based survey conducted in the United States. Method A newsletter announcement with a link to the survey was sent to members of a disability advocacy organization. Caregivers were age 18 years and older who manage medications for adults with intellectual or developmental disabilities. The survey questions were used to obtain characteristics of the caregiver, the medication regimen they managed, and the care-recipient. The study was approved by the Institutional Review Board of Michigan Medicine (HUM00091002). Main outcome measure The Family Caregiver Medication Administration Hassles Scale (caregiver scale). Results Forty-two caregivers responded, with 41 being female with a mean age of 56.7 years. The mean caregiver scale score was 28.9 (possible range 0-120). Highest scores (greatest hassles) were significantly associated with a greater level of support required by the care-recipient, stronger caregiver beliefs of the necessity of medication and concern about using medications, lack of previous caregiver health-care training, and being an employed caregiver rather than family member. Conclusion Medication management can contribute to caregiver stress. Pharmacists should ensure that caregivers are counseled about medication that they manage, be accessible for questions, and examine medication regimens to reduce polypharmacy and complexity of regimens.

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Family Caregiver Factors Associated With Emergency Department Utilization Among Community-Living Older Adults With Disabilities

Background: Older adults with disability are frequent users of the emergency department (ED) and often rely on family caregiver support. We identify whether and which caregiver characteristics are associated with older adults' ED use. Methods: We use Cox proportional hazards regression to model the likelihood of all-cause ED use (defined as 1 or more visits within 12 months of survey) as a function of caregiver characteristics after adjusting for older adult sociodemographic and health characteristics. We draw from linked older adult and caregiver surveys and administrative claims, creating a sample of 2521 community-living older adults with mobility/self-care disability receiving care from a family or unpaid caregiver. Results: About half (52.5%) of older adults receiving mobility or self-care help incurred 1 or more ED visits within 12 months of interview. Adjusting for year of data collection, sociodemographic characteristics, and health status, these older adults were at greater risk of all-cause ED use if their primary caregiver provided greater than 40 hours of care per week (hazard ratio [HR] 1.22, 95% CI 1.04-1.43; P = .02), helped with health care tasks (HR 1.26; 95% CI 1.08-1.46; P < .01), or experienced physical strain (HR 1.18; 95% CI 1.03-1.36; P = .02). Conclusion: Caregiver strain, helping with health care tasks, and greater hours of help per week are associated with heightened risk of ED use among older adults receiving mobility or self-care help. Study findings suggest the potential benefit of caregiver assessment and support.

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Older Adult Factors Associated With Identified Need for Family Caregiver Assistance During Home Health Care

Family caregivers make important contributions to home health care for older adults, but knowledge of the specific roles they assume is lacking. We analyzed data from 1,758 community-dwelling Medicare beneficiaries aged 65+ receiving Medicare-funded home health care between 2011 and 2016, using linked National Health and Aging Trends Study and Outcomes and Assessment Information Set data. Most (86.7%) beneficiaries receiving home health care had an identified need for family caregiver assistance, and nearly 6 in 10 (57.9%) had identified need for caregiver assistance with five or more tasks. After examining significant associations between older adult characteristics and identified needs for caregiver assistance with specific tasks, we identified three profiles of older adults who demonstrate similar patterns of identified need for family caregiver assistance during home health. These profiles include: (1) older adults with greater functional impairment who more often had identified need for assistance with Instrumental Activities of Daily Living, advocacy, or Activities of Daily Living; (2) older adults with cognitive impairment who more often had identified need for assistance with medication administration or supervision; and (3) older adults with greater clinical severity who more often had identified need for assistance with medical procedures and equipment. Findings support calls to develop training interventions and strengthen the partnership between home health providers and family caregivers. These three profiles present a potential framework for the development of family caregiver training programs.

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Care in dementia: Informal caregiver motivations

Introduction: The progression of dementia and the clinical situation severity can determine the intensity and the frequency of care. Informal caregivers (IC) often experience overload and motional stress by caring for a person with dementia (PWD), and this contributes to negative consequences on psychosocial health and increased risk of mortality. Objectives: The aim of this study is to describe the profile and motivations of informal caregivers of people with dementia. Methods: We developed a descriptive-exploratory study with a mixed approach. The research scenario was the Health Centre Groups (ACES) of the Northern Zone of Portugal and its respective Family Health Units (USF) and Community Care Unit (UCC). Results: From the sample studied, it was observed that ICs are predominantly female (72.2%), with ages varying between 34 and 88 years (x = 61.43; ± 11.75). The relationship with PWD is mainly a parent son relationship (46.7%) followed by the spouse (40%) with lower expression for the siblings (2.2%). The main motivations that led family members to become caregivers were categorized into four themes: i) Emotional reasons (love, affection, marriage, commitment); ii) Duty and responsibility; iii) Proximity and availability; and iv) Feeling of pain (charity). Regarding the main motivations for caregivers, we found a greater expressiveness for both the spouses (69.5%) and the sons or daughters (58.5%) for emotional reasons. Conclusions: Therefore, even if caregivers feel motivated to take care of their family member, care strategies should be developed to help the informal caregivers to minimize stress, overload, depression and anxiety arising from this task, maximizing coping strategies and empowerment. As health care responsibilities and burdens continue to be transferred to the family and other caregivers, there is an urgent need for family-friendly policies, practices and interventions.

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Will I care? The likelihood of being a carer in adult life

The report finds that 65% of UK adults can expect to care unpaid for a loved one in their lifetime. The findings released in this report add crucial new data. Past studies have often relied on ‘snapshot’ data (which capture a moment in time), or research that shows what caring means for individuals but that is not representative of the whole population. Our new findings are from the highest quality UK surveys, based on data collected over decades from large representative samples of people regularly asked about caring and other aspects of their lives. We hope this new analysis will also contribute to achieving progress for carers, who, across the UK, urgently need better services and more support to manage work and care.

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Community and caregiver perceptions of giving care to seniors

Background: Family caregivers of seniors and disabled adults frequently bear the responsibility of aiding in instrumental activities of daily living and locating resources, often while raising their own families. As the demand for care rises, caregivers may experience declining physical health and increased social and emotional stress compared to their noncaregiving counterparts. This study aims to better understand the journey of unpaid family caregivers and identify opportunities for improvement across organizations, policies, systems, and teams. Research design and methods: A purposive sample of 28 current and former unpaid caregivers of seniors or people with disabilities (26 females and 2 males) participated in four separate focus groups. Recordings were transcribed verbatim and analyzed using open coding. Results: Six major themes surrounding the experience of caregiving emerged from the coding process: Ambivalence, “Boiling Point,” Coping, Acknowledgment and Acceptance, Family Dynamics, and Interaction with the System. Focus groups indicated an urgent need to identify and support unpaid caregivers earlier in their trajectory of caring for a senior and to provide consistent, right-time resources over the trajectory of the senior’s lifespan. Discussion and implications: The rational, emotional, and relational components of caregiving represent distinct but overlapping themes within the experience of giving care. Each theme influences another, creating an experience that is complex, fluid, and sensitive to change. The system surrounding caregivers must proactively identify caregivers as equal members of the care team for a senior or disabled adult early in the patient’s disease trajectory.

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Comparing the Barriers and Facilitators of Heart Failure Management as Perceived by Patients, Caregivers, and Clinical Providers

Background: Heart failure (HF) management requires the participation of patients, their significant others, and clinical providers. Each group may face barriers to HF management that may be unique or may overlap. Objective: The aim of this study was to compare the barriers and facilitators of HF management as perceived by patients, significant others, and clinical providers. Methods: Participants were recruited from a Veterans Health Administration facility. Eligible patients had a diagnosis of HF (ICD9 code 428.XX), 1 or more HF-related visit in the previous year, and a significant other who was their primary caregiver. Significant others were adults with no history of cognitive impairments caring for patients with HF. Providers were eligible if they cared for patients with HF. All participants completed semistructured interviews designed to elicit barriers to managing HF and strategies that they used to overcome these barriers. Interviews were transcribed and analyzed using latent thematic analysis, and recruitment continued until thematic saturation was attained. Results: A total of 17 couples and 12 providers were recruited. All 3 groups identified poor communication as a key barrier to HF management, including communication between patients and their significant other, between couples and providers, and providers with each other. Significant others noted that the lack of direct communication with clinical providers hindered their efforts to care for the patient. All 3 groups emphasized the importance of family members in optimizing adherence to HF self-management recommendations. Conclusions: Providers, patients, and significant others all play important and distinct roles in the management of HF. Tools to enhance communication and collaboration for all 3 and supporting the needs of significant others are missing components of current HF care.

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Exploring caregivers' perspectives on improving care for older people at the end of life in Thailand

Background: Older people in Thailand receive general medical and social care at the end of life, and many rarely access palliative services. In light of this, improving the quality of care for the ageing population relies on addressing the needs of family caregivers, who provide the majority of care in a home setting. Understanding caregivers' perspectives when caring for a friend or relative will help to improve the quality of care that they provide. Aim: To explore caregivers' perspectives on improving care for older people in Thailand in the palliative stage. Methods: A qualitative study using in-depth interviews and observation of 10 older people in the palliative stage and their caregivers was undertaken. Data were analysed using content analysis. Findings: Data analysis revealed three themes: caregivers cared to repay the older person's previous kindness, caregivers cared and changed their caregiving behaviour to minimise the older person's perception of being abandoned or being a burden, and to follow Thai ancestral traditions, so that the older person could die peacefully. Conclusion: This study provides specific instructions for those who provide care for older Thai people in the palliative stage. Finding ways to address caregivers' perspectives on improving care quality could enhance the experience of care recipients.

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How do people with dementia and family carers value dementia-specific quality of life states? An explorative “Think Aloud” study

Objective: To investigate the decision-making processes applied by people with dementia and family carers participating in using health economic approaches to value dementia-specific quality of life states. Methods: People with dementia (n = 13) and family carers (n = 14) participated in valuing quality of life states using two health economic approaches: Discrete Choice Experiment (DCE) and Best Worst Scaling (BWS). Participants were encouraged to explain their reasoning using a “Think Aloud” approach. Results: People with dementia and family carers adopted a range of decision-making strategies including “anchoring” the presented states against current quality of life, or simplifying the decision-making by focusing on the sub-set of attributes deemed most important. Overall, there was strong evidence of task engagement for BWS and DCE. Conclusions: Health economic valuation approaches can be successfully applied with people with dementia and family carers. These data can inform the assessment of benefits from their perspectives for incorporation within economic evaluation.

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Family caregivers experiences of the pre-diagnostic stage in frontotemporal dementia

Frontotemporal dementia (FTD) is a neurodegenerative disease with symptoms that differs from other dementias. Commonly early symptoms in FTD are changes in personality and behavior, which can be interpreted as psychiatric disease. The delay in FTD diagnosis contributes to the burden of family caregivers. Therefore, it is important to have more knowledge about the pre-diagnostic stage. In this qualitative interview study, we explored fourteen family caregiver's experiences of the pre-diagnostic stage of frontotemporal dementia (FTD). Our findings suggest that the family caregivers experienced the pre-diagnostic stage of FTD as changes in the interpersonal relationship with their loved one. These changes were often subtle and difficult for family caregivers to explain to others. The findings from our study illuminate the importance of medical staff paying attention when a next of kin is concerned about subtle changes in a loved one. The findings also illuminate that awareness of FTD should be raised. 

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Influence of Positive and Negative Dimensions of Dementia Caregiving on Caregiver Well-Being and Satisfaction With Life: Findings From the IDEAL Study

Objective: The aim of this study was to identify the potential impact of positive and negative dimensions of caregiving on caregiver well-being and satisfaction with life (SwL). Methods: This study used time-point one data from the Improving the experience of Dementia and Enhancing Active Life (also known as IDEAL)cohort study that involved 1,283 informal caregivers of people in the mild-to-moderate stages of dementia recruited from 29 sites within Great Britain. Multivariate linear regression modeling was used to investigate the associations between positive dimensions of caregiving (measured by caregiving competence and perceptions of positive aspects of caregiving), negative dimensions of caregiving (measured by caregiving stress and role captivity), and caregiver well-being and SwL. Results: Lower well-being was associated with low caregiving competence (–13.77; 95% confidence interval [CI]:–16.67, –10.87), perceiving fewer positive aspects of caregiving (–7.67; 95% CI:–10.26, –5.07), high caregiving stress (–24.45; 95% CI:–26.94, –21.96), and high role captivity (–15.61; 95% CI:–18.33, –12.89). Lower SwL was associated with low caregiving competence (–4.61; 95% CI:–5.57, –3.66), perceiving fewer positive aspects of caregiving (–3.09; 95% CI:–3.94, –2.25), high caregiving stress (–7.88; 95% CI:–8.71, –7.06), and high role captivity (–6.41; 95% CI:–7.27, –5.54). When these four measures were combined within the same model, only positive aspects of caregiving and caregiving stress retained independent associations with well-being and SwL. Conclusion: Both positive and negative dimensions of caregiving were associated with caregiver well-being and SwL. Psychological therapies and interventions need to consider not only the negative aspects of caregiving but also positive caregiving experiences and their implications for caregiver well-being and SwL. 

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Family caregivers for cancer patients

Non formal, especially family caregivers are the most vital support for cancer patients in their healing process. However, caregivers are the least known, informed, and researched of all groups of people surrounding cancer patients. Ten family members are individually interviewed on their phenomenal experience in caring for cancer patients. Common themes that emerged from the interviews include financial, social emotions, and physical challenges. Financial problems rooted from unemployment as caregivers have to spent time looking after their sick family members. Social emotional problems included perception from society on their unemployment and family relationship issues. Caregivers also experienced physical strains as they put aside their well being in caring for others. However, caregivers have their own coping skills which included positive outlook and family support. Understanding of caregivers experiences is important for mental health professionals, medical team attending to the patients, and the public at large. Results of this study suggests further assistance and guidance for caregivers in carrying their responsibilities.

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The Experiences of Family Caregivers at the End of Life: Suffering, Compassion Satisfaction and Support of Health Care Professionals: Experiences of Caregivers at the End of Life

A death with dignity is influenced by the quality of care offered to patients. The objective of this study was to identify, through the firsthand experiences and insights of family caregivers, the key elements related to the care offered to patients with a terminal illness at the end of life. This multicenter qualitative study was based on the paradigm of hermeneutic phenomenology. Participants were relatives of patients with terminal illness who had been identified as primary caregivers. Five discussion groups and 41 in-depth interviews were organized with a total of 81 participants. The content of the interviews was analyzed based on the methods developed by Giorgi (J Phenom Psychol 1997;28(2):235-260). The results indicate the existence of 3 dimensions: the caregiver's suffering, compassion satisfaction with the care provided, and the support of health care professionals. Understanding the experiences of family members providing end-of-life care allows improved care and provides dignity in death. Health and social systems must provide comprehensive assistance covering the different aspects of needed care. Health professionals occupy a privileged position in the care of these patients and their families.

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Experiences of family care during breast cancer: the perspective of caregivers

OBJECTIVE: To describe the experience of family care to women with breast cancer during treatment from the perspective of caregivers in the Mexican context. METHOD: Qualitative phenomenological study. In-depth interviews were conducted with caregivers of women who survived breast cancer. Participants were selected by intentional, cumulative and sequential sampling. A conventional content analysis was performed. RESULTS: Participation of seven caregivers, who reported their positive and negative experiences when assuming their role as informal caregivers in the family context. On the strength of the reciprocity of care and its reward, prevailed critical moments, negative feelings, and lack of support resources during the experience. This enables the understanding of the informal care bond in order to enhance it with coping strategies and specific guidance from the nursing staff. CONCLUSION: Participants experienced a transformation in their identity as caregivers and by being aware of their experience, they could describe their qualities, which increased their coping strategies with the disease and the care challenges.

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“I’m Trying to Stop Things Before They Happen”: Carers’ Contributions to Patient Safety in Hospitals

Patient safety policies increasingly encourage carer (i.e., family or friends) involvement in reducing health care–associated harm in hospital. Despite this, carer involvement in patient safety in practice is not well understood—especially from the carers’ perspective. The purpose of this article is to understand how carers of adult patients perceived and experienced their patient safety contributions in hospital. Constructivist grounded theory informed the data collection and analysis of in-depth interviews with 32 carers who had patient safety concerns in Australian hospitals. Results demonstrated carers engaged in the process of “patient-safety caring.” Patient-safety caring included three levels of intensity: low (“contributing without concern”), moderate (“being proactive about safety”), and high (“wrestling for control”). Carers who engaged at high intensity provided the patient with greater protection, but typically experienced negative consequences for themselves. Carers’ experiences of negative consequences from safety involvement need to be mitigated by practice approaches that value their contributions.

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Rise Above: Experiences of Spirituality Among Family Caregivers Caring for Their Dying Family Member in a Hospice Setting in Pakistan

Family caregivers experience multiple transitions, resolutions, loss, and grief where their search for meaning becomes evident. Spirituality is an important dimension of palliative care, yet little attention has been given to this important aspect of spirituality especially among the family caregivers in a hospice setting. The study aimed to bring the hidden voices of family caregivers, their own spiritual experiences caring for their dying patients in a hospice setting, to guide and direct the care practices of health care professionals. An interpretive descriptive approach guided the study using a purposive sample of 18 family caregivers from a hospice in Karachi, Pakistan. Major themes were family love, attachment, and belongingness; honoring family values and dignity; acts of compassion and selfless service; and seeking God's kindness and grace. Spirituality enabled family caregivers to uncover meaningful engagement and provided strength and peace while serving a dying family member in challenging caregiving situations such as adversity and limited resources. They highly valued the love, respect, and honor of the family; showed compassion; believed in God's blessings; and experienced spiritual growth and self-transcendence. Spirituality was found to be a major resource of coping among family caregivers. Health care professionals need to integrate spirituality while developing family-centered interventions in hospice care.

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Insights into the system of care of the elderly with mental disorders from the perspective of informal caregivers in Lithuania

Background: Changes in the demographics and respective growth of life expectancy and social needs make informal caregiving crucial component of comprehensive health and social care network, which substantially contributes to the health and well-being of the elderly. The purpose of this paper is to understand the system of care of elderly patients with mental disorders from the perspective of informal caregivers in Lithuania. Methods: We conducted five semi-structured focus group discussions with 31 informal caregivers attending to elderly patients with mental disorders. The data were audiotaped and transcribed verbatim. A thematic analysis was subsequently performed. Results: Five thematic categories were established: (1) the current state of care-receivers: Representation of the complexity of patients' physical and mental condition. (2) The current state of caregivers: Lack of formal caregivers' integration as a team; inadequate formal involvement of informal caregivers. (3) Basic care needs: The reflection of the group needs relating directly to the patient, care organisation and the caretaker. (4) The (non-) Readiness of the existing system to respond to the needs for care: Long-term care reliance on institutional services, lack of distinction between acute/immediate care and nursing, lack of integration between the medical sector and the social care sector. (5) Potential trends for further improvement of long-term care for the elderly with mental disorders. Conclusions: Strengthening of the care network for elderly patients with mental disorders should cover more than a personalised and comprehensive assessment of the needs of patients and their caregivers. Comprehensive approaches, such as formalization of informal caregivers' role in the patient care management and planning, a more extensive range of available services and programs supported by diverse sources of funding, systemic developments and better integration of health and social care systems are essential for making the system of care more balanced. 

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Opting Out of a Time-of-Death Visit: Insights From Home Hospice Family Members

Hospice patients die in various settings, including at home with family caregivers. Hospice offers a time-of-death visit to provide support and confirm death, a requirement in some states but not all. Few studies have been conducted among home hospice families exploring their experiences without a time-of-death visit. To better understand the family's experience regarding the time of death of their loved one, we conducted an exploratory study using a hermeneutic phenomenological approach. Home hospice families who had experienced a death within the last 6 to 13 months and had not received a time-of-death visit were recruited. Seven interviews were conducted, and data were analyzed using an emergent thematic approach. Major themes included caregiver's previous experience with death, caregiver support, final hours, and reasons for not selecting a time-of-death visit. Results showed families did well without a time-of-death visit when strong social support was present and conveyed the importance of allowing personal choice. Further research is needed to identify families in need of time-of-death visits and targeted support needs and to inform practice and policy guidelines. 

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Caregivers of individuals with schizophrenia: Who are they and what are their challenges?

Purpose of review To better understand the overall burden of schizophrenia, we aimed to explore informal caregivers' experiences by evaluating the current evidence on caregiver and patient characteristics, the type of care provided by caregivers, and the impacts of caregiving on caregivers' lives. Recent findings Caregivers provide direct care, assistance with activities of daily living, and emotional, social, and financial support to individuals with schizophrenia. Increased duration of illness and of care, severe or persistent schizophrenia symptoms, criticism of the care recipient, financial burden, and patient disability intensify caregiver burden. Caregivers of individuals with persistent symptoms often feel overwhelmed, stressed, drained, burdened, frustrated, or angry. Financial impacts of caregiving include treatment costs for care recipients, providing financial support, and lost productivity and income. Depression and anxiety are common health impacts for caregivers, who also have increased physical healthcare resource use relative to healthy controls. Caregiver burden is reduced by formal support programs to improve caregivers' stress management and coping skills and informal sources of social support. Summary Targeted efforts to improve access to care and provide additional support for caregivers are needed to alleviate caregiver burden and improve outcomes for individuals with schizophrenia. 

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Why and how family caregivers should participate in shared decision making in mental health

Patient involvement (shared decision making ) and caregiver involvement (family involvement, etc.) are mostly seen as different aspects of care, and efforts to integrate them are limited. This Open Forum posits that both approaches are critical and that caregiver involvement should always be considered during shared decision making, potentially as an integral component. The authors argue that the two approaches can overlap and work synergistically rather than antagonistically. When caregiver involvement is integrated into shared decision making, caregivers may assume any of a variety of roles and need to develop certain competencies to better engage in decision making.

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Dementia and patient safety in the community: a qualitative study of family carers' protective practices and implications for services

BACKGROUND: Dementia is a cause of disability and dependency associated with high demands for health services and expected to have a significant impact on resources. Care policies worldwide increasingly rely on family caregivers to contribute to service delivery for older people, and the general direction of health care policy internationally is to provide care in the community, meaning most people will receive services there. Patient safety in primary care is therefore important for future care, but not yet investigated sufficiently when services are carried out in patients' homes. In particular, we know little about how family carers experience patient safety of older people with dementia in the community. METHODS: This was an explorative study, with qualitative in-depth interviews of 23 family carers of older people with suspected or diagnosed dementia. Family carers participated after receiving information primarily through health professionals working in dementia care. A semi-structured topic guide was used in a flexible way to capture participants' experiences. A four-step inductive analysis of the transcripts was informed by hermeneutic-phenomenological analysis. RESULTS: The ways our participants sought to address risk and safety issues can be understood to constitute protective practices that aimed to prevent or reduce the risk of harm and/or alleviate damage from harm that occurs. The protective practices relate to four areas: physical harm, economic harm, emotional harm, and relational harm. The protective practices are interlinked, and family carers sometimes prioritize one over another, and as they form part of family practice, they are not always visible to service providers. As a result, the practices may complicate interactions with health professionals and even inadvertently conceal symptoms or care needs. CONCLUSIONS: When family caregivers prevent harm and meet needs, some needs may be concealed or invisible to health professionals. To recognize all needs and provide effective, safe and person-centered care, health professionals need to recognize these preventive practices and seek to build a solid partnership with family carers.

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The dynamics of social care and employment in mid-life

This study investigates the relationship between the provision of informal care to older parents/parents-in-law and the employment status of adult children in mid-life. The study analyses unique panel data for a cohort of individuals born in 1958 in Britain, focusing on respondents at risk of providing care (i.e. with at least one surviving parent/parent-in-law) and in employment at 50. Logistic regression is used to investigate the impact of caring at 50 and 55 on employment status at 55, controlling for socio-demographic characteristics, the respondent's health status and their partner's employment status. Separate models examine (a) the likelihood of exiting the labour force versus continuing work, and (b) amongst those continuing in work, the likelihood of reducing hours of employment. Different types of care (personal, basic and instrumental support) are distinguished, along with hours of caring. The results highlight that providing care for more personal tasks, and for a higher number of hours, are associated with exiting employment for both men and women carers. In contrast, the negative impact of more intense care-giving on reducing working hours was significant only for men - suggesting that women may juggle intensive care commitments alongside work or leave work altogether. Facilitating women and men to combine paid work and parental care in mid-life will be increasingly important in the context of rising longevity. 

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Family caregivers and decision-making for older people with dementia

This article addresses the dilemmas concerning legislation, individual autonomy and the reality of everyday life for people coping with dementia. We describe and analyse decision-making in relation to older people with dementia in Sweden, within the area of social work regulated by the Social Services Act and the Parental Act. Swedish legislation is based on the individual’s autonomy and capacity to consent to services without anyone having legal authority to decide on behalf of the individual. Based on data from interviews with family caregivers living at home, decision-making through family caregivers is discussed and formal guardianship is also considered. Swedish legislation leaves individuals with dementia and family caregivers in a vacuum between self-determination and full autonomy with the ideal of citizenship emphasised and recognised in the Social Services Act on the one hand, and on the other, a strong need for support in everyday life and with decision-making. 

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“Did I make the right decision?”: The difficult and unpredictable journey of being a surrogate decision maker for a person living with dementia

Many people living with dementia eventually lose the capacity to make their own decisions and will rely on another person – a surrogate decision maker – to make decisions on their behalf. It is important – especially with the increasing prevalence of dementia – that the role of surrogate decision maker is understood and supported. This qualitative study explored the experiences of 34 surrogate decision makers of persons living with dementia in Australia. Face-to-face and telephone interviews were conducted over six months in 2014. Five themes were identified: becoming the only – or main – surrogate decision maker; growing into the role of surrogate decision maker; dealing with the stress of making decisions; having to challenge healthcare professionals; and getting support – or not – from family members. An overarching construct tying the themes together is the description of the participants’ experience as being on a difficult and unpredictable journey. Healthcare professionals can provide support by acting as empathic guides on this journey.

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What Does Death Preparedness Mean for Family Caregivers of Persons With Dementia?

Purpose: The purpose of this study was to clarify the concept of death preparedness for family caregivers in dementia. Conceptualization was required to support the assessment, promotion, and operationalization (ie, measurement) of death preparedness through palliative care interventions such as advance care planning. Methods: Rodgers evolutionary method of concept analysis was selected to guide this study because of the dynamic nature of death preparedness influenced by context, setting, and time. A comprehensive literature search was conducted. Authors performed constant comparative analysis to identify and interpret surrogate/related concepts, attributes, antecedents, and consequences of death preparedness. Results: Most importantly attributes included (1) knowing and recognizing the symptoms of decline in dementia and what dying looks like; (2) understanding emotions and grief responses; (3) accessing and appraising supports needed to manage and care for dying; (4) organizing affairs and completing tasks in advance; (5) accepting that losses are inevitable and imminent; (6) reflecting on caregiving and finding meaning, “a silver-lining”; and (7) closing, reconciling, and renewing relationship bonds and completing the family member’s life. Discussion: This study contributed a full definition of death preparedness in dementia. Findings aligned with/expanded upon Hebert et al Theoretical Framework of Preparedness for End-of-Life. The use of problem- and emotion-based coping strategies by caregivers with support from health-care providers to promote feelings of death preparedness (including self-efficacy and control) and minimize uncertainty was the implication of this study. Development of a holistic preparedness instrument is underway. 

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The Invisibility of a Family Caregiver

During the past five years, I have had the opportunity to meet and hear from many people who felt invisible. These individuals are among the 40 million family caregivers in the United States who are providing unpaid care to a parent, spouse, partner, friend or neighbor.

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Remembering Sleep: Sleep Deprivation and Symptom Management at Home

Carter focuses on sleep deprivation and symptom management at home. Family caregivers provide increasingly complex care at home to family members and friends with cancer. Care that was once provided in the hospital by skilled, highly educated, and often advanced certified oncology nurses is now being provided in the home by family caregivers who are most often not in possession of these skill sets. With the advancement of therapies and delivery methods such as oral therapies and outpatient infusions, cancer care has moved out of the hospital and into the community. A unique contribution of nursing science to the understanding of human experiences is that we holistically evaluate biopsychosocial contributors to those experiences.

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Relationship and communication characteristics associated with agreement between heart failure patients and their Carepartners on patient depressive symptoms

Objectives: Informal caregivers who recognize patients’ depressive symptoms can better support self-care and encourage patients to seek treatment. We examined patient-caregiver agreement among patients with heart failure (HF). Our objectives were to (1) identify distinct groups of HF patients and their out-of-home informal caregivers (CarePartners) based on their relationship and communication characteristics, and (2) compare how these groups agree on the patients’ depressive symptoms. Method: We used baseline data from a comparative effectiveness trial of a self-care support program for veterans with HF treated in outpatient clinics from 2009-2012. We used a cross-sectional design and latent class analysis (LCA) approach to identify distinct groups of patient-CarePartner dyads (n = 201) based on relationship and communication characteristics then evaluated agreement on patients’ depressive symptoms within these groups. Results: The LCA analysis identified four groups: Collaborative (n = 102 dyads, 51%), Avoidant (n = 33 dyads, 16%), Distant (n = 35 dyads, 17%), and Antagonistic (n = 31 dyads, 15%). Dyadic agreement on the patients’ depressive symptoms was highest in the Distant (Kappa (κ) = 0.44, r = 0.39) and Collaborative groups (κ = 0.19, r = 0.32), and relatively poor in the Avoidant (κ = –0.20, r = 0.17) and Antagonistic (κ =–0.01, r = 0.004) groups. Patients in Avoidant (61%) and Antagonistic groups (74%) more frequently had depression based on self-report than patients in Collaborative (46%) and Distant (34%) groups. Conclusion: Caregiver relationships in HF tend to be either Collaborative, Avoidant, Distant, or Antagonistic. Patients’ depressive symptoms may negatively affect how they communicate with their caregivers. At the same time, improved patient-caregiver communication could enhance dyadic consensus about the patient’s depressive symptoms.

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In Their Own Words: Experiences of Caregivers of Adults With Cancer as Expressed on Social Media

PURPOSE: To explore caregivers' writings about their experiences caring for adult individuals with cancer on a social media health communication website. PARTICIPANTS & SETTING: Journal entries (N = 392) were analyzed for 37 adult caregivers who were posting on behalf of 20 individuals with cancer. CaringBridge is a website used by patients and informal caregivers to communicate about acute and chronic disease. METHODOLOGIC APPROACH: A retrospective descriptive study using qualitative content analysis of caregivers' journal entries from 2009 to 2015. FINDINGS: Major categories identified in caregivers' online journals included patient health information, cancer awareness/advocacy, social support, caregiver burden, daily living, emotions (positive and negative), and spirituality. IMPLICATIONS FOR NURSING: Nurses often recommend using social media as a communication strategy for patients with cancer and their caregivers. The findings from this study provide potential guidance nurses may wish to offer caregivers. For example, nurses may talk with caregivers about how and what to post regarding treatment decisions. In addition, nurses can provide support for caregivers struggling with when and how often to communicate on social media.

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Optimizing Participation of Older Adults with Cognitive Deficits Post-stroke: Types of Help and Caregiver Burden

This longitudinal mixed-method study examined the types of help provided by caregivers to optimize participation of older adults with cognitive deficits post-stroke (care recipients), and how these types of help varied with caregiver's burden. Twelve family caregivers of care recipients post-stroke completed a burden questionnaire and semi-structured interviews one month, three months, and six months following care recipient's discharge home from acute care, rehabilitation, or day hospital. Care recipients completed cognitive tests and a social participation questionnaire. Types of help caregivers provided differed according to the amount of daily living support, degree of concern for care recipient's well-being, and impact on caregivers' social life. Interestingly, types of help fostering care recipient's social participation, self-esteem, and abilities were unrelated to a negative impact on caregivers' social life. Understanding how different types of help relate to caregiver burden could improve the types of help to optimize care recipients' social participation without overburdening caregivers

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Does informal care impact utilisation of home-based formal care services among end-of-life patients? A decade of evidence from Ontario, Canada

Understanding how informal care impacts formal care utilisation for home-based end-of-life patients is an important policy- and practice-relevant question. This paper aims to assess the relationship between informal and formal home care among home-based end-of-life patients and how this relationship has changed over the last decade and over the end-of-life trajectory. We focus on informal care provided by family members or friends, and three types of home-based formal care services: care by personal support workers, physician visits, and nurse visits. Using survey data collected in a home-based end-of-life care programme in Ontario, Canada from 2005 to 2016, we build a two-part utilisation model analysing both the propensity to use each type of formal care and the amount of formal care received by patients. The results suggest that informal care is a substitute for care by personal support workers, but a complement to physician visits and nurse visits. In the case of nurse visits, an increased complementary effect is observed in more recent years. For home-based physician and nurse visits, the complementary effect grows with patient's proximity to death. These results highlight the complexity of the relationship between informal and formal care among home-based end-of-life patients. Decision-makers need to take into account the relationship between informal care and different types of formal services when introducing future policies.

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"He was no longer listening to me": A qualitative study in six Sub-Saharan African countries exploring next-of-kin perspectives on caring following the death of a relative from AIDS

In the era of widespread antiretroviral therapy, few studies have explored the perspectives of the relatives involved in caring for people living with HIV (PLHIV) during periods of ill-health leading up to their demise. In this analysis, we explore the process of care for PLHIV as their death approached, from their relatives' perspective. We apply Tronto's care ethics framework that distinguishes between care-receiving among PLHIV on the one hand, and caring about, caring for and care-giving by their relatives on the other. We draw on 44 in-depth interviews conducted with caregivers following the death of their relatives, in seven rural settings in Eastern and Southern Africa. Relatives suggested that prior to the onset of poor health, few of the deceased had disclosed their HIV status and fewer still were relying on anyone for help. This lack of disclosure meant that some caregivers spoke of enduring a long period of worry, and feelings of helplessness as they were unable to translate their concern and "caring about" into "caring for". This transition often occurred when the deceased became in need of physical, emotional or financial care. The responsibility was often culturally prescribed, rarely questioned and usually fell to women. The move to "care-giving" was characterised by physical acts of providing care for their relative, which lasted until death. Tronto's conceptualisation of caring relationships highlights how the burden of caring often intensifies as family members' caring evolves from "caring about", to "caring for", and eventually to "giving care" to their relatives. This progression can lead to caregivers experiencing frustration, provoking tensions with their relatives and highlighting the need for interventions to support family members caring for PLHIV. Interventions should also encourage PLHIV to disclose their HIV status and seek early access to HIV care and treatment services. 

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Critical comments mediate the association between carer distress and psychological symptoms in persons recently diagnosed with dementia

Introduction: Carers of persons with dementia (PWD) experience high levels of burden and distress and may use criticism in an attempt to change the behavior of PWD and thereby reduce their distress. We hypothesized that carer distress and criticism would each have an impact on the psychological well-being of the PWD and examined whether criticism mediates the association between carer distress and PWD psychological well-being.; Methods: We recruited 61 persons with a recent diagnosis of dementia and their carer via U.K. dementia services and assessed at 2 time points 6 months apart. Carers completed questionnaire measures of burden and distress. We coded critical comments from a Camberwell Family Interview. PWD completed questionnaire measures of quality of life, depression, and anxiety. We conducted correlation, regression, and mediation analyses to explore the relationship between carer variables and PWD psychological outcomes and whether criticism mediated any relationship found.; Results: Carer distress, carer critical comments, and PWD anxiety and depression at 6-month follow-up were all significantly correlated. Baseline carer distress predicted poorer quality of life in PWD at 6-month follow-up. The number of carer critical comments significantly (p < .01) mediated the effect of carer distress on PWD quality of life.; Discussion: Interventions addressing carer burden and distress and offering coping strategies to help them to reduce criticism of the PWD would improve the quality of life of those affected by dementia. 

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The experience of patients and family caregivers during hospital-at-home in France

Background: Public health policies tend to generalize the use of Hospital-At-Home (HAH) to answer the growing will of patients to be treated or to die at home. HAH is a model of care that provides acute-level services in the patient's home with the interventions of variety of health care professionals. Relatives participate also in the interventions by helping for sick patients at home, but we lack data on the care of patients and caregivers in HAH. The aim of this study was to make an inventory of the experiences of patients and family caregivers in HAH. Methods: The research was qualitative using nineteen semi-directed interviews from nine patients and ten caregivers of one care unit of Greater Paris University Hospitals' HAH, and the grounded theory was used to analyze the transcripts. Caregivers were also asked, after the interview, to fill in the Zarit Burden Inventory. Results: HAH remained mostly unknown for patients and caregivers before the admission proposition and the outlook of being admitted in HAH was perceived as positive, for both of them. Caregivers had a versatile role throughout HAH, leading to situations of suffering, but also had sources of support. The return home was considered satisfactory by both caregivers and patients, related to the quality of care and increased morale despite HAH's organizational constraints. We noted an impact of HAH on the relationship between the patient and the caregiver(s), but caused by multiple factors: the fact that the care takes places at home, its consequences but also the disease itself. Conclusion: HAH strongly involved the patient's caregiver(s) all along the process. HAH's development necessitates to associate both patients and caregivers and to take into account their needs at every step. This study highlights the need to better assess the ability of the caregiver to cope with his or her relative in HAH with acute and subacute care at home. 

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Informal carers' experiences and feelings during rehabilitation

The purpose of this study was to explore the experiences and feelings of people caring for patients with long-term diseases in a rehabilitation centre. A qualitative research approach was used. Fifteen informal carers were interviewed. The study was conducted in a rehabilitation centre in Greece. Three themes emerged. The first was feelings regarding the patient and the carers themselves, as well as the type of care provided and life at home after discharge from the rehabilitation unit. The second was experiences regarding health professionals and delivered care, and other carers. The third theme was expectations and thoughts about the future. Health professionals should plan and implement support interventions within rehabilitation settings in order to address carers' needs in terms of practical guidance not only within the framework of patient care but also relating to the psychological and physical wellbeing of informal carers.

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Measuring triadic decision making in older patients with multiple chronic conditions: Observer OPTION

Objective: To develop a valid and reliable tool to measure triadic decision making between older adults with multiple chronic conditions (MCC), their informal caregivers and geriatricians. Methods: Video observational study with cross-sectional assessment of interaction during medical consultations between geriatricians (n = 10), patients (n = 108) and informal caregivers (68) by three calibrated raters at the geriatric outpatient department of two Dutch hospitals. The Observer OPTIONMCC instrument was developed, based on the 'Dynamic model of SDM in frail older patients' and the 'Observing Patient Involvement in Decision Making - 5 item scale' (Observer OPTION-5). Results: Factor analysis confirms that it is acceptable to regard the new scale as a single construct. The 7-item single factor solution explained 62.76% of the variability for geriatricians, 61.60% of the variability for patients and 54.32% of the variability for informal caregivers. The inter-rater ICC for the total Observer OPTIONMCC score was .96, .96, and .95 (resp. geriatricians, patients, informal caregivers), with values ranging from .60 to .95 for individual items, showing good levels of agreement. Conclusion and Practice Implications: We conclude that Observer OPTIONMCC is sufficiently valid and reliable to be used for the assessment of triadic SDM in populations of older patients with MCC.

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Female Family Caregivers' Experiences During Nursing Home Admission: A Phenomenological Qualitative Study

The experience of nursing home (NH) admission has a significant impact on older adults and their relatives. The aim of the current study is to describe the life experiences of female family caregivers (N = 20) after long-stay NH admission of their relative. A qualitative phenomenological approach was followed with purposeful sampling. Data were collected over 18 months using unstructured interviews, letters, and diaries and were analyzed using systematic text condensation analysis. Three themes emerged: The Value of Experience: Deciding on Admission and Defending One's Criteria; Living on Two Sides of the Same Coin; and Maintaining Contact. Results provide insight into female caregivers' experiences of NH admission, which may improve relationships established between female family caregivers and NH staff and help inform the decisionmaking process.

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Spousal Caregivers Are Caregiving Alone In The Last Years Of Life

Caregiving in the last years of life is associated with increased depression and negative health outcomes for surviving spouses, many of whom are themselves in poor health. Yet it is unclear how often spouses are caregiving alone, how they differ from supported spouses, and whether lack of support affects postbereavement outcomes. We hypothesized that spouses who were solo caregivers--that is, the only caregivers (paid or unpaid) who provided assistance with a spouse's selfcare or household activities--would experience more depression after bereavement than supported spouses would. Using information from the Health and Retirement Study, we found that 55 percent of the spouses of community-dwelling married people with disability were solo caregivers. Solo caregiving was even common among people who cared for spouses with dementia and those with adult children living close by. Bereavement outcomes did not differ between solo and supported caregiving spouses. Caregiving spouses are often isolated and may benefit from greater support, particularly during the final years before bereavement. While some state and federal policy proposals aim to systematically recognize and assess caregivers, further innovations in care delivery and reimbursement are needed to adequately support seriously ill older adults and their caregivers. Ultimately, the focus of serious illness care must be expanded from the patient to the family unit.

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The agency of patients and carers in medical care and self-care technologies for interacting with doctors

People living with Parkinson's disease engage in self-care for most of the time but, two or three times a year, they meet with doctors to re-evaluate the condition and adjust treatment. Patients and (informal) carers participate actively in these encounters, but their engagement might change as new patientcentred technologies are integrated into healthcare infrastructures. Drawing on a qualitative study that used observations and interviews to investigate consultations, and digital ethnography to understand interactions in an online community, we describe how patients and carers living with Parkinson's participate in the diagnosis and treatment decisions, engage in discussions to learn about certain topics, and address inappropriate medication. We contrast their engagement with a review of self-care technologies that support interactions with doctors, to investigate how these artefacts may influence the agency of patients and carers. Finally, we discuss design ideas for improving the participation of patients and carers in technology-mediated scenarios. 

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Australian mental health caregiver burden: a smallest space analysis

Objectives: To explore Australian mental health carers' prioritisation of key elements of caregiving and establish the extent to which particular issues contribute to carer burden.; Design: Cross-sectional survey.; Setting: All Australian States and Territories.; Participants: Responses were received from 231 Australian mental health caregivers.; Main Outcome Measures: The Involvement Evaluation Questionnaire was used to assess caregiver burden.; Results: Smallest space analysis identified three distinct regions, which we conceptualise as: 1) promoting the safety and health of mental health consumers; 2) impact of caring on caregivers' personal lives and 3) enabling daily living functional recovery of mental health consumers. The analysis demonstrates that carers are most concerned with enabling daily living functional recovery, for which the mean value was considerably higher than the personal impact and promoting safety and health regions. In terms of the individual questionnaire items, the issues of most importance are assisting with self-care, worrying about consumers' future, finances and general health, encouraging consumer involvement in activities and concerns over the treatment consumers are receiving.; Conclusion: Caregiving often came at significant personal cost. The burden that results from caring for mental health consumers could perhaps be alleviated through the expansion of psychiatric disability services, increasing government financial support and providing tailored psychosocial interventions that meet the needs of families.

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Care Values in Dementia: Patterns of Perception and Incongruence Among Family Care Dyads

Background and Objectives Persons with dementia (PWDs) often place greater importance on their care values (i.e. maintaining autonomy and social relations, choosing caregivers, avoiding being a burden) than family caregivers (CGs) perceive, which can detract from dementia care planning (e.g. care arrangements or surrogate decisions). Notable variability has been found across family care dyads (PWD and CG) in their perceptions of care values, suggesting that there may be multiple patterns of perception. The purpose of this study was to characterize distinct patterns of perception of care values in family care dyads. Design and Methods Using cross-sectional data from 228 community-dwelling family care dyads, we quantified dyads' average perceptions and incongruence in perceptions of the importance of everyday care values using multilevel modeling. These scores were then used in a latent class analysis to identify distinct patterns of perception, with the dyad as the unit of analysis. Results Two distinct patterns of care value perception were identified. 25% of dyads were labeled as "CG underestimating" due to lower average estimations of the importance of PWDs' care values, and a significant amount of dyadic incongruence. Underestimating dyads were characterized by a confirmed diagnosis of dementia, lower cognitive function, and younger age in PWDs, and higher relationship strain in the dyad. Implications Care dyads that fall into an underestimating pattern may be at greater risk for inadequate dementia care planning. Interventions to improve care planning in this higher-risk group may include care values identification with the PWD, strategies for alleviating relationship strain, early-stage planning, and disease education. 

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How are caregivers involved in treatment decision making for older people with dementia and a new diagnosis of cancer?

Objective: To explore how caregivers are involved in making treatment decisions for older people living with dementia and a new diagnosis of cancer. Method: A systematic review of PubMed, CINAHL, PsycINFO, Web of Science, and Scopus databases was conducted. Studies recruiting formal or informal caregivers for older people with dementia and a diagnosis of cancer were considered for inclusion. Results: Of 1761 articles screened, 36 full texts were assessed for eligibility, and six were included in the review. This review has identified that health care professionals (HCPs) are often unaware of the coexistence or severity of dementia in cancer patients, and therefore fail to properly address care needs as a result. While caregivers are relied on to help make decisions, they have unmet information needs and feel excluded from decision-making. Conclusion: Treatment decision making in the context of older adults with dementia and a new diagnosis of cancer needs further research. This will help HCPs to understand their needs and improve the experience of decision making for both caregivers and the people that they care for. 

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Hispanic Dementia Family Caregiver's Knowledge, Experience, and Awareness of Self-Management: Foundations for Health Information Technology Interventions

Purpose: As a first step toward developing a web-based Family-Health Information Management System intervention, we explored Hispanic dementia family caregiver's knowledge, use, and awareness of self-management principles and skills to address health and health care needs for themselves and the person with dementia (PWD). Method: Twenty caregivers and 11 caregiver counselors attended an English or Spanish language focus group ranging from 4 to 6 participants. We conducted a directed content analysis informed by Lorig and Holman's conceptualization of self-management. Results: A complement of six skills (i.e., problem solving, decision making, resource utilization, patient–provider partnership, action planning, and self-tailoring) to achieve one of three tasks (i.e., emotional, medical, and role management) can fully represent Hispanic dementia family caregivers' ability to self-manage health and health care needs. While not prominent in our study, caregivers and caregiver counselors pointed out existing and potential uses of personal consumer technology to schedule reminders and search for resources. Discussion: A broad conceptualization of self-management may be necessary to understand Hispanic dementia family caregiver's ability and needs to address emotional, medical, and role challenges of caregiving. Conclusions: These findings and advances in the use of consumer health information technology support the development of self-management caregiver interventions.

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Rural Dementia Caregivers in Southwest Texas: An Exploratory Study of Advance Directives and End-of-Life Proxy Decision Making

For a growing number of persons with dementia (PWDs), advance care planning (ACP) can help families make important end-of-life (EOL) care decisions that reflect PWDs' values and preferences. The current exploratory study aimed to understand advance directive planning and decision making among PWDs and caregivers. A survey was conducted with a convenience sample of 47 ethnically diverse PWD caregivers recruited from rural health care facilities in Southwest Texas. Sixty-eight percent of PWDs and caregivers were Hispanic. The majority of PWDs had completed an advance directive (60%) and preferred equally shared decision making between family (including the PWD) and physicians (57%). Under a hypothetical EOL scenario for PWDs, caregivers chose comfort (40%) and palliative care treatment (55%) more than other goals and treatment options. In this scenario, Hispanic PWDs were less likely than non-Hispanic White counterparts to complete an advance directive (48% vs. 81%, p < 0.05) and to choose only pain and symptom management (46% vs. 81%, p < 0.05). Although the overall ACP rates among rural PWDs may be comparable to those for the general PWD population, ethnic differences exist. More culturally competent education efforts are needed to promote ACP among PWDs in culturally diverse rural communities.

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Actions to influence the care network of home-dwelling elderly people: A qualitative study

Positive impact of care networks of home-dwelling elderly people may be based on several network mechanisms: navigation to resources, negotiation between participants and contagion of behaviours. Little is known about actions of participants-elderly people, informal caregivers or formal care providers-to activate such mechanisms and generate support. Aim of this study was to identify actions in relation to these network mechanisms. A cross-sectional qualitative study of 48 interviews with home-dwelling elderly people, informal caregivers and formal care providers in the eastern parts of the Netherlands was conducted between March and September 2016. A framework analysis on network mechanisms categorised actions. Actions were reviewed by network party and compared between networks to explore relations between actions and networks. Results showed that participants navigated through existing relations to seek support. Actions on negotiation were aimed at ameliorating existing relations. Few examples and no actions on contagion of behaviours were found. Actions seemed driven by incidents and existing relations. Elderly people rarely initiated actions, informal caregivers felt hampered by their position in the network. Consistent patterns of relations between actions and network characteristics did not emerge. We concluded that the full potential of network-based support of elderly people is probably underused. Particularly promising seem: navigating the neighbourhood for new informal care, using opposite opinions as a catalyst for change and bringing quality of life and dilemma's into dialogue in the network.

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Characteristics and Difficulties of Informal Caregivers in Assisting Elderly People

Objective: This study aims to identify the informal caregivers' difficulties in assisting the elderly patients of the Programa Saúde da Família [Family Health Program] in Bambuí city, Minas Gerais State, Brazil. Methods: This is a transversal research, approved by the Certificado de Apresentação para Apreciação Ética (CAAE) [Certificate of Presentation for Ethical Appreciation] No. 0146.0.213.000-11. Seventy elderly people and their informal caregivers were interviewed and the collected data were analyzed. Results: The treatment of cognitive disorders in the elderly (32.9%) and the lack of knowledge about the health care delivered (20%) were the main difficulties stated by the caregivers. These results also showed a bivariate relationship with "difficulty during care": the caregivers who stated that they slept less (≤ 6 hours/night) (%), "did not have a caregiver course" (%) and did not have "leisure activity" (%); regression: individuals who affirmed that they had not completed a course for caregivers of the elderly. Conclusion: It was settled that actions aiming to support the informal caregiver in face of the numerous difficulties faced in the care of the elderly are essential.

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A responsibility that never rests - the life situation of a family caregiver to an older person

Background: When the ageing population increases, the burden and responsibility of close family members will likely increase. Those closely related who assume a great responsibility can be significantly affected in health, well‐being and daily life. Aim: This study aims to describe the life situation when family caregivers are imposed responsibility for an older person with complex care needs in their own home. Methods: In this Swedish qualitative study, ten family caregivers were strategically selected in order to achieve variations in the life situation. A reflective lifeworld research design based on phenomenological philosophy was used throughout the data collection with the lifeworld interviews and the analytic process. Findings: In terms of extensive responsibility, the life situation is complex and involves emotions that are difficult to manage. In essence, a paradoxical life situation is described which is experienced as both voluntarily and nonchosen at the same time. The responsibility never rests. The essential meaning is further illustrated with three constituents: loss of freedom, contradictory feelings and affected relationships. Conclusion: A life situation with extensive responsibility for an older family member interferes with the whole life situation with an impact on health and relationships with other people. The findings are crucial for professional caregivers in order to capture the nature of family support in a way that enables a meaningful life for both the family caregiver and the older person being cared for. Knowledge of this will give professional caregivers an increased awareness of the life situation of family caregivers and provide a better understanding of the support they are longing for, and, in some countries, such as Sweden, also are entitled to by law.

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The art of maintaining everyday life: collaboration among older parents, their adult children, and health care professionals in reablement

Background: A shift in the work-divide among generations and an ageing population have altered the balance of care and support between families and welfare states. Although state policy has increasingly acknowledged that older adults ageing in place receive support from family members, how adult children perceive their collaboration with their parents and health care professionals in reablement services remains unclear. The aim of this study is to identify how adult children perceive the collaboration between older parents, family members, and health care professionals in reablement services. Methods: This study has a qualitative research design with a constructivist grounded theory approach. In total, 15 adult children - 6 sons, 8 daughters, and a daughter-in-law, aged 47-64 years - whose parents had received reablement services, participated in in-depth interviews. Results: Our findings clarify how children and their older parents' reablement services can collaborate to support how the adult children manage and maintain both their own and their parents' everyday lives. The core category derived from our data analysis was the art of maintaining everyday life, with four subcategories indicating the different dimensions of that process: doing what is best for one's parents, negotiating the dilemmas of everyday life, managing parents' reablement, and ensuring the flow of everyday life. Conclusion: To promote collaboration among older adults, their children, and health care professionals in reablement, health care professionals need to proactively involve older adults' family members in the reablement processes, particularly because older adults and their children do not always express all of their care-related needs to reablement services. 

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Dyadic Decision-Making in Advanced Parkinson's Disease: A Mixed Methods Study

People with advanced Parkinson's disease (PD) are living at home being cared for by a family member. Decisions about health care and living preferences are made in a family context. The aims of the study were to (a) examine the types and timing of the decisions being made by dyads (person with Parkinson's [PWP] and caregiver) in advanced PD; and (b) explore perceived decision quality relative to specific decisions made. A mixed methods design of semi-structured dyad interviews followed by individual completion of decision measures twice at six months apart was utilized. Decisions involved obtaining more services in the home, moving into assisted living communities, maintaining as is, and initiating hospice. There was high decision quality as reflected by low decisional conflict and regret without statistical differences within the dyad. The findings provide insight into the nature of decisions dyads face and suggest ways that health care providers can support decision-making.

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State of Caring 2019: A snapshot of unpaid care in the UK

Carers UK carried out an online survey between March and May 2019. A total of 8,069 carers and former carers responded to the survey – we have only included responses from the 7,525 people who are currently providing care in this report. Compared to the carer population as a whole, respondents to this survey were more likely to be female and caring for a high number of hours every week. Of respondents to the survey:

  • 73% live in England, 10% live in Scotland, 9% live in Northern Ireland, and 8% live in Wales.
  • 81% identify as female and 18% identify as male.
  • 24% consider themselves to have a disability.
  • 1% are aged 0–24, 4% are aged 25–34, 13% are aged 35–44, 30% are aged 45–54, 32% are aged 55– 64, 14% are aged 65–74, and 5% are aged 75 and over. 
  • 3% identified as lesbian, gay or bisexual.
  • 5% described their ethnicity as black or minority ethnic.
  • 20% also have childcare responsibilities for a non-disabled child under 18. 
  • 39% are in paid work. Of those, 47% work full-time and 53% part-time. 
  • 31% have been caring for 15 years or more, 15% for between 10–14 years, 24% for 5–9 years, 26% for 1–4 years, and just 4% have been caring for less than one year. 
  • 46% care for 90 or more hours every week, while 17% care for 50–89 hours, 23% care for 20–49 hours, and 13% care for 1–19 hours a week. 
  • Most (74%) care for one person, 20% care for two people, 5% for three people, and 2% care for four or more people. 

As not all respondents completed every questions in the survey, a number of the figures given in this report, including those presented in this Appendix, are based upon responses from fewer than 7,525 carers. This, together with the sample sizes of different groups, should be taken into consideration when reading the results.

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The caregiving phenomenon and caregiver participation in dementia

Background: Dementia presents barriers to the collaboration between individuals and the healthcare system. Caregivers perform multiple functions helping patients with basic and instrumental activities but also communicating and mediating the dyads’ needs within the broader social group. Interventions focusing on caregivers show that caregiver burden can be reduced, improving patient outcomes in a cost‐effective way, but the generalisation of these findings is limited by several factors such as low participation rates of caregivers in studies. There is a global push to increase patient participation in health care, but this can be difficult for patients with dementia. Caregiver participation has arisen as a substitute, but there is a lack of standardised definitions, goals and outcome measurement tools for this participation. Methods: In 2015, the Swedish Association of Local Authorities and Regions commissioned a study on possibilities of increasing caregiver participation within the Swedish Dementia Registry (SveDem). This discussion paper updates and adapts that report, aiming to broadly summarise the caregiving phenomenon in order to provide a backdrop for clinicians seeking to understand the legal, ethical and practical considerations of caregiver participation in dementia. Relevant literature on caregiver participation is presented, and its definition, extent and practical implementation are discussed. Discussion: The Swedish legal framework compels care providers to facilitate patient and caregiver participation in dementia and provides support to caregivers through the local level of government, but further work is needed to clarify and define the extension and form that this participation must take in clinical practice. Advanced directives are one step in extending patient participation to the period of advanced dementia. Conclusion: Little research exists on caregiver participation. There is a need to develop a framework for caregiver and patient participation to determine the extent, type and form that such participation should take in health care, research and quality initiatives pertaining to persons with dementia.

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The use of carer perspectives and expert consensus to define key components of a biopsychosocial support intervention for stroke carers

Objective: To identify the key components of a biopsychosocial support intervention to improve mental wellbeing for informal stroke carers within the first year post-stroke based on the combined perspectives of experts in the field of psychological care after stroke and informal stroke carers themselves. Methods: After reviewing the existing literature a cross-sectional mixed-methods design was adopted comprising 1) focus groups with informal stroke carers about their psychological support needs, and 2) nominal group technique with academic and clinical stroke care experts to reach consensus on intervention priorities. Transcripts were thematically analyzed and combined with the ranked priorities from the nominal group to identify key components for intervention content. Results: Key themes for informal stroke carers were associated with: 1) changes in relationships, roles, and dynamics; 2) emotional impact and acceptance; 3) drawing on inner resources; 4) looking for information, solutions, and explanations; 5) support from others. The expert nominal group placed priority on eight ranked areas: 1) acknowledging "normal" emotions; 2) education about the effects of a stroke; 3) reactions to loss and adjustment; 4) recognizing signs and symptoms of not coping; 5) knowing how and when to access practical and emotional support; 6) strategies for taking care of own health; 7) dealing with difficult emotions; and 8) problem solving skills. Conclusions: Themes from the informal carer focus groups, and ranked priority areas will inform the development of a biopsychosocial support intervention for stroke carers to be tested in a feasibility randomized controlled trial.

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The Role of Sexual Disinhibition to Predict Caregiver Burden and Desire to Institutionalize Among Family Dementia Caregivers

Neuropsychiatric symptoms in dementia are associated with greater caregiver burden and desire to institutionalize, though previous work largely examines the cumulative effects of many behavioral symptoms. Sexual disinhibition could be particularly stressful due to stigma attached to these behaviors. Links between care recipient sexual disinhibition, caregiver burden, and caregiver desire to institutionalize were examined by analyzing cross-sectional data from 730 family caregivers recruited online. Caregiver burden, caregiver desire to institutionalize, and neuropsychiatric symptoms, including sexual disinhibition, were assessed via caregiver report. Burden (P < .001) and desire to institutionalize (P = .008) were greater among caregivers who endorsed sexual disinhibition. Sexual disinhibition uniquely predicted desire to institutionalize after accounting for presence (P = .02) and severity (P = .03) of other neuropsychiatric symptoms. A similar pattern was seen for burden (presence P < .04; severity P = .06), and follow-up analyses revealed caregiver burden mediated the relationship between care recipient sexual disinhibition and caregiver desire to institutionalize (presence bias-corrected 95% confidence intervals [BCa 95% CI] [0.003, 0.08], severity BCa 95% CI [0.007, 0.06]). Sexual disinhibition appears to be a particularly difficult neuropsychiatric symptom for the family caregiver, contributing to desire to institutionalize via caregiver burden.

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Community Treatment Orders and Supported Decision-Making

This paper presents findings from an interdisciplinary project undertaken in Victoria, Australia, investigating the barriers and facilitators to supported decision-making (SDM) for people living with diagnoses including schizophrenia, psychosis, bipolar disorder, and severe depression; family members supporting them; and mental health practitioners, including psychiatrists. We considered how SDM can be used to align Australian laws and practice with international human rights obligations. The project examined the experiences, views, and preferences of consumers of mental health services, including people with experiences of being on Community Treatment Orders (CTOs), in relation to enabling SDM in mental health service delivery. It also examined the perspectives of informal family members or carers and mental health practitioners. Victoria currently has high rates of use of CTOs, and the emphasis on SDM in the Mental Health Act, 2014, is proposed as one method for reducing coercion within the mental health system and working towards more recovery-oriented practice. Our findings cautiously suggest that SDM may contribute to reducing the use of CTOs, encouraging less use of coercive practices, and improving the experience of people who are subject to these orders, through greater respect for their views and preferences. Nonetheless, the participants in our study expressed an often ambivalent stance towards CTOs. In particular, the emphasis on medication as the primary treatment option and the limited communication about distressing side effects, alongside lack of choice of medication, was a primary source of concern. Fears, particularly among staff, about the risk of harm to self and others, and stigma attached to complex mental health conditions experienced by consumers and their families, represent important overarching concerns in the implementation of CTOs. Supporting the decision-making of people on CTOs, respecting their views and preferences about treatment, and moving towards reducing the use of CTOs require system-wide transformation and a significant shift in values and practice across mental health service delivery.

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Family caregiver-reported outcomes regarding decision-making for left ventricular assist device implantation

Family caregivers (FCGs) often participate in the decision for their loved one to receive a left ventricular assist device (LVAD). Little is known about the contribution of FCGs to this complex decision. To investigate family caregiver-reported outcomes related to decision-making for LVAD implantation and their experiences post-implantation. Descriptive thematic analysis was used to analyze longitudinal data. Thematic saturation was achieved. Three key themes emerged from the data. The main theme in the pre-implantation period was: Not a decision. The two themes in the post-implantation period were: More satisfaction than regret and Unanticipated situational change. Family caregiver-reported outcomes inform clinical practice and future research. FCGs of LVAD recipients did not see viable alternatives to LVAD implantation, were generally satisfied with post-implantation outcomes, and experienced unexpected life changes in the post-implantation period despite feeling prepared preoperatively. Education of both LVAD recipients and their FCGs must be optimized.

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“This is our life now. Our new normal”: A qualitative study of the unmet needs of carers of stroke survivors

Many stroke survivors require care from informal carers such as family members and friends who may experience adverse impacts. This study aimed to qualitatively explore the unmet needs of carers of stroke survivors, and their preferences for interventions and support services. We conducted 24 semi-structured, qualitative interviews with carers of stroke survivors from the Hunter region, Australia. Inductive thematic analysis was used in the context of a needs-led framework to identify key themes of their unmet needs. Key unmet needs identified by carers of stroke survivors in this study centred on four main themes: (1) social relationships and support; (2) adequacy of information; (3) taking care of oneself; and (4) accessing appropriate services. Carers of stroke survivors desired the development of services which provide connectivity to information, training, education and community support; and inclusion in a community with social relationships and other carers of stroke survivors. Ongoing unmet needs often result in adverse health and quality of life outcomes for carers of stroke survivors. Co-designed programs and resources for carers, particularly relating to unmet needs in social, information, self-care and service access domains are needed.

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Informal health care: examining the role of women and challenges faced as caregivers in rural and urban settings in Ghana

Objective: Globally, the informal health sector is continuing to experience increasing growth despite the parallel development of the formal health care sector over the years. However, studies in Ghana concerning caregiving are limited since little attention has been given to the informal health care sector. This study therefore explores the role of women as caregivers and the challenges they face in the Kumasi Metropolis and Ejisu Juaben Municipality in Ashanti Region of Ghana. Methods: In-depth interviews were conducted with 20 caregivers from the two study areas. Data were analyzed and presented based on a content and thematic analysis approach. Results: Findings from the study showed that caregivers perform key roles including those of a domestic, health care, economic, social and spiritual nature. However, caregivers were confronted with many challenges, including inadequate funds, inability to work effectively, prolonged stress, limited time for socialization and emotional trauma. Conclusion: For caregivers to perform their roles efficiently and effectively, government and health care authorities must provide them with immediate financial support and training. Also, in the near future policy makers should put a comprehensive policy in place to bolster caregiving in general.

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Male working carers: a qualitative analysis of males involved in caring alongside full-time paid work

Given ageing demographics, the need for carers will increase and studies suggest that men are nearly as likely as women to become carers. The purpose of this study is to understand the specific challenges that male working carers experience with regard to social life and paid work. Participant recruitment was conducted through local carer support groups and male-dominated workplaces. Using a semi-structured format, 15 interviews were conducted. Findings suggest a variety of themes, including caring characteristics, the effects of caring, support systems and coping strategies. Our results indicate that the male working carer population faces specific challenges in the workplace and social settings.

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Life course trajectories of family care

More than 30 years ago, Elder theorised multiple life-course trajectories in domains such as family and work, punctuated by transitions that create the structure and rhythm of individual lives. We argue that in the context of population ageing, family care should be added as a life-course domain. We conceptualise life courses of family care with core elements of 'care as doing' and 'care as being in relationship', creating hypothetical family care trajectories to illustrate the diversity of life-course patterns of care. The framework provides a basis for considering influences of care on cumulative advantage/disadvantage for family carers.

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Engaging the person with young-onset dementia: working in partnership to support meaningful activity

Imelda cared for her husband through his journey with young-onset Alzheimer's disease. He was diagnosed at the age of 64 and died aged 68. This article describes many of the challenges that she faced in ensuring that her husband continued to experience purpose and meaning even as the ravages of the disease robbed him of his skills. She focuses on the need for the caregiver and the care professional to respond to the unique way in which the person being cared for engages with his or her world and to co-develop activities that are meaningful to them.

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Perceived reliability of assistance among American older adults: a study of kin and non-kin help

As a neglected dimension of the quality of care, assessments of caregiver reliability by older adults receiving help contributes to the better understanding of unmet needs for assistance in everyday life. This study examines how the numbers and composition of helpers - both potential and actual - relate to older Americans' reports of the reliability of assistance. According to the 2008 US National Elder Mistreatment Study (<i>n</i> = 2,176), the potential network, proxied by marital status and household size, was not a significant predictor of unreliable care, nor was the actual number of caregivers. We distinguish four types of helping sources: kin-only; exclusively informal non-kin (eg friends, neighbours); exclusively formal (paid); and mixed type. There was a higher risk of unreliable care among respondents relying exclusively on informal non-kin assistance compared with exclusively kin help. Kin-only provided more reliable care than informal non-kin but were no more reliable than formal or mixed types.

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'From my point of view, my wife has recovered': A qualitative investigation of caregivers' perceptions of recovery and peer support services for people with bipolar disorder in a Chinese community

Background: Bipolar disorder (BD) is a chronic mental disorder, and family members play a key role in taking care of the affected individuals. The recovery movement has gradually transformed mental health services, for example, through the introduction of peer support services (sharing of expert-by-experience knowledge), and it has challenged the prevailing view that people with mental illness cannot recover.; Aims: Through this study, the researchers explored how family caregivers in a Chinese context conceptualise recovery, how caregivers interact with peer support workers (PSWs) and how they perceive peer support services.; Methods: Fourteen family caregivers from community settings participated in individual semi-structured interviews. The data were analysed through thematic analysis.; Results: Family caregivers had multifaceted definitions of recovery and had various degrees of contact with PSWs. The views and experiences shared by PSWs were hope-instilling for caregivers and changed their perception of BD and their loved ones. Some limitations of PSWs were also identified.; Conclusion: Social connectedness and functional outcomes were important indicators of recovery among Chinese family caregivers. Caregivers began to understand the benefits of PSWs after experiencing their services. Peer-led services could be a helpful support for both service users and family caregivers.;

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The Hidden Health Crisis: What Family Caregivers Want You to Know

I looked at the diagnostic specialist and burst into tears. She had seen other women like me and knew what was wrong with my shoulder. Finally, after 14 months of being tossed between physicians, specialists, and physical therapists and many misdiagnoses, I had an answer: frozen shoulder. It explained the extreme pain in my shoulder along with the stiffness and inability to move the shoulder joint. This condition takes 1 to 3 years to resolve, and there is little that can be done to relieve the pain or force the shoulder to move. 

  1. MaryAnne’s Story

  2. The Caregiving Journey

  3. Stories From the Front Lines

  4. The Hidden Health Crisis

 
 
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CE: Original Research: New Acute Symptoms in Older Adults with Cognitive Impairment: What Should Family Caregivers Do?

The authors assessed the frequency with which family caregivers of older veterans with cognitive impairment sought guidance for new physical or behavioral symptoms and described the characteristics of such events, including the diagnoses and advice given. Background: When older adults with cognitive impairment develop new physical or behavioral symptoms, their family caregivers face a difficult decision: whether and when to seek professional medical care. Most family caregivers lack formal training in assessment and may have difficulty making such decisions. The Veterans Health Administration's home-based primary care (HBPC) program, which is widely available, offers community-dwelling frail veterans and their family caregivers guidance, with the goal of reducing hospitalization and institutionalization in long-term care facilities. Objective: This study sought to assess the frequency with which family caregivers of cognitively impaired older adults sought prehospital guidance from health care professionals when that resource was available to them, and to describe the characteristics of such events. Methods: This study used a retrospective chart review of patients who were enrolled in the Orlando Veterans Affairs Medical Center HBPC program for at least one month between October 1, 2013, and September 30, 2014; had a diagnosis indicative of cognitive impairment (Alzheimer's disease, vascular dementia, or mild cognitive impairment); had a dedicated family caregiver; and were not enrolled in hospice care. Data were collected from data collection templates and nurses' narrative notes. Univariate descriptive analyses were conducted regarding the type of staff contacted by family caregivers, the presenting diagnoses, the guidance offered by staff, and the number of unplanned acute care encounters. Results: Among the 215 patients studied, there were 254 unplanned acute care encounters (including ED visits followed by discharge to home and ED visits resulting in hospital admission). Family caregivers sought guidance from a health care professional 22% of the time before such an encounter. The presenting clinical issues were most often new problems (43%) that included falls, feeding tube problems, fever, new pain, rash or other skin problems, and unexplained edema. Overall, 25% of all unplanned acute care encounters were for reasons considered potentially avoidable. About half of the patients who were subsequently hospitalized had symptoms of delirium, indicating that their illness had significantly advanced before presentation. Conclusions: It's important for health care professionals to ensure that family caregivers of cognitively impaired older adults can access professional guidance readily when facing decisions about a loved one's care, especially when there is an acute onset of new symptoms. Teaching caregivers how to recognize such symptoms early in order to prevent exacerbations of chronic illness and subsequent hospitalization should be a high priority. Our findings underscore the need to do so, so that caregivers can best use the resources that HBPC programs have (or ought to have) in place, in particular 24/7 guidance and decision assistance.

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Multifactorial Examination of Caregiver Burden in a National Sample of Family and Unpaid Caregivers

OBJECTIVES To examine factors associated with caregiver burden from a multifactorial perspective by examining caregiver and care recipient characteristics and a full range of caregiving tasks. DESIGN Nationally representative surveys of community‐dwelling older adults and their family caregivers residing in the United States. SETTING 2011 National Health and Aging Trends Study and National Study of Caregiving. PARTICIPANTS Community‐dwelling older adults and their family caregivers. MEASUREMENTS Caregiver burden, comprising emotional, physical, and financial difficulties associated with caregiving. RESULTS: An estimated 14.9 million caregivers assisted 7.6 million care recipients. More than half of caregivers reported burden related to caregiving. In a multivariable regression model, caregivers who assisted with more activities of daily living and instrumental activities of daily living, health management tasks, and health system logistics were more likely to experience burden, as were female caregivers, adult child caregivers, caregivers in poor health, caregivers with anxiety symptoms, and those using respite care. Dementia was the only care recipient characteristic associated with burden. CONCLUSION: Caregiver characteristics and provision of caregiving tasks determine caregiver burden more than care recipient characteristics. Absence of an association between type of a care recipient's chronic conditions and burden, except for dementia, suggests that the tasks that caregivers who assist older adults with a variety of health conditions undertake shape the experience of caregiving. 

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Using photo-elicitation to explore the lived experience of informal caregivers of individuals living with dementia

Objectives: This study aims to explore the subjective lived experience of informal caregivers supporting an individual with dementia.; Design: This study uses the interpretive phenomenological approach utilizing the method of photo-elicitation and in-depth semi-structured interviews.; Methods: Six individuals were given a disposable camera to capture photographs which they felt illustrated their own lived experiences of being a caregiver of an individual living with dementia. Photographs were printed and used to form discussion within an in-depth semi-structured interview. The photographs provided an innovative way of capturing the lived experiences of formal dementia caregivers and allowed the interview data to be grounded in their daily living, centring around their own lived experiences.; Results: Three themes emerged from data analysis: 'conceptualising the role of informal caregiver', 'support for the informal caregiver', and 'the caregivers own needs'.; Conclusions: Findings demonstrated the complexity of the relationship between the caregiver and the person living with dementia, and the shift in this relationship specifically due to the role of carer, with notable differences between spousal caregivers and adult-child caregivers. The importance of social, emotional, and practical support for caregivers was highlighted, as well as significance of the caregiver's individual needs. Statement of contribution What is already known on this subject? Informal caregivers of individuals living with dementia cover much of the associated health care costs. Informal caregiving of individuals living with dementia can lead to negative health outcomes of the carer. Health outcomes of informal caregivers living with dementia are grounded in culture and are influenced by multiple factors. What does this study add? The complexity of the transition from family member to informal caregiver has both a physical and emotional impact on caregivers. The transition, and experiences of informal caregiving, is dependent on the relationship to the individual living with dementia. Caregiver support and recognizing the caregiver's individual needs were imperative to caregiver well-being.

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The experiences and needs of primary family caregivers of patients with multiple myeloma: A qualitative analysis

Background: Family caregivers play a key role in the lives of patients with multiple myeloma. However, very little is known about the impact that the disease (its diagnosis, course and prognosis) has on the main family caregiver.; Aim: To achieve a deeper understanding of the lived experience of individuals who are the primary caregiver of a relative with multiple myeloma and to shed light on their needs.; Design: Interpretative phenomenological study.; Setting and Participants: A total of 12 individuals who were the main family caregivers of a relative with multiple myeloma who was under outpatient follow-up at a cancer unit in Barcelona were recruited via purposive sampling until data saturation was reached. In semi-structured in-depth interviews, participants described their experiences of caring for their relative with multiple myeloma. Interviews were recorded, transcribed and analysed using ATLAS.ti v7.2. The seven steps proposed by Colaizzi were used for data analysis, and the relationships among emerging themes were examined.; Findings: Four main themes emerged: (a) a new life, adapting to the disease, (b) commitment to the patient, (c) the emotional sphere and (d) experiences in relation to the care and support received. The analysis also revealed a core overarching theme: uncertainty.; Conclusion: Primary family caregivers experienced intense uncertainty, and they described a strong need to air their feelings. Specific practical initiatives, targeting both health-related and logistical aspects of care, need to be developed in order to support family caregivers of myeloma patients.

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The Role and Influence of Prostate Cancer Caregivers Across the Care Continuum

Background: Black men endure a disproportionate burden of morbidity and mortality related to prostate cancer (CaP). Increasingly family members are assuming the role of providing care and support to family members with chronic disease. Understanding the role and influence of the caregiver is a necessary part of developing resources to assist individuals learning to provide care.; Aim: The analysis aimed to explore CaP survivors' perceptions of the role and influence of family caregivers to better understand existing opportunities for improving experiences and outcomes for both the caregiver and the care receiver.; Design: Secondary analysis of qualitative interview transcripts. Data were analyzed to explore new inquiries related to CaP survivors' perceptions of family caregivers' role and influence at each stage of care. Content analysis was used to group data into established categories.; Data Source: Data included qualitative interview transcripts with 32 CaP survivors from the Florida Prostate Cancer Care and Survivorship Project.; Results: The role of the family caregiver is complex. Caregivers in this community seem to have a significant influence on behavior modification and cues to action for Black men with prostate cancer. According to the men in this group, caregivers functioned as normalizing agents, coordinating care and creating a new normal, throughout the various stages of care and survivorship.; Conclusions: Findings inform areas for future research to develop culturally tailored health promotion programs designed to improve outcomes and address the needs of both the family caregiver and the care receiver across the care continuum.

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Patient and carer experience of blended diet via gastrostomy: a qualitative study

Background: Home enteral feeding is becoming increasingly prevalent within the UK. The use of commercial prescription formula is considered best practice; however, increasingly, patients are choosing to use blended diet via gastrostomy. There is anecdotal evidence suggesting both physical and social benefits, although there are concerns regarding the safety and efficacy of this method of feeding. The present study explores the experiences of patients who are currently using or have used this method of feeding in the past. Methods: Patients currently using or having previously used blended diet via gastrostomy were identified. Patients and their carers, where applicable, were invited to participate in a semi‐structured interview. The data were transcribed and themes were identified. Results: Thematic analysis of the data collected showed that patients had an overall positive experience of blended diet with few or no identified disadvantages. Participants reported improvements in gastrointestinal symptoms, as well as general wellbeing, in addition to the social benefits of their family member being included in family mealtimes. Reference was made to the lack of support for this method of feeding and the desire for blended diet to be offered as an alternative to commercial enteral feed. Conclusions: This research highlights the benefits of blended diet via gastrostomy as an alternative to commercial formula. More research is needed to develop evidence‐based guidelines for patients and the healthcare professionals supporting them.

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Family matters! - The caregivers' perspective of Mental Healthcare Act 2017

Mental health continues to fight for acceptance in health care all over the world. The need for a separate act for mental illnesses proves this fact even more. The very nature of the mental illness has necessitated legislation to aid the service providers and service users. The Mental Healthcare Act 2017 has taken great initiatives in terms of protection of human rights for people with mental illness such as the inclusion of mental illness in health insurance, stress on informed consent, decriminalization of suicide, and introduction of advance directives (ADs) and punishment to those who violate the law. However, in a country like India where the family as a unit has more significance than personal autonomy, the new act emphasizes the patient's rights and, in doing so, may make the doctors more defensive and fearful in making clinical decisions, thus shifting the burden to the shoulders of the family members. There is a need for suitable amendments to include the family's concerns as well; otherwise, the present act would stand as an alien Western law enforced on Indian cohesive family dynamics. Qualitative studies are required from the family's perspective to illustrate the hindrances that the patients' families are facing. In the context of Indian family structure and dynamics and working in the Indian community, we feel that without suitable amendments to include the family's concerns, the present act would stand as an alien Western law enforced on Indian cohesive family dynamics.

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Family dynamics in a multi-ethnic Asian society: comparison of elderly CKD patients and their family caregivers experience with medical decision making for managing end stage kidney disease

Background: Elderly end stage kidney patients face a decision concerning whether or not to initiate dialysis. In Asia, this decision is highly influenced by family caregivers. The objective of this paper was to understand patients' experience with and preferences for family involvement in treatment decisions, and via a series of hypothetical vignettes, to identify whether there was discordance in treatment preferences between patients and their caregivers, and how any potential conflicts were reconciled.; Methods: We conducted a survey with 151 elderly (aged ≥65) chronic kidney disease patients and their caregivers at outpatient renal clinics. The survey asked, when making treatment decisions, whom they wish makes the final decisions (i.e., preference) and who usually makes the final decisions (i.e., experience). The survey also presented a series of choice vignettes for managing patient's condition and asked respondents to choose between two hypothetical treatment profiles in each vignette. Patients and caregivers were first interviewed separately in tandem, and then were brought together to choose a treatment jointly for vignettes where the initial treatment choice differed within the dyad. We used multivariate regressions to investigate the predictors of discordance and reconciliation.; Results: We found that most (51%) patients preferred and experienced (64%) significant involvement from caregivers. However, 38% of patients preferred to make final decisions alone but only 27% of patients did. In the hypothetical vignettes, caregivers chose the more intensive option (i.e., dialysis) more than patients did (26% vs 19%; p < 0.01). Overall, 44% of the dyads had discordance in at least 3 vignettes, and the odds of discordance within patient-caregiver dyads was higher when caregivers chose dialysis or treatment with the higher cost (p < 0.01). In half the cases, discordance resolved in the patients' favor, and this was more likely to be the case if the patient was employed and wanted to be in charge of final decisions (p < 0.01).; Conclusions: Our results highlight the important role of caregivers in decision-making but also the potential for them to overstep. Clinicians should be aware of this challenge and identify strategies that minimize the chances that patients may receive treatments not consistent with their preferences.

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Roles of Family Caregivers and Perceived Burden When Caring for Hospitalized Adult Cancer Patients: Perspective From a Low-Income Country

Background: Family caregivers (FCGs) of adult cancer patients (ACPs) are typically involved in the entire trajectory of cancer disease, from diagnosis to survivorship or end of life. In developing countries, FCGs are more intensely involved in the process of providing care to the hospitalized ACPs because of lack of adequate cancer care resources. Active performance of tasks to meet the needs of ACPs in the hospital setting is likely to elicit significant caregiver burden.; Objective: The aim of this study was to explore the tasks performed and the caregiver burden experienced by FCGs of hospitalized ACPs in a sub-Saharan country.; Methods: A cross-sectional descriptive design was used to collect data from 168 FCGs of ACPs. The Caregiver Burden Scale was used to measure burden.; Results: The most common cancer diagnosis in male and female ACPs was Kaposi's sarcoma (32.1%) and breast cancer (37.9%), respectively. The tasks regularly performed by most FCGs for the ACPs were providing emotional support (79.8%), feeding (68.5%), transporting to other appointments (62.5%), preparing meals (55%), and giving medications (46.4%). Most FCGs (75%) were experiencing severe or very severe general caregiver burden. The dimensions of caregiver burden that were most severely impacted were general strain (70.6%), disappointment (85.8%), and isolation (72%). Predictors of caregiver burden are reported.; Conclusion: Family caregivers of hospitalized ACPs experience severe caregiver burden. The main forms of burden experienced were general strain, disappointment, and isolation.; Implications For Practice: Cancer care services in developing countries should be strengthened with services that address FCGs' emotional needs and human resources to curtail the strain imposed on FCGs.

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"I'm just trying to cope for both of us": Challenges and supports of family caregivers in participant-directed programs

Recently, national attention has focused on the needs of family caregivers providing complex chronic care, noting the necessity to better understand the scope of challenges they encounter. Although a robust body of literature exists about the scope of family caregiving, little is known specifically about the experiences and perspectives of family caregivers who support participant directed (PD) participants, particularly across the caregiving trajectory. Therefore, the aim of this qualitative descriptive study was to describe what family caregivers of individuals with developmental disabilities, physical disabilities, aging, or chronic health conditions identify as the challenges they experience as complex, and their perceptions of the effectiveness and gaps in family support resources in PD. Semi-structured interviews were audio-recorded with a purposive sample of caregivers. Transcribed interviews were analyzed using conventional content analysis. Fifty-four caregivers of individuals with a range of disabilities participated (age 34-78, M 59.9 ± 8.8; male 19%; spouse 17%, parent 61%). Six categories emerged from the analysis: contextualizing complexity, complexity in transitions, coping with complexity: advocacy & isolation, supportive support, unsupportive support, and systems challenges. Caregivers emphasized the interplay between unpredictability, transitions, and complexity and the interaction between the person receiving support, the caregiver's own situation, and the environment. Findings highlight the need, and provide a guide, for family assessment and for tailoring interventions matched to the profiles and self-identified challenges of families living with disability. Social workers can learn what families see as complex and what support broker behaviors families find helpful, and which not.

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Family Caregivers, AIDS Narratives, and the Semiotics of the Bedside in Colm Tóibín's The Blackwater Lightship

This article examines the ways in which Colm Tóibín's The Blackwater Lightship carefully negotiates media discourses on HIV/AIDS and the genre of the AIDS narrative in order to shed new light on the physical and emotional experience of being a family caregiver. The novel elevates the otherwise mundane bed to the status of a symbol that reflects a myriad of unspoken social relations and shows how the daily life of the caregiver challenges their ideals, stretches emotional limits, and heightens interdependency. In reading the complex semiotics of the bedside in the novel, this article reveals the emotional costs of illness. In place of the biomedical focus on cellular decay and tissue damage, interactions at the bedside foreground the social realm of plans abandoned and abilities impaired. As The Blackwater Lightship reveals, bedsides are both real and imagined places of intimacy, care, and connection that are nevertheless fraught and weighted with meaning; they are the site of the complex emotional commitments that bind caregivers and patients together and provide spaces for intimacy, vulnerability, and reflection.

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Impacts of regulatory processes on the experiences of carers of people in LGBTQ communities living with mental illness or experiencing a mental health crisis

This article presents the findings of exploratory research on the mental health and community services experiences of informal/family carers of people from LGBTQ communities living with mental illness, or experiencing a mental health crisis. The aim of the research is to explore the experiences of carers in relation to provisions for carers and people from LGBTIQ communities in the mental health legislation, policy and practice standards in the state of Victoria in Australia. Data were collected from online surveys and in-depth interviews and analysed according to the alignment of the stated intent of these documents and the actual experiences of carers.

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Caring for patients with oral cancer in Taiwan: The challenges faced by family caregivers

Family caregivers face multiple challenges when caring for patients with oral cancer at home. Understanding the difficulties they face may assist health professionals to better organise and provide support for family caregivers of oral cancer patients. The aim of this study was to describe the caregivers' primary tasks and the difficulties they encounter when caring for a family member with oral cancer. This qualitative study included a purposeful sample of 22 primary family caregivers ranging in age from 25 to 71 years old. The researchers used face-to-face, semi-structured and tape-recorded interviews to collect data and employed qualitative content analysis to elicit caregiving-related themes. Six task-related themes and associated challenges were identified. These included managing the patient's nutritional issues, investigating and making decisions about patient care, managing sudden and unpredictable changes in the patient's condition, managing emotional distress, adjusting their attitudes towards patient care, and seeking resources. Family caregivers handle such essential tasks when they care for patients in home settings and they face specific challenges related to them. This study identified several challenges related to each task. From the outset, healthcare providers should actively offer caregiving information and strategies. Health professionals can incorporate strategies for supporting caregivers' ability to carry out these tasks into their treatment model and can help caregivers manage difficulties that can impede them from doing so.

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Reconstruction of Masculine Identities Through Caring Practices: The Experiences of Male Caregivers in Hong Kong

The purpose of this study was to explore from a gender perspective how masculinities might be reworked into identities of care through men taking on the role of family caregiver. A qualitative method was adopted for this research. Twenty Chinese men in Hong Kong who were the main caregivers in their families were invited for in-depth interviews to understand their views on caring and their experiences as caregivers. We identified four types of male caregiver: (a) conforming caregivers, (b) traditional caregivers, (c) transitional caregivers, and (d) transforming caregivers. Based on our findings, we argue that when men engage in caring, changes can occur in their perceptions of the value of care, their relationships with family members, and their male identities. The involvement of men in caring may lead to social change for men and transform gender relations.

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Finding fault: Criticism as a care management strategy and its impact on outcomes for dementia caregivers

Background: Despite a large literature on the stress process, little attention has focused on how caregivers for persons living with dementia (PLWDs) provide care and how this may impact care outcomes. Criticism is a management strategy caregivers may use to respond to behavioral symptoms. We consider whether criticism is associated with caregivers' mental health and service utilization. Methods: Data are drawn from the Advancing Caregiver Training intervention study including 256 informal caregivers living with a PLWD. In multiple linear regressions controlling for caregivers' demographics and PLWDs' clinical factors, we consider criticism (criticism subscale of the Dementia Management Strategies Scale) as a predictor of caregiver burden, depressive symptoms, desire to institutionalize the PLWD, level of frustration with care, and the number of home-based, social, and health services utilized.  Results: On average, 15% of the sample sometimes reported using criticism as a management strategy to manage the challenges of care. Greater use of criticism was associated with significantly more caregiver burden (β = 0.26, P < 0.001) and frustration with caregiving (β = 0.66, P < 0.001), but not depressive symptoms or a desire to institutionalize the PLWD. Criticism was also associated with significantly greater utilization of home-based (β = 0.14, P < 0.05) and social services (β = 0.15, P < 0.05), but not health care services. Conclusion: Criticism appears to be used by more burdened and frustrated caregivers. The association of criticism with social and home-based services potentially reflects a need for greater support among this group of caregivers. Behavioral interventions that can help caregivers manage behavioral symptoms with positive, empirically validated strategies may be helpful.

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Challenges to and Strategies for Formal Service Utilization among Caregivers in an Underserved Community

Family caregivers face enormous challenges when attempting to oversee the medical, legal, financial, and daily affairs of loved ones with chronic or life-limiting illness. While formal services and agencies exist to assist caregivers with some of these tasks, caregivers in underserved communities do not utilize these services, or utilize them with unsatisfactory results. This study used focus groups (N = 5 groups) with underserved, minority caregivers (N = 22) to explore their experiences related to care provision, including barriers to support service use and challenges navigating systems related to the broad spectrum of caregiving demands. Thematic content analysis revealed three main themes: (1) prior difficulties with formal service use, (2) difficulties navigating financial, legal, and medical systems, and (3) caregivers' personal strategies to address challenges associated with formal service use and systems navigation. Findings from this study identify underserved caregivers' challenges in utilizing formal services, as well as caregiver-identified strategies for supporting their caregiving activities.

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Continuity of home-based care for persons with dementia from formal and family caregivers' perspective

Western health care policy emphasizes continuity of care for people with dementia. This paper presents formal and family caregivers' descriptions of collaboration in home-based dementia care and explores whether this collaboration inhibits or enables continuity of care and the use of the statutory individual plan. Empirical data were derived from 18 in-depth interviews with formal and family caregivers and brief fieldwork. The results reveal dynamic positions in collaborative practice and, from these positions, discrepancies in descriptions of practices and the needs of the person with dementia. Such micro-level discrepancies may serve as barriers for macro-level continuity of care objectives. To ensure continuity of care, formal and family caregivers must be aware of their positions and discuss specific expectations for information flow, involvement and care responsibilities. Individual plan can serve as a starting point for such discussions.

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Relational aspects of mastery for frail, older adults: The role of informal caregivers in the care process

Frail, older care recipients are often thought of as individuals with a decreased mastery of everyday life skills. Various authors have proposed to acknowledge a relational dimension of mastery, defined as the ability to maintain control over one's life with the help of others. This study explores how frail, older adults experience relational aspects of mastery and the role of their informal caregivers in maintaining these aspects of mastery over the care process. Qualitative interviews (N = 121) were conducted in 2016 with potentially frail, community-dwelling older adults participating in the Detection, Support and Care for Older people: Prevention and Empowerment (D-SCOPE) project. A secondary analysis of 65 interviews reveals that, according to frail, older adults, informal caregivers contribute in various ways to the preservation of their mastery. This differs across the four elements of care: caring about (attentiveness), taking care of (responsibility), care-giving (competence), and care-receiving (responsiveness). However, in some cases, older adults experienced a loss of mastery; for example, when informal caregivers did not understand their care needs and did not involve them in the decision, organisation, and provision of care. A relational dimension of mastery needs to be acknowledged in frail, older care recipients since stimulating mastery is a crucial element for realising community care objectives and person-centred and integrated care.

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Supporting you to take a break

Finding time to have a break from your caring role is vital – welcome to our video series

  • Facing guilt and anxiety: It’s all too easy to lose yourself in your caring role, but you owe it to yourself to look after yourself too
  • Where do I start? Carers share their experiences and tips, explaining why it’s vital to get advice and support
  • Sources of support: Help is available in many forms. Whether you need peer support or professional guidance, you’re not alone
  • Importance of a break - Wales spotlight: Carers in Wales share their views on how taking a break is possible and important
  • Carer stories: It often helps to hear from people in the same situation. Here, carers share their personal experiences and tips
  • Need nore information? This is where we provide all the detail about the variety and range of breaks available to support carers
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Online Resources: What Family Carers Think

In 2018, a survey found that 82% of the Irish population, across all age groups, had used the internet in some way in the three months preceding the survey (Central Statistics Office, 2018). Ninety-seven percent of those aged between 16 and 29, and nearly half of those aged between 60 and 74, had done so. It is clear, then, that  increasingly the internet is becoming a tool that must be understood and utilised as a viable way to supplement supports for family carers.

In order to discover how family carers in Ireland are using – and could be using – online services and supports, Care Alliance Ireland (in consultation with the National Carers Week partner organisations) undertook a survey of Irish family carers in April 2019.

300 family carers responded online, and a summary of their responses are included here. The purpose of this report is to highlight how family carers are using the internet to connect with others, to get supports and information from not-for-profit and statutory agencies, and to manage their lives as family carers. It should be noted that this is not a representative sample of Irish family carers – the survey was administered online and disseminated via the National Carers Week Facebook page and other online channels.

Internet supports are not, of course, a substitute for significant one-to-one supports. There will always be a need for the timely and adequate provision of in-home respite, therapies and all the other supports which are necessary to create a positive environment for a family carer to provide the best possible care to a family member or friend. However, if used in conjunction with existing supports they can be a source of peer support and a way to tackle the social isolation and loneliness that many family carers experience – in particular in rural and geographically isolated locations.

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The key factors for the engagement of primary stakeholders in decision-making for the future care of people with dementia living in the community: a systematic integrative review

Background: Engagement of people with dementia who are living in the community, their family or carers, and healthcare professionals in decision-making related to their future care is an area yet to be explored in the literature. In particular, little is known about the factors most likely to underpin their engagement.; Objectives: To identify key factors for the engagement of the person with dementia living in the community, as well as their family or carer and their healthcare professionals in decision-making processes related to future care.; Design: This is an integrative review guided by the PRISMA guidelines; the Mixed Methods Appraisal Tool was used to assess study quality. MEDLINE, PubMed, CINAHL, PsycINFO and Embase databases were searched for articles published from 2012 to 2018 that focused on people with dementia who live in the community, their family or carers, and community-based healthcare professionals.; Results: Twenty articles were included in the review, and six key factors were identified through thematic analysis: knowledge and understanding of dementia and decision-making for the future, valuing decision-making for the future, healthcare professionals' communication skills, timing of initiating conversations, relationship quality, and orientation to the future.; Conclusion: This review identifies the six key factors required for the engagement of the three primary key stakeholders in decision-making about the future care of people with dementia. It also situates the factors within the complex context in which people with dementia, their family or carers, and healthcare professionals typically find themselves.

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Longitudinal Outcomes Among Family Caregivers of Power Mobility Users

Objective: To examine the change over 1 year in the burden, wheelchair skills, social support, social participation, and mental health of family caregivers providing assistance to older adult powered wheelchair users.; Design: Longitudinal study.; Setting: Community.; Participants: Participants (N=35) included family caregivers (mean age ± SD=63.7±10.2y) who provided at least 2 hours of general care per week for a powered wheelchair user.; Intervention: Not applicable.; Main Outcome Measures: The Power Mobility Caregiver Assistive Technology Outcome Measure (frequency of care and subjective burden), the Wheelchair Skills Test Questionnaire for caregivers (wheelchair skills), the Interpersonal Support Evaluation List-6 (social support), the Late-Life Function and Disability Instrument (social participation), the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (mental health). Measures were taken at baseline, 1, 3, 6, and 12 months. Descriptive statistics were calculated, and a linear mixed model was used to assess changes over time in the outcomes.; Results: The results showed that the caregivers helped on average with 3 powered wheelchair-related activities and 10 other caregiving activities. They also experienced moderate subjective burden and social participation and were within the normal range for depression and anxiety. Moreover, those outcomes remained stable over the 1-year study period. However, the wheelchair skills scores showed significant changes over time, as the scores improved during the first 6 months of the study.; Conclusion: Given that previous research indicated that subjective burden tends to decline over time among caregivers, the findings of stability in this study may reflect increasing needs among this population of caregivers, who may benefit from additional support and interventions. This would need further consideration.

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The experience of family caregivers of patients with cancer in an Asian country: A grounded theory approach

Background: Strong family bonds are part of the Indonesian culture. Family members of patients with cancer are intensively involved in caring, also in hospitals. This is considered "normal": a societal and religious obligation. The values underpinning this might influence families' perception of it.; Aim: To explore and model experiences of family caregivers of patients with cancer in Indonesia in performing caregiving tasks.; Design: A grounded theory approach was applied. The constant comparative method was used for data analysis and a paradigm scheme was employed for developing a theoretical model.; Setting/participants:: The study was conducted in three hospitals in Indonesia. The participants were family caregivers of patients with cancer.; Results: A total of 24 family caregivers participated. "Belief in caregiving" appeared to be the core phenomenon. This reflects the caregivers' conviction that providing care is an important value, which becomes the will power and source of their strength. It is a combination of spiritual and religious, value and motivation to care, and is influenced by contextual factors. It influences actions: coping mechanisms, sharing tasks, and making sacrifices. Social support influences the process of the core phenomenon and the actions of the caregivers. Both positive and negative experiences were identified.; Conclusion: We developed a model of family caregivers' experiences from a country where caregiving is deeply rooted in religion and culture. The model might also be useful in other cultural contexts. Our model shows that the spiritual domain, not only for the patient but also for the family caregivers, should be structurally addressed by professional caregivers.

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Family caregivers for adult cancer patients: knowledge and self-efficacy for pain management in a resource-limited setting

Adult cancer patients (ACPs) in resource-limited settings disproportionately suffer from inadequate pain control despite advancements in pain management. Family caregivers (FCGs) can support optimal pain control for ACPs in these settings if they are knowledgeable and confident about the needed care. However, the status of FCGs' knowledge and self-efficacy (SE) for pain management in developing countries is not well established. Purpose: To assess the FCGs' knowledge and SE levels for pain management among ACPs while at home in a resource-limited setting. Methods: Using a questionnaire that comprised a Family Pain Questionnaire and Chronic Pain Self-efficacy Scale, data were collected from 284 FCGs of ACPs receiving care from two cancer care centres. Results: The FCGs had moderate knowledge (mean = 41.70 ± 14.1) and SE (mean = 795.95 ± 301.3) levels for pain management at home for ACPs. Majority of the FCGs had low knowledge (52.1%), but expressed higher SE (52.5%). Poor self-rated health among FCGs was significantly associated with low knowledge levels (OR = 1.75; 95% CI 1.024-2.978, p = 0.041). SE was significantly associated with perceiving a low impact of caregiving on health (OR = 1.55; 95% CI 1.074-2.239, p = 0.019), hours of caregiving per week (OR = 0.52; 95% CI 0.315-0.854; p = 0.01) and receiving organisational support (OR = 0.388; 95% CI 0.222-0.679; p = 0.001). Conclusion: The results show a need for deliberate interventions to enhance FCG knowledge and SE for pain management at home as one of the ways of improving cancer pain management in resource-limited settings.

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A Tablet App- and Sensor-Based Assistive Technology Intervention for Informal Caregivers to Manage the Challenging Behavior of People With Dementia (the insideDEM Study): Protocol for a Feasibility Study

Background: Despite the enormous number of assistive technologies (ATs) in dementia care, the management of challenging behavior (CB) of persons with dementia (PwD) by informal caregivers in home care is widely disregarded. The first-line strategy to manage CB is to support the understanding of the underlying causes of CB to formulate individualized nonpharmacological interventions. App- and sensor-based approaches combining multimodal sensors (actimetry and other modalities) and caregiver information are innovative ways to support the understanding of CB for family caregivers.; Objective: The main aim of this study is to describe the design of a feasibility study consisting of an outcome and a process evaluation of a newly developed app- and sensor-based intervention to manage CB of PwD for family caregivers at home.; Methods: In this feasibility study, we perform an outcome and a process evaluation with a pre-post descriptive design over an 8-week intervention period. The Medical Research Council framework guides the design of this feasibility study. The data on 20 dyads (primary caregiver and PwD) are gathered through standardized questionnaires, protocols, and log files as well as semistructured qualitative interviews. The outcome measures (neuropsychiatric inventory and Cohen-Mansfield agitation inventory) are analyzed by using descriptive statistics and statistical tests relevant to the individual assessments (eg, chi-square test and Wilcoxon signed-rank test). For the analysis of the process data, the Unified Theory of Acceptance and Use of Technology is used. Log files are analyzed by using descriptive statistics, protocols are analyzed by using documentary analysis, and semistructured interviews are analyzed deductively using content analysis.; Results: The newly developed app- and sensor-based AT has been developed and was evaluated until July in 2018. The recruitment of dyads started in September 2017 and was concluded in March 2018. The data collection was completed at the end of July 2018.; Conclusions: This study presents the protocol of the first feasibility study to encompass an outcome and process evaluation to assess a complex app- and sensor-based AT combining multimodal actimetry sensors for informal caregivers to manage CB. The feasibility study will provide in-depth information about the study procedure and on how to optimize the design of the intervention and its delivery.; International Registered Report Identifier (irrid): DERR1-10.2196/11630.

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Population-Based Profile of Mental Health and Support Service Need Among Family Caregivers of Adults With Cancer

PURPOSE: We examined associations between caregiving intensity and mental health among cancer caregivers at the population level and potential moderation by an actionable intervention target, support service needs. METHODS: Behavioral Risk Factors Surveillance System survey data (2015) from caregivers of adult patients with cancer was analyzed. Caregiving intensity included hours per week caregiving (high, > 20; low, ≤ 20) and caregiving duration (long, > 2 years; short, ≤ 2 years). Mental health was reported as number of mentally unhealthy days (MUDs) in the past 30. Support service needs comprised caregiving classes, service access, support groups, counseling, and respite care. Multivariable linear regression models were performed adjusting for sociodemographics and sampling weights. RESULTS: A total of 1,831 caregivers were included in the study, representing approximately 1.1 million cancer caregivers in the 18 US states, distributed with the following intensity: 122 (8.3%) caregivers reported care at high hours/long duration, 213 (13.1%) high hours/short duration, 329 (18.4%) low hours/long duration, and 910 (60.2%) low hours/short duration. Mean MUDs was 6 (SE, 0.5). The highest reported unmet service need was help with service access (48.4%). Higher caregiving intensity and support service need were associated with more MUDs (P <.05), with a significant interaction (P =.02) between caregiving intensity and unmet support service needs. High hour/long duration caregivers reporting any unmet needs had a mean of 15 versus 8 MUDs for those with no unmet needs. CONCLUSION: High-intensity cancer caregiving was associated with poor mental health, especially for those reporting support service needs. Developing strategies to optimize support service provision for high-intensity cancer caregivers is warranted. 

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Caring for Patients With a Tracheostomy at Home: A Descriptive, Cross-sectional Study to Evaluate Health Care Practices and Caregiver Burden

In numerous countries, lay (family) caregivers are the primary providers of care for community-dwelling patients with a tracheostomy.; Purpose: The purpose of this descriptive study was to determine health care practices and the burden on family caregivers for patients with a tracheostomy living at home.; Methods: The research population included 50 caregivers (average age 55.60 ± 1.39 years; 25 [50%] female) who provided care to 50 patients (average age 63.50 ± 1.72 years; 35 [70%] male) who were discharged from the otorhinolaryngology clinic of an education and research hospital in Turkey. Patient and caregiver characteristic data and tracheostomy care practices were collected via face-to-face interviews between caregivers and researchers using paper-and-pencil questionnaires. The 18-item Zarit Caregiver Burden Interview also was completed; responses to statements are rated on a scale of 0-4, where 0 = never, 1 = rarely, 2 = sometimes, 3 = often, and 4 = almost always. Total scale scores range from 0 to 88; higher scores indicate greater burden. Data were transferred into a statistical analysis program.; Results: The mean score for the Zarit Caregiver Burden Scale was 42.44 ± 1.93, inferring caregivers were moderately burdened. Caregiver burden scores were significantly higher among female caregivers, caregivers without health insurance, caregivers requiring help, caregivers with chronic illness, more daily care time (hours), and duration of total care (months). Patient burden scores were significantly higher among persons requiring provision of daily nebulization and oxygen therapy, external cannula cleaning, and daily patient care.; Conclusion: This study illuminates the burdens faced by lay/family caregivers of patients with a tracheostomy and identifies for community health clinicians the challenges, care requirements at home, and burden of family caregivers that must be addressed.

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Dementia Family Caregivers' Willingness to Pay for an In-home Program to Reduce Behavioral Symptoms and Caregiver Stress

Objectives: Our objective was to determine whether family caregivers of people with dementia (PwD) are willing to pay for an in-home intervention that provides strategies to manage behavioral symptoms and caregiver stress and to identify predictors of willingness-to-pay (WTP).; Methods: During baseline interviews of a randomized trial and before treatment assignment, caregivers were asked how much they were willing to pay per session for an eight-session program over 3 months. We stratified the sample into those who refused to provide a WTP, those willing to pay $US0, and those willing to pay > $US0. We used a two-part model, controlling for demographic characteristics, to predict adjusted mean WTP and to examine associations between WTP, clinical features (cognition, function, behavioral symptoms), and time spent assisting PwD with daily activities. First, we used logistic regression to model the probability a caregiver was willing to pay > $US0. Second, we used a generalized linear model (log link and Gamma distribution) to estimate the amount caregivers were willing to pay conditional on WTP > $US0.; Results: Of 250 dyads enrolled, 226 (90%) had complete data and were included in our analyses. Of 226 dyads, 26 (11%) refused to provide a WTP value, 72 (32%) were willing to pay $US0, and 128 (57%) were willing to pay > $US0. In the combined model, mean adjusted WTP was $US36.00 (95% confidence interval [CI] 26.72-45.27) per session. Clinical features were not significantly associated with WTP. One additional hour providing PwD assistance was associated with a $US1.64 (95% CI 0.23-3.04) increase in WTP per session.; Conclusion: As caregivers spend more time assisting with daily activities, they are willing to pay more for a supportive program.; Clinical Trial Registration Number: NCT01892579.

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Young carers in Sweden—A pilot study of care activities, view of caring, and psychological well‐being

Children who have parents with any kind of illness may become young carers who take a responsibility not expected of children for household tasks, or personal or emotional care for parents and siblings. So far, little is known about children in Sweden who are at risk of becoming young carers. The aim of this article is therefore to explore the extent and impact of children's caring activities as reported in a pilot study by a sample of children in Sweden. A number of international questionnaires measuring the amount of caring activities, impact of caring, quality of life, and psychological well‐being were translated and combined into a survey. The pilot survey was completed by 30 children 10–18 years of age. Also, when completing the survey, the children were interviewed concerning their experiences of caregiving. The participants report on a group level emotional symptoms such as fear and nervousness above the clinical cut‐off value. They also rate a lower level of caring compared with findings from the United Kingdom, but they report a higher degree of negative impact of caring than young carers in the United Kingdom. 

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Dementia in rural settings: examining the experiences of former partners in care

Informal carers, also referred to as partners in care, provide the bulk of care to people living with dementia across a range of community settings; however, the changing experiences and contexts of providing informal care for people with dementia in rural settings are under-studied. Drawing on 27 semi-structured interviews with former partners in care in Southwestern and Northern Ontario, Canada, we examine experiences of providing and accessing care over the course of the condition and across various settings. Our findings illustrate the challenges associated with navigating the system of care, finding people who understand dementia in the surrounding community, negotiating hours of home support, facing resistance to respite from the person with dementia, and feeling pressured into long-term care. We argue that partners' time, bodies and choices are spatially constrained within rural and small-town settings and the current systems of home, community and long-term care.

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High Priority Problems Experienced by Informal Caregivers of Individuals With Heart Failure

The purpose of this study was to identify high priority problems experienced by informal caregivers when providing care for individuals with heart failure in the home. This secondary analysis was part of a cross-sectional, descriptive study using online self-report instruments (N = 530), including one researcher-developed item identifying top priority problems for heart failure caregivers. Content and quantitative data analyses were conducted. Performing multifaceted activities and roles that evolve around daily heart failure demands (n = 463) and maintaining caregiver physical, emotional, social, and financial well-being (n = 138) were the two most common themes experienced by caregivers of individuals with heart failure. Each of these two problems had several dimensions. Another theme was providing unending care (n = 40), with two dimensions. 

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Caregivers' attitude and perspective on coercion and restraint practices on psychiatric inpatients from South India

Background: Coercion and restraint practices in psychiatric care are common phenomena and often controversial and debatable ethical issue. Caregivers' attitude and perspective on coercion and restraint practices on psychiatric inpatients have received relatively less research attention till date. Aims: Caregivers' attitude and perspective on coercion and restraint practices on psychiatric inpatients. Methodology: This is a hospital-based, a descriptive, cross-sectional study. A total of 200 (n = 200) consecutive patient and their caregivers were chosen between June 2013 and September 2014 through computer-generated random numbers sampling technique. We used a semi-structured interview questionnaire to capture caregivers' attitude and perspective on coercion and restraint practices. Sociodemographic and coercion variable were analyzed using descriptive statistics. McNemar test was used to assess discrete variables. Results: The mean age was 43.8 (±14.9) years. About 67.5% of the caregivers were family members, 60.5% of them were male and 69.5% were from low-socioeconomic status. Caregivers used multiple methods were used to bring patients into the hospital. Threat (52.5%) was the most common method of coercion followed by persuasion (48.5%). Caregivers felt necessary and acceptable to use chemical restraint (82.5%), followed by physical restraint (71%) and electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) (56.5%) during acute and emergency psychiatric care to control imminent risk behavior of patients. Conclusion: Threat, persuasion and physical restraint were the common methods to bring patients to bring acutely disturbed patients to mental health care. Most patients caregivers felt the use of chemical restraint, physical restraint and ECT as necessary for acute and emergency care in patients with mental illness. 

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Family Involvement in Adult Chronic Disease Care: Reviewing the Systematic Reviews

Health care providers, policy makers, and investigators are dependent upon the quality and accuracy of published research findings to inform and guide future practice and research in their field. Systematic reviews, the synthesis of outcomes across studies are increasingly more common in the family literature; however, published review reports often lack information on strategies reviewers used to insure dependability of findings, and minimize methodological bias in the review. In this article, we summarize findings from systematic reviews of interventions and outcomes from family involvement in adult chronic disease care published between 2007 and 2016. In addition, we explore procedures reviewers used to insure the quality and methodologic rigor of the review. Our discussion provides guidance and direction for future studies of family involvement in chronic disease care.

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Costs of formal and informal care at home for people with dementia: 'Expert panel' opinions from staff and informal carers

Effective home support in dementia is key in delaying nursing home admission. However, home support is frequently not tailored to the individual needs of people with dementia. Staff allocating home support services may not identify important care needs, which only be recognised by informal carers. The purpose of this study was to explore the balance of informal and formal home support and their associated costs from the perspectives of both informal carers and paid staff. Five case vignettes of people with dementia were designed based on an existing English data set from a European study into transition into long-term care (the RightTimePlaceCare programme), representing 42 per cent of the English sample. In total, 14 informal carers and 14 paid staff were consulted in separate groups, as expert panels, regarding their recommendations for home care services for each vignette. Care recommendations of carers and staff were costed based on nationally available unit costs and compared. Informal carers allocated fewer hours of care than staff. Personal and domestic home care and day care centres were the most frequently recommended formal services by both groups, and some vignettes of people with dementia were recommended for care home admission. The ratio of costs of informal versus formal support was relatively equal for paid staff, yet unbalanced from the perspectives of informal carers with a greater proportion of formal care costs. Recommendations from this study can help shape dementia care to be more tailored to the individual needs of people with dementia and their carers.

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Estimating Informal Caregiving Time from Patient EQ-5D Data: The Informal CARE Effect (iCARE) Tool

Background: Families and friends provide a considerable proportion of care for patients and elderly people. Caregiving can have substantial effects on caregivers' lives, health, and well-being. However, because clinical trials rarely assess these effects, no information on caregiver burden is available when evaluating the cost effectiveness of treatments. Objective: This study develops an algorithm for estimating caregiver time using information that is typically available in clinical trials: the EQ-5D scores of patients and their gender. Methods: Four datasets with a total of 8012 observations of dyads of caregivers and a gamma model with a log-link estimated with the Bayesian approach were used to estimate the statistical association between patient scores on the EQ-5D-3L dimensions and the numbers of hours of care provided by caregivers during the previous week. The model predicts hours of care as mean point estimates with 95% credible intervals or entire distributions. Results: Model predictions of hours of care based on the five EQ-5D dimensions ranged from 13.06 (12.7-14.5) h/week for female patients reporting no health problems but receiving informal care to 52.82 (39.38-66.26) for male patients with the highest level of problems on all EQ-5D dimensions. Conclusions: The iCARE algorithm developed in this study allows researchers who only have patient-level EQ-5D data to estimate the mean hours of informal care received per week, including a 95% Bayesian credible interval. Caregiver time can be multiplied with a monetary value for caregiving, enabling the inclusion of informal care costs in economic evaluations. We recommend using the tool for samples that fall within the confidence intervals of the characteristics of our samples: men (age range 47.0-104.2 years), women (age range 55-103 years).

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Caring for the seniors with chronic illness: The lived experience of caregivers of older adults

Background Caregivers of the elderly with chronic illnesses are exposed to the burden associated with their caregiving activities. This study described the lived experience of caregivers of older adults in Nigeria. Methods A qualitative design guided by interpretive phenomenology informed the design of the research, whereby 15 in-depth interviews were conducted with caregivers of older adults with chronic illnesses. The interview sessions were audiotaped and transcribed verbatim and analysed using constant comparison analysis method. Results Fifteen caregivers, from different parts of Osun State, Nigeria, took part in the in-depth interviews. The caregivers were aged between 19 and 70 years, ten were women, five of them had secondary education, seven were self-employed and six were in a spousal relationship. The study uncovered four interrelated themes with explanatory subthemes—commitment to preservation of life (managing challenges associated with daily routine, problem with mobility, bathing and grooming, feeding, and problem with hygiene) (ii) denial (refusal to accept that burden exists) , other things suffer (disruption of family process, suffering from poor health and social isolation), (iv) reciprocity of care (pride in caregiving, caregiving as a necessity and not by choice, and law of karma). Conclusion This study provides insight into the burden of care of older adults with chronic illness. Caregivers' commitment to preserving life makes them provide assistance whose performance even run contrary to their own wellbeing. Intervention programme should be designed to support the caregivers thereby improving their wellbeing. 

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Outcomes of a Problem-Solving Medication Management Intervention for Informal Caregivers

Older adults with memory loss often require assistance from caregivers to manage their medications. This study examined the efficacy of a problem-solving-based intervention focused on caregiver medication management, problem solving, self-efficacy, and daily hassles. Caregiver health-related quality of life (HRQoL) and patient health care utilization were secondary outcomes. Totally, 83 patients (age 79.9±8.8 years) and their informal caregivers (age 66.9±12 years, female 69.9%, White 85.5%) were randomized; data collection occurred at baseline, 8, 16, and 24 weeks. Linear mixed modeling showed significant decreases in medication deficiencies which were sustained over time. No significant changes in caregiver problem solving, daily hassles, or patient health care utilization occurred between groups or over time. In addition, caregiver self-efficacy and mental HRQoL decreased in both groups. Physical HRQoL decreased in the intervention group, yet increased in the usual care group. Future research should investigate these outcomes in larger and more diverse samples.

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Effectiveness of an Educational Nursing Intervention on Caring Ability and Burden in Family Caregivers of Patients with Chronic Non-Communicable Diseases. A Preventive Randomized Controlled Clinical Trial

Objective. To evaluate the effect of the "Caring for Caregivers" program in the caring ability and burden in family caregivers of patients with chronic diseases at health care institutions. Methods. A randomized controlled clinical trial was conducted in 34 relatives of patients with chronic diseases that had cared for them for more than 3 months. Zarit scale was used to measure caregiver burden and the CAI (Caring Ability Inventory) was also used to measure caring ability. An educational intervention was applied based on the "Caring for Caregivers" strategy of the Universidad Nacional de Colombia. Results. Although both groups improved their percentage of unburdened caregivers from the first to the second assessment, the difference between the two assessments was 41.2% in the intervention group whereas it was 11.8% in the control group, being only statistically significant the difference for the intervention group. Regarding the caring ability, no significant changes were identified in both groups. Conclusion. On family caregivers, it was observed that the "Caring for Caregivers" intervention had a positive impact on decreasing burden, but not on improving the caring ability.

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How family caregivers of persons with advanced cancer assist with upstream healthcare decision-making: A qualitative study

Aims Numerous healthcare decisions are faced by persons with advanced cancer from diagnosis to end-of-life. The family caregiver role in these decisions has focused on being a surrogate decision-maker, however, little is known about the caregiver’s role in supporting upstream patient decision-making. We aimed to describe the roles of family caregivers in assisting community-dwelling advanced cancer patients with healthcare decision-making across settings and contexts. Methods Qualitative study using one-on-one, semi-structured interviews with community-dwelling persons with metastatic cancer (n = 18) and their family caregivers (n = 20) recruited from outpatient oncology clinics of a large tertiary care academic medical center, between October 2016 and October 2017. Transcribed interviews were analyzed using a thematic analysis approach. Findings Caregivers averaged 56 years and were mostly female (95%), white (85%), and the patient’s partner/spouse (70%). Patients averaged 58 years and were mostly male (67%) in self-reported “fair” or “poor” health (50%) with genitourinary (33%), lung (17%), and hematologic (17%) cancers. Themes describing family member roles in supporting patients’ upstream healthcare decision-making were: 1) seeking information about the cancer, its trajectory, and treatments options; 2) ensuring family and healthcare clinicians have a common understanding of the patient’s treatment plan and condition; 3) facilitating discussions with patients about their values and the framing of their illness; 5) posing “what if” scenarios about current and potential future health states and treatments; 6) addressing collateral decisions (e.g., work arrangements) resulting from medical treatment choices; 6) originating healthcare-related decision points, including decisions about seeking emergency care; and 7) making healthcare decisions for patients who preferred to delegate healthcare decisions to their family caregivers. Conclusions These findings highlight a previously unreported and understudied set of critical decision partnering roles that cancer family caregivers play in patient healthcare decision-making. Optimizing these roles may represent novel targets for early decision support interventions for family caregivers.

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Understanding caregiver burden from a long‐term perspective: The Banyan model of caregiver experiences

Purpose: A multiphase model for experiences of family members of persons with mental illness that considers both positive and negative aspects is proposed. Design and Methods: Mixed methods (semistructured interviews, life history timelines, focus group discussions, and the Experience of Caregiving Inventory) were used with caregivers accessing outpatient services of a nongovernmental organization in urban and rural locations around Chennai, India. Findings: Based on our results, we constructed a multiphase model, which we named The Banyan model of caregiver experiences. The phases are (1) manifestation of symptoms, (2) seeking help, (3) helplessness and attribution, (4) relative control and insight, (5) loss and worries, and (6) finding new meaning. Practical Implications: Our multiphase model allows us to identify in more detail the needs of caregivers at various stages.

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The Experience of Adult Children Caregiving for Aging Parents

When the normal progression of life for an aging person is interrupted by a decline in physical and or mental abilities, adult children are often suddenly faced with assuming care of their parent(s). Currently, adult child caregivers of aging parents work up to 100 hours per month at caregiving. Most existing literature is focused on informal caregivers, which can consist of spouses, relatives, and friends' caregiving for persons with debilitating illnesses. Despite the amount of time dedicated to parental caregiving, little is known about the experience of this exclusive caregiver group. The aim of this study was to explore and describe the experience of adult children caregiving for aging parents at any stage of health. A qualitative phenomenological approach was used to interview six daughters and one daughter-in-law. Themes were identified and presented through the use of narratives and poetry. The participants expressed they felt unprepared for caregiving and their culture had a direct impact on the expectations of caregiving. A myriad of unpleasant emotions and loss were voiced, yet their outlooks remained extremely positive. The overall health of adult child caregivers needs to be supported to prepare them for what lies ahead with caregiving. Caregivers report their loved one(s) required several hospitalizations, which lead to performing medical/nursing tasks at home. Nursing then has a unique opportunity during discharge preparation, to identify those who need community, state, and faith-based services. Replication is needed to address the limitation of the number of participants, ethnic, and gender diversity. 

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Identification of Sexual Disinhibition in Dementia by Family Caregivers

Purpose: Sexual disinhibition in dementia is understudied and discrepant frequency rates are reported. Measures designed to capture general disinhibition may under-identify sexual disinhibition, and lack of assessment uniformity may contribute to inconsistent endorsement. The current study aimed to determine: (1) whether an item from a commonly used measure tapping into general disinhibition would detect sexual disinhibition, (2) whether differently worded items specifically addressing sexual disinhibition would elicit inconsistent endorsement, and (3) whether different caregiver types would yield discrepant endorsement.; Methods: Data for this cross-sectional, observational study were collected online using items from the Neuropsychiatric Inventory, Cohen-Mansfield Agitation Inventory, and novel items developed to assess sexual disinhibition.; Patients: In total, 779 family dementia caregivers were recruited from social media caregiver groups.; Results: In total, 26.2% of caregivers who explicitly endorsed sexual disinhibition did not endorse general disinhibition. Frequency of endorsement for sexual disinhibition differed depending upon item wording and nature of the caregiver relationship, including higher endorsement by spouses overall.; Discussion: Inquiring generally about disinhibition may under-identify presence of sexual disinhibition. Lack of standardization may contribute to inconsistent frequency rates and characterization of this problem. More work is needed to better understand and identify sexual disinhibition in dementia.

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Crossing, Trudging and Settling: A phenomenological inquiry into lived experience of Asian family caregivers of older persons with dementia

Throughout Asian societies, family members often adopt the role of caregiving for older persons, providing essential care for loved ones with dementia. To date, there has been limited insight into the lived experience and meaning ascribed to the journey of these caregivers. This descriptive phenomenological study aims to explore the lived experience of Asian family caregivers of persons with dementia. Semi-structured face-to-face interviews were conducted with 16 family members caring for aged persons with dementia. Interviews were audio-recorded and data analysed using Colaizzi's technique. Analysis revealed the essential structure of a caregiver's journey with three major transitions, namely: (1) Crossing the threshold from ordinary world into caregiving world, (2) Trudging on the road of trials and obstacles, and (3) Settling into a new normalcy. Understanding the lived experience of Asian caregivers can help clinicians in targeting relevant support and information, and prepare new caregivers for the demands of their role.

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Seeing the collective: family arrangements for care at home for older people with dementia

With the predicted growth in the number of people with dementia living at home across the globe, the need for home-based care is expected to increase. As such, it will be primarily family carers who will provide this crucial support to family members. Designing appropriate support for family carers is thus essential to minimise risks to their health, to prevent premature institutionalisation or poor care for persons with dementia, as well as to sustain the effective functioning of health and social care systems. To date, the high volume of research related to care at home and acknowledged low impact of interventions suggests that a re-examination of the nature of care at home, and how we come to know about it, is necessary if we are to advance strategies that will contribute to better outcomes for families. This paper describes findings from an ethnographic study that was designed to support an analysis of the complexity and materiality of family care arrangements – that is, the significance of the actual physical, technological and institutional elements shaping care-giving situations. In this paper, we describe the arrangements made by one family to show the necessary collectivity of these arrangements, and the consequences of the formal care system's failure to respond to these. 

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Telling a 'good or white lie': The views of people living with dementia and their carers

Objective: A common symptom of cognitive decline in people living with dementia, or people with memory problems, the cause of which has not yet been diagnosed, is the person repeatedly asking for loved ones who are deceased or making statements that are incorrect. Carers are then faced with a dilemma, do they avoid and distract or 'correct' the person and tell the 'truth', or tell a lie. This paper explores the concept of lying from the perspective of people living with dementia in the community and their informal/unpaid carers.; Methods: A descriptive qualitative study utilising focus groups to collect the data was conducted. Three focus group's with a purposive sample of people with memory problems ( n = 14) and three focus group's with informal/unpaid carers ( n = 18) were undertaken. Qualitative content analysis was used to analyse the data.; Results: All participants considered that blatant lying with the intention to deceive and do harm is not acceptable. However, telling a 'good lie' or 'white lie' to alleviate distress was in certain circumstances considered acceptable. The intention behind the 'lie' in their view had to be to do good, and the informal/unpaid carer telling the lie had to really 'know the person' and be cognisant of family preferences. Some informal/unpaid carers acknowledged that it may be acceptable for health care professionals to tell a 'good lie' or 'small lie' in certain circumstances. However, health professionals need to 'know the person' and need to consider informal/family caregivers' wishes.; Conclusion: Lying was only considered acceptable in the context of knowing the person and when done with the intention not to harm or deceive, undertaken with empathy, and only for the purpose of mitigating the person living with dementia's distress.

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A translational approach to design effective intervention tools for informal caregivers of dependent cancer patients

Objectives Caregivers of terminal patients often report a higher prevalence of unmet needs than cancer survivors. However, very few interventions have been carried out to support caregivers of patients in advanced stages, and, in most cases, they have not been rigorously designed and evaluated. The ultimate aim of this research was to obtain specific information about the sociodemographic characteristics, the different types of care provided, the symptoms due to burdens, the impact of caring on the quality of life, and the unmet needs of informal caregivers of dependent patients with cancer. This is to design effective intervention programs that can be implemented from the hospital setting itself and therefore, to improve their quality of life and prevent the deterioration of their health. Study design A cross-sectional design and survey methodology were used for descriptive purposes. Methods The sample was composed of 132 informal caregivers of dependent patients with cancer, from a public hospital in Valencia, Spain, who were identified through the patient database of the oncology service, over the 4-month data collection period. Self-administered questionnaires were combined with personal interviews: Interview Protocol for the main caregiver, Questionnaire ICUB97, and survey of hospital quality. Results The most frequently provided types of care included the following: keeping the patient company, acting as an intermediary between them and healthcare workers, and helping them to do basic daily life activities. The main negative consequences caregivers reported were the following: feeling more tired, having less free time, changing their daily routines, and having fewer social relationships/interactions and various emotional and physical symptoms. Many of the needs of informal caregivers were not being met: resolution of doubts about illness, training in the care they should provide to the patient, and psychological help. Conclusions Recommendations for the development of effective intervention programs are offered: increasing the psychological services provided in oncology units, training medical staff in communication skills, facilitating access to information about the disease through different means, training for informal caregivers in care techniques, coping and communication skills, self-care, and organization of time. On the one hand, implementing effective intervention programs for informal caregivers will reduce the amount withdrawing from their care duties and on the other hand, the proliferation of what are known as secondary patients. Highlights • Caregiving women were more prevalent than men, with an average age of 45 years, and a medium socioeconomic status. • The most frequently provided cares were helping patients in basic activities and mediating between them and medical staff. • The main negative consequences for caregivers were changing daily routines and various emotional and physical symptoms. • The main unmet need of caregivers was specific information and training about the care they should provide to the patient.

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The role of informal carers in the diagnostic process of heart failure: a secondary qualitative analysis

Background: Heart failure (HF) is a common clinical syndrome, particularly in older people, and symptoms can develop gradually. The aim of this study was to explore the role of informal carers in the HF diagnostic process.; Methods: Secondary analysis of qualitative interviews with 16 participants with a new diagnosis of HF. Original interviews were conducted in the participant's home, with carers present in some cases. Interview transcripts were re-analysed using the Framework Method for themes pertaining to informal carers and how they were involved in the diagnostic process.; Results: Informal carers often noticed symptoms, such as breathlessness, before participants. In some cases, carers colluded with participants in normalising symptoms but over time, when symptoms failed to resolve or got worse, they encouraged participants to seek medical help. Adult children of participants commonly initiated help-seeking behaviour. During the diagnostic process, carers coordinated participants' healthcare through advocacy and organisation. Carers were keen to be informed about the diagnosis, but both participants and carers struggled to understand some aspects of the term 'heart failure'.; Conclusions: Carers play a crucial role in HF diagnosis, particularly in initiating contact with healthcare services, and should be empowered to encourage people with HF symptoms to seek medical help. Improving public awareness of HF could mean informal carers are more likely to notice symptoms. The important role of carers in supporting the patient's route to diagnosis should be incorporated into future care pathways and explored in further research.

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Fear, Defensive Strategies and Caring for Cognitively Impaired Family Members

One topic rarely addressed in the literature on older adults and interpersonal violence is the violence that can be experienced by family carers in relationship with a person living with cognitive impairment. This violence tends to remain hidden and is rarely framed as intimate partner violence. We examine how situations of intimidation and violence invoked fear in family carers and how they interpreted and reacted to these circum- stances. Interview and diary data were collected from family members who had previously or were currently experiencing some form of aggression in caring for someone with cognitive impairment or dementia. Drawing on discussions of fear and applying the analytic lens of defensive strategies, we explore how these carers responded to situations of intimidation and violence.

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Relationship continuity and person-centred care: An exploratory mixed-methods investigation of spousal partners’ responses to the challenging care needs of those with acquired brain injury

Some partners of people with an acquired brain injury experience the person with the injury and their relationship as continuous with the pre-injury person and relationship, but others experience the person and relationship as very different to what went before. Previous qualitative research has suggested that the experience of continuity may promote a more person-centred approach to how partners respond to challenging care needs. Given the value of triangulating evidence, this exploratory study used a mixed-methods design to investigate this suggestion. Twenty-six partners of people with an acquired brain injury completed the Birmingham Relationship Continuity Measure and a semi-structured interview about their response to challenging care needs. Interviews were coded and scored to provide a measure of the extent to which the participants’ understanding, management and emotional responses showed a person-centred approach. The findings supported the hypothesis. Greater continuity was significantly correlated with a more person-centred approach. Associating relationship continuity and person-centred care is a novel approach to the issue of how family relationships may impact on care quality. Person-centred care can have important benefits for both the giver and receiver of care. Whether it can be promoted through fostering a sense of continuity in the relationship merits further investigation. 

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Male Caregivers Report Problems in Caring at Home After Spouses Survive Stroke

Stroke is sudden and often traumatic with results that affect both the patient and family members who provide care. Approximately 40% of individuals caring for family members/friends are male. Transitioning from the noncaregiver role to caregiver can be unsettling. Guided by Friedemann's framework of systemic organization, this secondary data analysis examined problems reported by men caring for spouses in the first year after stroke. Using a mixed methods design, 73 caregivers (CGs) participated in bimonthly telephone interviews for 1 year. For this analysis, only the males caring for spouses (n = 12 married and n = 1 unmarried partner) were examined. These data were analyzed using Colaizzi's rigorous method of content analysis. Five problem themes emerged: 1) adjusting to multitasking in everyday living (Friedemann's system maintenance and individuation), 2) recognizing physical and mental disabilities (coherence), 3) dealing with outside forces and limited resources (individuation), 4) struggling to return to normal (system maintenance), and 5) feeling physically, mentally, and emotionally exhausted (system maintenance). These problem themes demonstrated incongruence as the men sought to maintain their prior lives. Theory-based themes of male stroke CGs' problems were uncovered that can be used to target interventions to help them achieve balance between incongruence and congruence in their lives.

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An occupational perspective of the lived experience of familial dementia caregivers: A thematic review of qualitative literature

Dementia caregiving is thought to have a negative impact on health and wellbeing. This critical review of qualitative literature explored the lived experience of familial dementia caregivers from an occupational therapy perspective. The method was informed by systematic review and qualitative research methodologies and was structured within the occupational dimensions framework of doing–being–becoming–belonging. A comprehensive search of major databases was undertaken which identified 484 studies on the topic; 14 met the inclusion criteria and were included in the review. Ten themes emerged within the doing-being-becoming-belonging framework from the analysis of the studies. The occupational participation of caregivers is conveyed within the ‘doing’ domain. Ways in which caregiving impacts upon opportunities for self-nurture are presented within the ‘being’ domain. The ‘becoming’ domain elucidates ways in which caregivers redefine themselves, their values and their priorities through their caregiving role. The ‘belonging’ domain depicts ways in which caregivers’ connections with their care recipient and others are shaped over time. Practice implications for health and social care practitioners who work with familial dementia caregivers are presented in light of the findings. 

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Caregiver Burdens of Family Members with Alzheimer's Disease

Alzheimer's disease is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States and more than five million Americans are living with the disease (Alzheimer's Association, 2016). Alzheimer's disease takes a devastating toll on caregivers. According to Richardson, Lee, Berg-Weger, and Grossberg (2013), many factors influence the perceived burden of caring for a relative or friend with Alzheimer's disease (Richardson et al., 2013). These factors include characteristics of the caregiver, such as kinship ties, gender, psychological resources, and coping strategies. The purpose of this study was to compare the perceived caregiver burdens of the primary, full-time, at-home caregiver of patients with Alzheimer's disease to the perceived caregiver burdens of patients with Alzheimer's disease who attend an adult day care center. Using a descriptive quantitative research design, data was collected using the Caregiver Burden Inventory (CBI), which is a 24-item measure to assess caregivers of family members with Alzheimer's disease and obtain demographic data. A conceptual model developed by Neuman (1995) provided the health promotion and primary prevention framework of this study. Findings of the study indicate no difference in the perceived caregiver burdens whether the caregiver takes care of the family member with Alzheimer's disease 24 hours a day or has respite from care five days a week at an adult care center. Additionally, findings also indicate the need to refine community and professional understanding of the challenges caregivers face, and provide valuable information regarding necessary improvements of services for caregivers of patients with Alzheimer's disease.

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Patient–family EoL communication and its predictors: Reports from caregivers of Latino patients in the rural U.S.–Mexico border region

Objective: Family caregivers play an important role in end-of-life (EoL) decision making when the patient is unable to make his/her own decisions. While communication about EoL care between patients and family is perhaps a first step toward advance care planning (ACP)/EoL decisions, not every culture puts great value on open communication about this topic. The aims of the present study were to explore EoL communication and the aspects of communication among caregivers of Latino patients in the rural United States (U.S.)–Mexico border region. Method: This study analyzed data from a hospice needs assessment collected from 189 family caregivers of Latino patients at a home health agency in a rural U.S.–Mexico border region. Bivariate tests and logistic regression were used to address our aims. Results: About half of the family caregivers (n = 96, 50.8%) reported to have ever engaged in EoL discussion with patients. Significant predictors of EoL discussion included life-sustaining treatment preference (odds ratio [OR] = 0.44, p < 0.05); knowledge of an advance directive (AD) (OR = 5.50, p < 0.01); and distrust of physicians (OR = 0.29, p < 0.01). Caregivers who preferred extending the life of their loved one even if he/she had to rely on life supports were less likely to engage in EoL communication. Also, caregivers who worried that physicians might want to stop treatments (i.e., “pull the plug”) too soon were less likely to do so. Conversely, caregivers who had knowledge about ADs were more likely to engage in EoL communication. Significance of Results: EoL communication is a complex process influenced by individual, social, and cultural values and the beliefs of both the patient and his/her family. Inclusion of family caregivers in the ACP process and facilitating culturally tailored EoL communication between patients and family caregivers is important.

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Seeing and Supporting LGBT Older Adults' Caregivers and Families

The article focuses on the role of biological or legal family members of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and/or transgender (LGBT) older adults, in providing better care, comfort and safety, and talks of nurses to develop trust to recognize and communicate, and provides chart on questions to be asked.

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The experiences of family caregivers providing palliative cancer care in Thailand

Background: Family caregivers have a significant role in Thai healthcare, taking on responsibilities of health professionals. The purpose of this research was to explore Thai family caregivers' experiences of providing palliative cancer care. Methods: This qualitative study took a phenomenological approach. In-depth interviews were conducted with 14 family caregivers aged 33–72 years in a regional hospital in the north of Thailand. The data was analysed using Colaizzi's phenomenological approach. Rigour was established by following Lincoln and Guba's guidelines for qualitative research. Findings: The experiences of Thai family caregivers providing palliative cancer care could be categorised into four themes: caring as a team; caring as supportive care; taking care to keep patients happy; and caring for the self while looking after a relative. Conclusion: Health professionals can support family caregivers to deliver the best care for cancer patients and to help them decrease their stress. This study discusses ways how this may be done.

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Caring for stroke survivors: experiences of family caregivers in Sri Lanka - a qualitative study

Background: Stroke is a life-changing event for both stroke survivors and their family caregivers. After receiving acute care at the hospital, family members are expected to take care of stroke survivors at home and to continue treatment and rehabilitation. The new role of "informal caregiver" is a challenge that creates many difficulties for family caregivers that are not explicit in the Sri Lankan context.; Objectives: This study aimed at exploring family caregivers' experiences of providing informal care for dependent stroke survivors.; Methods: The sample was chosen by purposive sampling with a maximum variation by age, ethnicity, religion, educational level, relationship, and monthly income. Ten informal family caregivers to stroke survivors with hemiplegia who had been treated at the National Hospital of Sri Lanka participated in in-depth interviews analyzed using conventional content analysis.; Results: Qualitative content analysis of data resulted in an overriding theme, "Caring with love, against all odds," along with four categories, "Life alterations," "Lack of resources," "Compassionate care," and "Coping strategies." Although the increased workload, restricted social life, physical problems, and knowledge and financial deficits were challenging for the family caregivers, self-strength and supportive social networks helped them to compassionately care for their stroke survivor.; Conclusions: The phenomenon of family caregivers providing informal care for stroke survivors was explicated as compassionate care, notwithstanding numerous difficulties. The findings motivate further research and strategies to minimize family caregivers' burden and facilitate the positive aspects of caregiving to promote the health and well-being of both stroke survivors and their families.

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Experiences of patients with stroke and their caregivers with caregiver-mediated exercises during the CARE4STROKE trial

Purpose: Caregiver-mediated exercises are a novel way of delivering augmented exercise therapy for patients with stroke, in which patients do additional therapeutic exercises together with a caregiver. This explorative qualitative study is part of the CARE4STROKE trial and focused on how participants manage these exercises together. The research questions were: (1) how do the patient-caregiver couples exercise together? and (2) what does exercising together bring about, besides more hours of practice?; Methods: Semi-structured interviews were conducted with patients and caregivers who participated in the CARE4STROKE intervention. Inductive thematic data analysis was applied.; Results: Seven patients and seven caregivers were interviewed. Three different role-dynamics were found during caregiver-mediated exercises: (1) patient in control, (2) in concert, and (3) the caregiver as informal carer. In addition, three themes were identified about what exercising together brings about: (a) tailor-made exercises through active involvement, (b) preparation for the home situation, and (c) opportunity to be involved.; Conclusion: Different role-dynamics are at play in caregiver-mediated exercises, and it is important for participating staff to be aware of their possible effects on the strain of patient or caregiver. Caregiver-mediated exercises were found to enhance individualization of the treatment plan and preparation for home discharge. Implications for rehabilitation Caregiver-mediated exercises, in which a caregiver does exercises with a patient, are currently under investigation as a new form of augmented exercise delivery after stroke Doing exercises together seems to make patient and caregivers actively involved in rehabilitation, which they appreciate, and which seems to help them prepare for the home situation Caregiver selection and monitoring role-dynamics during exercising is an important task of the rehabilitation team.

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On the road and away from home: a systematic review of the travel experiences of cancer patients and their families

Purpose: Traveling for cancer care is difficult as patients might be suffering from the side effects of treatment, need to cover additional costs, and face disruption of daily life. The aim of this review was to synthesize the evidence on travel needs and experiences during cancer treatment from the point of view of patients and their families.; Methods: This is a systematic review of the literature. The PRISMA statement was used to guide the reporting of the methods and findings. We searched for peer-reviewed articles in MEDLINE, CINAHL PLUS, and Web of Science and selected articles based on the following criteria: focused on patients and their families; presented findings from empirical studies; and examined travel and transport experiences for cancer screening, treatment, and related care. The MMAT was used to assess the quality of the studies.; Results: A total of 16 articles were included in the review. Most of the studies used a qualitative design, were carried out in high-income countries and were conducted more than 10 years ago. Several problems were reported regarding travel and relocation: social and physical demands of transport, travel, and relocation; life disruption and loss of daily routines; financial impact; and anxieties and support needs when returning home.; Conclusions: Patients and carers consistently reported lack of support when traveling, relocating, and returning home. Future research needs to explore patient experiences under current treatment protocols and healthcare delivery models, in a wider range of geographical contexts, and different stages of the patient pathway.

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Informal Caregivers' Learning Experiences With Self-Management Support of Individuals Living With Bipolar Disorder: A Phenomenological Study

Background: The degree of informal caregiver involvement influences the self-management of individuals living with bipolar disorder (BD).; Objective: This article aims to provide a description of informal caregivers' learning experiences in self-management support of BD in order to guide professionals in tailoring future psychosocial and psychoeducational interventions.; Design: In-depth open interviews with 10 informal caregivers of patients with BD who followed treatment in the context of specialized outpatient bipolar care were conducted.; Results: Four learning phases emerged from the phenomenological analysis describing the informal caregivers learning process: (1) understanding BD, (2) overcoming the dilemmas in self-management support for individuals living with BD, (3) dividing tasks and responsibilities, and (4) acquiring a personal definition of self-management support for individuals living with BD.; Conclusion: By grasping the concept of BD, informal caregivers gradually learn how to overcome dilemmas resulting from living with someone with BD, and how to control the expression of emotions. They learn to reflect on the nature of conflicts and how to share the responsibilities of illness management with individuals living with BD and professionals. Mastering these skills eventually allows them to define and delimit their supporting informal caregiver role in the self-management of BD.; Practice Implications: Our findings provide information regarding the educational needs of informal caregivers to tailor counseling, and psychosocial and psychoeducational interventions in specialized outpatient care for individuals living with BD.

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Testing a pain self-management intervention by exploring reduction of analgesics' side effects in cancer outpatients and the involvement of family caregivers: a study protocol (PEINCA-FAM)

Background: Pain is one of cancer patients' most frequent and distressing symptoms; however, analgesics' side effects often increase symptom burden. Further, with the home rapidly becoming the primary cancer care setting, family caregivers (FCs) commonly play central roles in patients' pain self-management, but with little or no preparation. One US-tested intervention, the PRO-SELF© Plus Pain Control Program (PCP), designed to support cancer outpatients and their FCs in pain self-management, is currently being tested in the Swiss multi-centre PEINCA study. The current PEINCA-FAM study is a sub-study of PEINCA. The aims of PEINCA-FAM are: a) to test the efficacy of the adapted German PRO-SELF © Plus PCP to reduce side effects of analgesics; b) to enhance patients'/FCs' knowledge regarding cancer pain; and c) to explore FCs' involvement in patients' pain self-management. Methods: This mixed methods project combines a multi-centre randomized controlled clinical trial with qualitative data collection techniques and includes 210 patients recruited from three oncology outpatient clinics. FCs involved in patients' pain self-management are also invited to participate. After baseline evaluation, eligible participants are randomized to a 6-week intervention group and a control group. Both groups complete a daily pain and symptom diary. Intervention group patients/FCs receive the weekly psychoeducational PRO-SELF© Plus PCP interventions; control group patients receive usual care. After completing the six-week study procedures, a subsample of 7–10 patients/FCs per group and hospital (N = 42–60) will be interviewed regarding their pain management experiences. Data collection will take place from April 2016 until December 2018. An intent-to-treat analysis and generalized linear mixed models will be applied. Qualitative data will be analysed by using interpretive description. Quantitative and qualitative results will be combined within a mixed method matrix. Discussion: In clinical practice, specially trained oncology nurses in outpatient clinics could apply the intervention to reduce side effects and to enhance patients'/FCs' self-efficacy and pain management knowledge. Trial registration: The PEINCA study is registered in the Clinical Trials.gov site (code: NCT02713919, 08 March 2016).

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Overestimation of hours dedicated to family caregiving of persons with heart failure

Aims: The aim of this study is to profile the family caregivers of people living with heart failure, to determine the perceived and real time devoted to daily care and to identify the factors associated with caregivers’ overestimation of time dedicated to care. Background: The time spent by family caregivers on daily care is related to overload, but there are differences between real and perceived time spent. The reason for this difference is unknown, as is its impact on the caregiver. Design: Multicentre, cross‐sectional study. Methods: This study forms part of a longitudinal, multicentre, ambispective cohort investigation. The study population was composed of 478 patient–family caregiver dyads and the data were collected over 2 years from 2014 ‐ 2016. Results: The mean time perceived to be spent on daily care was 8.79 hr versus a real value of 4.41 hr. These values were positively correlated. A significant correlation was also found between the overestimation of hours spent and the age of the caregiver, the duration of the caregiving relationship and the number of people providing support and with the patient's level of dependence and self‐care. Conclusion: The overestimation of time dedicated to care seems to be related to patients’ and caregivers’ characteristics, such as functional status, caregiver burden, age and cohabitation. These patterns should be considered by nurses when carrying out assessment and care planning with these patients and their caregivers.

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Factors related to sense of competence in family caregivers of people living with dementia in the community: a narrative synthesis

Objectives: Sense of competence defines a caregiver's feeling of being capable to manage the caregiving task and is an important clinical concept in the caregiving literature. The aim of this review was to identify the factors, both positive and negative, associated with a caregiver's perception of their sense of competence.; Design: A systematic review of the literature was conducted, retrieving both quantitative and qualitative papers from databases PsycINFO, CINAHL, EMBASE, and Medline. A quality assessment was conducted using the STROBE and CASP checklists, and the quality rating informed the inclusion of papers ensuring the evidence was robust. Narrative synthesis was employed to synthesize the findings and to generate an updated conceptual model of sense of competence.; Results: Seventeen papers were included in the review, all of which were moderate to high quality. These included 13 quantitative, three mixed-methods and one qualitative study. Factors associated with sense of competence included: behavioral and psychological symptoms of dementia (BPSD), caregiver depression, gratitude, and the ability to find meaning in caregiving.; Conclusions: The results of this review demonstrate that both positive and negative aspects of caring are associated with caregiver sense of competence. Positive and negative aspects of caregiving act in tandem to influence caregiver perception of their competence. The proposed model of sense of competence aims to guide future research and clinical interventions aimed at improving this domain but requires further testing, as due to the observational nature of the include papers, the direction of causality could not be inferred.

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"Neither a wife nor a widow": an interpretative phenomenological analysis of the experiences of female family caregivers in disorders of consciousness

Disorders of consciousness (DoC) disrupt close relationships. This study investigated the experience of a DoC in the family. Four main themes were identified from semi-structured interviews with nine females and analysed using Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA): (1) Loss without a name, (2) Relationship without a title, (3) Symbiotic relating and (4) Frozen futures. Participants' accounts showed complex losses and relationship transformations that were challenging to cope with. Participants embodied the person and experienced reductions in rehabilitation and social visits as personally abandoning and led to strong advocacy with professionals. The uncertainty created by the DoC meant participants lived in the present moment and struggled to make plans for their future. Psychological support to demonstrate a sensitivity and validation of this unique complex loss, a framework for naming the loss, provision of education about the condition and enhancing coping with a chronic situation are needed.

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Why the caregivers of bipolar patients need to be in constant touch with a physician: A qualitative study of text messages from patient caregivers to a physician

Background: The variety of caregiver's needs of bipolar patients signifies the importance of performing dedicated interventions to help this group of caregivers based on the cultural conditions of the country in which they live; the present study therefore seeks to address this issue through a different method. Methods: The families of 28 patients with bipolar disorder type 1 who were treated for at least two months by a single psychiatrist gradually entered the study over a six-month period. They received the phone number of the psychiatrist in attendance as soon as the patient was in remission according to the same psychiatrist's interview. A total of 1908 texts were sent and received and each family sent an average of 68.14 text messages during the three years, with the minimum being 40 and the maximum 83. All the text messages were transcribed verbatim and were evaluated by three faculty members through the qualitative content analysis method. Results: In this study we found three themes and there were some codes in each theme. 1. The first theme was "Training" which the caregivers requested advice about symptoms and tests, the course of the disease, assurance, medication side-effects and their management, how to stop smoking, how to control high-risk behaviors and double checking appointments with the physician, making for a total of 1079 text messages received. 2. The second theme was "Reporting" which contained a description of emergency symptoms and requesting advice, reporting response or no response to the medications, reporting medication adherence and dosage taken. 3. The third theme: "The expression of feelings" including the expression of gratitude, saying congratulations on national and other celebrations and expressing anger and hatred. Conclusion: Overall, the caregivers of patients with bipolar disorder have many needs; meeting these needs affects the patients' outcome and the caregivers, but requires a greater attention by the healthcare team and it is necessary for these needs to be evaluated in the context of each distinct country.

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“I see myself as part of the team” – family caregivers’ contribution to safety in advanced home care

Background: The use of medical technology and the various contributing and interdepending human factors in home care have implications for patient safety. Although family caregivers are often involved in the provision of advanced home care, there is little research on their contribution to safety. The study aims to explore family caregivers in Home Mechanical Ventilation (HMV) safety experiences and how safety is perceived by them in this context. Furthermore, it seeks to understand how family caregivers contribute to the patients’ and their own safety in HMV and what kind of support they expect from their health care team. Methods: An explorative, qualitative study was applied using elements from grounded theory methodology. Data were collected through individual interviews with 15 family caregivers to patients receiving HMV in two regions in Germany. The audiotaped interviews were then subject to thematic analysis. Results: The findings shows that family caregivers contribute to safety in HMV by trying to foster mutual information sharing about the patient and his/her situation, coordinating informally health care services and undertaking compensation of shortcomings in HMV. Conclusion: Consequently, family caregivers take on considerable responsibility for patient safety in advanced home care by being actively and constantly committed to safety work. Nurses working in this setting should be clinically and technically skilled and focus on building partnership relations with family caregivers. This especially encompasses negotiation about their role in care and patient safety. Support and education should be offered if needed. Only skilled nurses, who can provide safe care and who can handle critical situations should be appointed to HMV. They should also serve as professional care coordinators and provide educational interventions to strengthen family caregivers’ competence.

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Older Brazilian caregivers and their lived experiences of caring—A hermeneutic phenomenological study

Aims and objectives: To understand the lived experiences of older Brazilian carers. Background: For many caregivers, the practice of caregiving becomes their daily lives, embedding in their care and the experiences, beliefs, learning and techniques that contribute to the meanings these caregivers attach to their world. Studies have reported on the experiences of caregivers in general; however, few studies have addressed the unique characteristics of older caregivers. Method: Phenomenological research was conducted in the homes of these persons who were registered in a public programme of home care. This study utilised recorded interviews with a guiding question and roadmap for characterisation. The transcribed interviews were analysed based on philosophical hermeneutics and on the understanding of the hermeneutic circle. The units of meaning were discussed from the perspective of Heidegger's phenomenology. Results: Six older primary caregivers participated, aged between 62–84 years. The following units of meaning were developed: the daily life of being in the world as an older person caring for another older person, the historicity and their disclosedness to the world of care. Conclusions: The worldliness of these people is influenced by a taxing routine and being overloaded and lonely, which renders these caregivers vulnerable because of this routine and because of the inherent weaknesses induced by the ageing process. Relevance to clinical practice: This research can help health professionals better understand the worldliness of older caregivers. Such understanding will enhance the assistance available to caregivers, which must extend beyond the care of the sick person: interventions can reduce their overburden and risk of illness, improving their experiences as caregivers and their quality of life. 

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'It's a traumatic illness, traumatic to witness': a qualitative study of the experiences of bereaved family caregivers of patients with cutaneous T‐cell lymphoma

Background: Cutaneous T‐cell lymphomas (CTCL) are rare cancers, which can be difficult to diagnose, are incurable and adversely affect quality of life, particularly in advanced disease. Families often provide care, but little is known about their experiences or needs while caring for their relative with advanced disease or in bereavement. Objectives: To explore the experiences of bereaved family caregivers of patients with CTCL. Methods: Single, semi‐structured qualitative interviews were conducted with bereaved family caregivers of patients with CTCL recruited via a supra‐regional CTCL clinic. Transcribed interviews were analysed thematically, focusing on advanced disease, the approach of death and bereavement. Results: Fifteen carers of 11 deceased patients participated. Experiences clustered under four themes: (1) complexity of care and medical intervention; (2) caregiver roles in advanced CTCL; (3) person‐centred vs. organization‐centred care in advanced CTCL and (4) knowing and not knowing: reflections on dying, death and bereavement. Caregivers often had vivid recollections of the challenges of caring for their relative with advanced CTCL and some took on quasi‐professional roles as a result. Advanced disease made high demands on both organizational flexibility and family resources. For many caregivers, seeing disease progression was a prolonged and profoundly traumatic experience. The extent to which they were prepared for their relative's death and supported in bereavement was highly variable. Sub‐themes within each theme provide more detail about caregiver experiences. Conclusions: Family caregivers should be considered part of the wider healthcare team, acknowledging their multiple roles and the challenges they encounter in looking after their relative with CTCL as the disease progresses. Their experiences highlight the importance of organizational flexibility and of good communication between healthcare providers in advanced CTCL. 

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Experiences of bereaved family caregivers of patients with CTCL

Summary: Cutaneous T‐cell lymphomas (CTCL) are rare types of skin cancer. Skin may develop tumours or ulcers. Sometimes these may cover quite large areas and feel itchy or uncomfortable. Internal body parts may be affected in more advanced disease. Only a few people are diagnosed each year (8 per million), so most GPs do not meet people with this disease. This study from the U.K. aimed to find out about the experiences of family or close friends of people who had died because of the disease (not all people with this disease die of it). Relatives of 11 patients with CTCL who had died were interviewed, four months or more after the death. The themes from what they said are described. Family members gave vivid descriptions of how the illness changed the appearance of their relative. They spoke of how difficult it was to look after someone with very damaged skin. They described the many different things they had to do to care for their relative both in hospital and at home. Some patients had frequently been in and out of hospital. Some caregivers expected them to come home each time and so had not felt prepared when their relative died. Several caregivers described how upsetting it was to see how illness affected their relative before they died. The authors say that family caregivers should be seen as part of the care team looking after the patient. They recommend that carers' needs for practical and emotional support and information should be considered during each patient's illness. Support for carers should also be offered following the death of their relative. 

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Informal care management after traumatic brain injury: perspectives on informal carer workload and capacity

Purpose: Much of the support required to live in the community post-traumatic brain injury (TBI) is provided by informal carers. Understanding the nature of caregiving work is important to better support informal carers. This study explored the work being performed by informal carers, and factors impacting on their capacity to manage the workload.; Method: Participants comprised 21 dyads each consisting of an adult with moderate to severe TBI and a nominated carer. Thematic analysis was done on semi-structured interviews with injured participants and carers during the 12-month period post-discharge from hospital.; Results: Results revealed two main themes and eight subcategories: (1) The nature of informal care: describing informal care management work, (personal assistant work; care provider work; family support work; and emotional self-regulation work), and (2) Mediating factors that impacted people's capacity to manage workload (carer intrinsic factors; injured person characteristics; family circumstances; and changes over time.) Conclusion: Rehabilitation providers supporting people following TBI need to focus on broad family contexts; understand the nature of work being undertaken, and carer capacity to carry out that work; and be aware of the unique and changing circumstances of families to better support informal carers. Implications for rehabilitation Rehabilitation services need to focus on broad family contexts rather than focus on the injured individual in isolation. Understanding the nature of the work being undertaken by informal carers, and their capacity to carry out that work is important when considering supports. Rehabilitation professionals need to consider and respond to the impact that changing circumstances have on the capacity of informal care networks to manage care workload.

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Turkish Family Decision Making Process for Placing a Loved One with Dementia in Long-Term Care

Aims: This descriptive qualitative study was conducted in an attempt to understand the experiences of family members of people with dementia in the process of deciding to institutional their care. Methodology: The data were collected from 15 caregivers using a semi-structured data form with in-dept interviews. The data were analyzed using qualitative content analysis. Results: Three main themes identified were having difficulty providing care, seeking solutions to maintaining care at home, and difficulty in decision-making to place their family members in a long-term care facility. Conclusions: Turkish families experiences difficulties about decision making process for placing their loved ones in a long term care. Results showed us that they need support in this process. Nurses should consider their feelings and support them.

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Bidirectional relationship between caregiver burden and neuropsychiatric symptoms in patients with Alzheimer's disease: A narrative review

Objective: The aim of this review is to make a state of the art of the potential influence of neuropsychiatric symptoms (NPs) on caregiver stress and vice versa.; Methods: We searched PubMed and Google Scholar for potential eligible articles.; Results: Patients with Alzheimer's disease (AD) usually need high levels of care in all activities of daily living, most of them provided by family members, friends, or informal caregivers. Caregivers have to cope with both age-related conditions and dementia-related factors. Therefore, caregiving in dementia is more difficult and stressful than caregiving for older adults, affected by other conditions. Neuropsychiatric symptoms, such as anxiety, agitation, disinhibition, aggressive behavior, and sleep disturbances are more closely related to caregiver burden, and associated with more negative outcomes such as decline in their general health, quality of life, and social isolation. Caregiver burden worsens relationship between caregiver and patients with AD. Thus, this relationship may increase the frequency and severity of NPs. Predictors of burden were being a woman, a spouse, and old person with immature coping mechanisms, social isolation, with insufficient knowledge about dementia, poor premorbid relationship with patient, and high levels of negative expressed emotions.; Conclusion: Because of the bidirectional relationship between caregiver burden and NPs, the active management strategies of dementia care should include early identification and treatment risk factors for both caregiver stress and NPs in patients with AD. Therefore, to improve one of them can be exert beneficial for the other.

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Health information management practices in informal caregiving: An artifacts analysis and implications for IT design

Introduction: Unpaid informal caregivers of adult care recipients, including persons with dementia, experience multiple unmet information needs and information management challenges. Objectives: To understand the current personal health information management (PHIM) practices in informal caregiving for adults with and without dementia. Methods: Semi-structured interviews were performed with ten informal caregivers-half of whom were caring for persons with dementia-and four formal caregivers at an adult day service. Interviews centered on a paper-based tool distributed by the day service, the CARE Kit, permitting an artifacts analysis of the tools used by participants for PHIM. Qualitative thematic analysis was applied to interview data. Results: Caregivers' PHIM practices aimed to support daily care management and decision-making on behalf of care recipients, through: 1) information acquisition and integration across multiple sources and records; 2) information maintenance, updating, and use over time; and 3) information sharing and communication with healthcare professionals and other family caregivers. Participants reported advantages and challenges of their PHIM practices and tools, including fitting PHIM into their daily lives, managing PHIM-related cognitive workload, the functionality of PHIM tools, and the dynamic, longitudinal nature of PHIM. Conclusion: The study produced a number of implications for caregiver health information management information technology (CHIM IT), based on findings about the nature of caregivers' practices for managing information for adult care recipients. We present CHIM IT requirements related to privacy and security, customization and flexibility, ease of use, credibility and sensitivity, situation awareness, information integration, delegation and shared use, updating and maintenance, archiving and versioning, communication, agency and information access, and validation.

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296Exploring Personhood in Formal Care Provision in Ireland: Perspectives from Family Carers of People with Dementia

Background: Personhood in dementia is about treating people with dementia with dignity and respect and in a manner that supports their sense of self. It is a key element of person-centered care and a guiding principle in dementia care policy in Ireland. However, there is uncertainty around the concept of personhood and in particular how it is operationalised within formal care provision. This research examines the experiences and perceptions of family carers of people with dementia in relation to personhood and formal care provision.

Methods: This research is theoretically based on personhood as a relational concept. Using semi-structured interviews, family carers are asked about their perceptions of personhood in dementia within the context of formal care provision, supports and services. The interview questions center on important elements of personhood such as communication, flexibility, choice, respect, dignity and self-identity. Thematic analysis is used to examine the participants’ views. A total of 15 interviews were conducted with family carers, which included, spouses, children and siblings of people with dementia living both in the community and in long-term care.

Results: Preliminary results indicate that family carers and people with dementia had little to no choice in the services and supports provided to them. They were accepting of the services they received but identified elements of services which were not supporting of personhood. Some family carers were disappointed by the limited to no supports offered to them.

Conclusion: These findings are very relevant to dementia care in Ireland, both to the design of the system as a whole and also to the provision of care at an individual level. The results are significant for policy makers seeking to ensure that personhood is central in the implementation of current dementia policy and in the regulation of future formal care provision for people with dementia in Ireland.

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Informal support for older adults is negatively associated with walking and eating during hospitalization

Processes related to daily care of older adults during hospitalization, such as mobility and nutrition, have long-term consequences for their health and functioning. Although instrumental support provided by family members during hospitalization is highly prevalent, its relationship to older adults' actual walking and eating is unknown. Data on walking level (walking outside vs. inside the room) and nutritional intake were collected from 493 independent older adults admitted to internal medicine wards through up to three daily interviews using validated questionnaires. Informal support with walking and eating was assessed with the modified Informal Caregiving for Hospitalized Older Adults scale. Multivariate regression showed that informal support with walking and eating was associated with greater likelihood of walking inside the room and with lower nutritional intake. This association between informal support and less walking and eating call for routine functional assessments and tailored counseling of informal caregivers to meet older patients' support needs.

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Transition of Persons with Developmental Disabilities from Parental to Sibling Co-Residential Care: Effects on Sibling Caregiver Well-Being and Family Functioning

Comprehensive improvements in medical care, technology and residential settings have resulted in persons with developmental disabilities (DD) advancing to older age and outliving parental caregivers (Heller & Arnold, 2010). Typical siblings are expected to become the primary caregiver to their sibling with DD when parents become ill or die and unable to provide care (Burke, Fish, & Lawton, 2015; Heller & Arnold, 2010). This dissertation looks at the wellbeing and family functioning of siblings who become the co-residential caregiver following the transition of a brother or sister with DD from parental to sibling co-residential care. The family systems framework was the theoretical lens for understanding caregiver wellbeing and overall family functioning. Hermeneutic-narrative inquiry was the approach for interviewing and exploring the stories of 10 sibling caregivers of a brother or sister with DD following their transition from parental to sibling co-residential care. Two analytical approaches were used. Firstly, structural analysis involved a within-case analysis of individual participants' stories of transition to determine the meaning ascribed to and identified with the caregiving experience. Secondly, thematic narrative analysis included an across-case analysis to identify themes related to caregiver wellbeing, family functioning, reciprocity of mutual support, and anticipating the caregiver role versus actual experience. Findings from the structural analysis showed that the meaning of the caregiving experience included a duty, obligation, responsibility and commitment to the family. Results from the thematic narrative analysis showed overall lower social and emotional wellbeing among participants, reduced functionality among family members with respect to lower emotional and social functioning, reduced engagement in recreation/leisure activities, as well as lower economic functionality for sibling caregivers with no spouse or children. Sibling caregivers reported higher overall wellbeing and family functioning due to availability of formal supports (e.g., respite care, day program services), and informal support, such as having support from a spouse, child, or extended family member. Findings regarding reciprocity showed increased instrumental support among sibling caregivers and reduced emotional support. When anticipating the role, caregivers described knowing they would assume the role but were unclear of the shift to assuming a parental rather than sibling role. Other unanticipated discoveries included feeling captive to the role and feelings of helplessness. Caregivers' actual experiences involved learning to manage new challenges, society's patronizing view of persons with DD, and an overall sense of pride in caregiving for giving back to their sibling with DD. Grief and future planning were also discussed, including the effect of grief on the sibling caregiver, sibling caregiver's children and sibling with DD. Future planning looked at the aspects of planning and not having planned for the future of the sibling with DD. The study concludes with implications for current and future social work practice and research, as well as the study's strengths and limitations.

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Measuring caregiver activation to identify coaching and support needs: Extending MYLOH to advanced chronic illness

Introduction: Family and friends of seriously ill patients are key partners in providing support and health care at home, managing relationships with clinicians, and navigating complex health care systems. Becoming a knowledgeable, confident, and effective caregiver is a developmental process we term 'caregiver activation' and could be facilitated by clinicians equipped with suitable tools. Managing Your Loved One’s Health (MYLOH) is a new tool to identify gaps in caregivers' knowledge, skills, and access to clinical and personal support. Created in partnership with caregivers and clinicians, MYLOH items reflect the essential dimensions of caregiving and can be used to tailor caregiver coaching to domains of greatest need. In this study, we extend MYLOH's initial focus on dementia care to caregivers of patients with other chronic life-limiting illnesses. Methods: MYLOH was completed by primary caregivers (n = 190) of people with a range of advanced chronic illnesses enrolled in the LifeCourse study, an innovative, whole-person approach to health management. Item relevance and responses were compared by group across MYLOH items and domains using z-tests for equality of proportions. Results: All MYLOH items were relevant to caregiving for all types of chronic illness; only 13% of caregivers answered “not my responsibility” to any question. MYLOH identified caregiving struggles across patient diagnosis groups with a few, disease-specific ‘hotspots’. Overall, 64% of caregivers scored low in activation on at least one healthcare management task, especially getting enough help with caregiving, managing everyday caregiving tasks, understanding/managing medications, and knowing how to respond to rapid changes in care recipients' health status. No difficulty was unique to a specific type of care recipient illness. Conclusions: MYLOH has potential as a tool for identifying caregiver coaching and support needs in managing a range of serious chronic illnesses. Caregiving difficulties endorsed by over 20% of caregivers should be core components of chronic illness management programs regardless of disease focus, with disease-specific tailoring as required. MYLOH may be useful in evaluating caregiver interventions and health systems’ performance in integrating caregivers into the care management of patients with complex life-limiting illness. 

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Imagining care: Responsibility, dependency, and Canadian literature by A. DeFalco

In Imagining care: Responsibility, dependency, and Canadian literature, Amelia DeFalco explores the ways in which both fictional and personal-biographical Canadian narratives can enhance our understanding of the thorny issues associated with care – the dangers, liabilities and contradictions that often inhere in caregiving efforts and relations of care. In consideration of the common, concrete circumstances in which ordinary individuals find themselves providing unanticipated, non-professional forms of (private) care to their children, parents, other family members or friends, DeFalco exposes gaps in ethics of care philosophical theory in which challenging issues, such as inconsistencies, shortcomings and breakdowns of care, are often absent, overlooked, discounted or left largely unaddressed

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Interrogating theories of care in the Indian context

Nussbaum's capabilities approach highlights the need for integrating vulnerability, dependency and care work with liberal principles of individuality and rationality. However, capabilities offer a statist, juridical and formal model of objectified care, whose adoption would lead to greater paternalism, especially in the context of public welfare institutions in India. This article argues that one needs to move beyond liberal theory, while engaging with vulnerability and care work in institutional contexts. It defends informal care as a multilayered practice in public sector institutions in India, to which deliberation is central. It acknowledges the inevitability of flexibility, interdependence, plurality and particularity in informal caregiving practice.

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The meaning of care: The social construction of care for elderly people by Bernard Weicht

Weicht’s latest book represents a profound reflection on informal care for elderly people from a social-constructivist perspective – a reflection that also provides a thorough account of gendered practices, power relations and contextual constraints in how care norms, practices and relationships are discursively constructed. 

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Gender-based analysis of working-carer men: a North American scoping review

The purpose of this scoping review is to find all existing North American literature on male working carers and compare this information with female working carers. Searches were performed using various databases, published between 1996 and 2016. A total of 506 articles were found and 45 (<i>n</i> = 45) met all inclusion criteria. Five qualitative themes were identified: caregiving characteristics; motives for caring; work impacts; health impacts; and caring in the workplace and coping strategies. This review narrows the gap in the literature with respect to the similarities and differences between male and female working carers, and the way in which they approach caregiving tasks.

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The spectrum of family caregiving for adults and elders with chronic illness Edited by L.D. Burgio, J.E. Gaugler and M.M. Hilgeman

This book focuses on caregiving in the US, where, as elsewhere, family carers are the primary source of long-term care; one estimate presented is that 43 million people in the US are carers of people aged 50 years and over. Most family carers are providing support to adults with chronic illness.

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Home Alone Revisited: Family Caregivers Providing Complex Care

The AARP Home Alone study in 2012 was the first national look at how families, neighbors, and friends are managing medical/nursing tasks—that is, the complex care associated with administering multiple medications, changing dressings, handling medical equipment, and providing many other kinds of help that were formerly offered by trained professionals.  (See www.aarp.org/homealone.) Seven years later, this Home Alone Revisited study sought a deeper understanding of what family caregivers who perform medical/nursing tasks experience. Employing an oversampling of multicultural groups, it took a closer look at specific difficult tasks, such as managing incontinence, pain, and special diets. It also offered greater attention to resources and outcomes as well as multicultural, gender, and generational experiences. A nationally representative, population-based, online survey of 2,089 family caregivers provided the basis for our analyses. An organizing framework, qualitative findings, and multivariate analyses provided further insights into the stories these family caregivers told us. Their voices led to our recommendations, found in these pages, for professionals, health care organizations, policy makers, and private-sector stakeholders.

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Informal caregivers in hospitals: Opportunities and threats

Objective: High hospital costs are a challenge that health system face. Additionally, studies identified manpower deficiency as a problem in health system. Hospital is a place where patients with different physical and mental conditions come to. Their families and friends' companionship can facilitate this situation for them. This study illustrates the roles of informal caregivers in hospital.; Method: This is a phenomenological qualitative study. Data were gathered through semistructured interviews. We interviewed 22 informal caregivers and 9 nurse staffs from different departments of hospital. They were selected through purposeful and snowball sampling approach. The framework method was used for data analysis.; Results: We found 3 main themes including (a) roles of informal caregivers, (b) opportunities of presence of the informal caregivers in the hospital, and (c) threats of presence of informal caregivers.; Conclusions: This study shows some roles for informal caregivers including mental supports, consultation, decision-making, and care roles. Concerning the shortage of manpower in Iran's hospitals, nurses have less time to take care of each patient; therefore, using informal caregivers as an implicit strategy to overcome nursing shortage and to reduce hospital costs seems to be beneficial. We suggest that an appropriate plan is necessary to make use of them for filling this gap to some extent, as well as providing training sessions and facilities for companions acting as informal caregivers.

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Mental capacity legislation in the UK: systematic review of the experiences of adults lacking capacity and their carers

AIMS AND METHOD: Capacity legislation in the UK allows substitute decision-making for adults lacking capacity. Research has explored the experiences of such adults and their carers in relation to the Adults with Incapacity (Scotland) Act 2000, and the Mental Capacity Act 2005 in England and Wales. A systematic review of the relevant research was performed using a framework method. RESULTS: The legislation provided mechanisms for substitute decision-making which were seen as useful, but there were negative experiences. Decision-making did not always seem to follow the legislative principles. Awareness of the legislation was limited. Most research was qualitative and some was of low methodological quality. Data were too heterogeneous to allow comparisons between English and Scottish law. CLINICAL IMPLICATIONS: Capacity legislation was generally viewed positively. However, some experiences were perceived negatively, and the potential benefits of the legislation were not always utilised. 

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Providing support to surrogate decision-makers for people living with dementia: Healthcare professional, organisational and community responsibilities

The prevalence of dementia will continue to increase with the ageing of the population. Many people living with dementia will reach a stage where surrogate decision-makers-mostly family carers-will need to make a range of decisions on their behalf. The aim of this study was to learn from surrogate decision-makers how they can be most effectively supported in this role. The study employed a qualitative design using semi-structured face-to-face or telephone interviews with a purposive sample of 34 surrogate decision-makers of people living with dementia. Transcripts of participant interviews were reviewed using a thematic approach to analysis. Four main themes were identified from this analysis: needing greater community awareness of dementia and its impact; intervening early in cognitive decline; relying on health professionals for ongoing support; and seeking and using support from wherever is relevant for each person. Based on this analysis and a review of the literature, we propose a wholistic set of recommendations for the support of surrogate decision-makers. Healthcare professionals need to help family carers understand the likely trajectory of dementia, including the significance of surrogate decision-making. They can support the person living with dementia and their surrogates to undertake advance care planning and they can act as empathic guides during this process. Health and community care organisations need to provide a "key worker" model wherever possible so that the person living with dementia and their surrogate decision-maker do not have to seek support from multiple staff members or organisations. Carer support programmes can routinely include information and resources about surrogate decision-making. Community and government organisations can help people prepare for the possibility of becoming surrogate decision-makers by promoting a greater public awareness and understanding of both dementia and advance care planning. 

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Gender Differences in Spousal Caregivers’ Care and Housework: Fact or Fiction?

Many studies reveal a gender gap in spousal care during late life. However, this gap could be an artifact of methodological limitations (small and unrepresentative cross-sectional samples). Using a data set that overcomes these limitations, we re-examine the question of gender differences in spousal care and housework adjustment when a serious illness occurs.We use biannual waves between 2001 and 2015 of the German Socio-Economic Panel Study and growth curve analyses. We follow couples longitudinally (identified in the household questionnaire) to analyze shifts in spousal care hours and housework plus errand hours that occur as a response to the spousal care need. We test for interactions with levels of care need and with gender.We found that men increase their care hours as much as women do, resulting in similar care hours. They also increase their housework and errand hours more than women do. Yet at lower levels of spousal care need, women still do more housework and errands because they spent more time doing housework before the illness. Even in a context of children’s decreasing availability to care for parents, male spouses assume the required caregiving role in systems relying on a mixture of public and private care.

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Managing Visitors During the Hospital Stay: The Experience of Family Caregivers of Patients With Traumatic Brain Injury

Family caregivers of patients with moderate-to-severe traumatic brain injury (TBI) regularly visit the patient during the hospital stay and are involved in their care. As impairments caused by the TBI often preclude the patient from stating preferences for visitors, family caregivers often make decisions about visitors on the patient's behalf during the hospital stay. However, limited literature investigates this process. The purpose of this study was to describe family caregivers' experience of visitors while the patient with moderate-to-severe TBI is hospitalized. Authors used grounded theory to conduct 24 interviews with 16 family caregivers. Findings showed family caregivers manage welcome and unwelcome visitors throughout the hospital stay to protect the patient's physical and emotional safety and to conserve their own energy. Staff had limited involvement in management of unwelcome visitors. These findings have practice implications for educating hospital staff about providing family nursing and assisting families to manage unwelcome visitors and about policy implications for improving hospital visiting policies.

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The Challenges, Emotions, Coping, and Gains of Family Caregivers Caring for Patients With Advanced Cancer in Singapore: A Qualitative Study

Background: Caring for a family member with advanced cancer at home is demanding as the ill family member is likely to have complex physical and emotional needs. There is a paucity of studies on the experience of home family caregivers of people with advanced cancer in the Asian region. Objective: The aim of this study was to describe the experiences of family caregivers caring for a person with advanced cancer at home in Singapore. Methods: This was a qualitative study; data were collected by semistructured interviews and analyzed using content analysis. A purposive sample of 19 family caregivers who were taking care of a family member with advanced cancer were recruited from home hospice care services in Singapore. Results: Most of the caregivers were female (n = 14), ranging in age from 21 to 64 years (mean, 46.4 [SD, 10.5] years). Four themes were generated from the data: (1) caregiving challenges, (2) negative emotions, (3) ways of coping, and (4) positive gains of caregiving. Conclusions: This study generated insights into the challenges, emotions, and coping of Asian family caregivers caring for patients with advanced cancer. Such understanding could help in developing appropriate intervention for caregivers to reduce their burden and stress. Implications for Practice: Caregivers require knowledge on resolving family conflicts and about communicating and enhancing closeness with the ill family member. Support from healthcare professionals is essential even if caregivers have support from family members and friends; nurses can make conscious efforts to show concern for caregivers as well as for patients.

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Using a Flexible Diary Method Rigorously and Sensitively With Family Carers

Health and social science researchers are increasingly interested in the range of new possibilities and benefits associated with diary methods, particularly using digital devices. In this article, we explore how a flexible diary method, which enables participants to choose the device (i.e., paper notebook, tablet, or computer) and medium (i.e., text, photographs, sketches) through which they narrate their experiences, can be used to promote sensitive and rigorous research engagement with family carers to people with dementia. We used a diary interview method with 10 carers over the course of 6 weeks to explore how they experience and interpret the changing behaviors of their cognitively impaired kin. We reflect on how the quality of diary data can be enhanced alongside the ethical dimensions of research with carer populations, through different forms of diary keeping, regular interaction with participants, reflexive practice, and follow-up interviews. 

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What Caregivers Need From Clinical Nurse Specialists

In the US today, there are more than 32 million unpaid family caregivers providing complex care to a family member in the home. In 2012, American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) released the results of Home Alone: Family Caregivers Providing Complex Chronic Care (http://www.aarp.org/content/dam/aarp/research/public_policy_institute/health/home-alone-family-caregivers-providing-complex-chronic-care-rev-AARP-ppi-health.pdf). The study, conducted by the AARP Public Policy Institute and the United Hospital Fund, was a nationally representative population-based online survey of 1677 family caregivers to determine the medical/nursing tasks they performed. Study findings challenged the notion of family caregiving as limited to personal care, such as bathing and dressing, and assistance with household chores, shopping, and paying bills. Here, Fulton talks about caregiver's lack of knowledge in home and post-op care.

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“It’s just horrible”: a qualitative study of patients’ and carers’ experiences of bowel dysfunction in multiple sclerosis

Around 50% of people with multiple sclerosis (MS) experience neurogenic bowel dysfunction (constipation and/or faecal incontinence), reducing quality of life and increasing carer burden. No previous qualitative studies have explored the experiences of bowel problems in people with MS, or the views of their family carers. This study sought to understand ‘what it is like’ to live with bowel dysfunction and the impact this has on people with MS and carers. Using exploratory qualitative methods, 47 semi-structured interviews were conducted with participants recruited from specialist hospital clinics and community sources using purposive and chain-referral sampling. Data were analysed using a pragmatic inductive-deductive method. Participants identified multiple psychological, physical and social impacts of bowel dysfunction. Health care professional support ranged from empathy and appropriate onward referral, to lack of interest or not referring to appropriate services. Participants want bowel issues to be discussed more openly, with clinicians instigating a discussion early after MS diagnosis and repeating enquiries regularly. Bowel dysfunction impacts on the lives of people with MS and their carers; their experience with care services is often unsatisfactory. Understanding patient and carer preferences about the management of bowel dysfunction can inform clinical care and referral pathways.

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Personalisation, personal budgets and family carers. Whose assessment? Whose budget?

Summary: The policy of personalisation in English adult social care prioritises choice and control by service users over the support they receive. Carers also have rights to assessments and support, but these rights have developed separately, so interdependencies between carers and service users may be overlooked. Moreover, it may be difficult to reconcile these divergent policies in routine practice. This article reports findings from a study examining the roles played by carers in England in the processes of assessment, support planning and management of personal budgets for disabled and older people. The study was conducted between January 2011 and February 2013. It involved a survey of 16 adult social care departments across 2 English regions, and interviews with personalisation and carers lead officers in three local authorities. The Framework approach was used to manage the data, and analysis was done thematically. Findings: Practice was fragmented and inconsistent. Carers were reported to be involved in service users' assessments, and also asked about their willingness and ability to continue caring, but not necessarily about their own needs. Separate carers' assessments were reported to be usually offered, but take-up was low and lead officers' opinions about their value varied. Any help given by carers reduced the level of service users' personal budgets, but there was no evidence that carers' own needs (as identified in carers' assessments) were taken into account. Applications: Greater clarity and consistency is needed, especially the linking of service users' and carers' assessments and finding appropriate ways to meet both. These changes will become increasingly urgent with the implementation of the 2014 Care Act. 

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Decision making for people living with dementia by their carers at the end of life: A rapid scoping review

Background: There are an increasing number of people living with dementia, as well as an expectation that care decisions are made collaboratively with those with the disease entering the end stage and their families. This has increased the burden on family carers. Aim: To explore the evidence on the decisional support needs of informal carers of people with end-stage dementia. Design: A rapid scoping review was undertaken of peer-reviewed publications between 2000 and 2016, which included all health-care settings and the person's own home. Six databases were searched (CINAHL, MEDLINE, EMBASE, BNI, PSYCHINFO, Web of Science) and all papers meeting the inclusion criteria were read. A thematic analysis was undertaken of the selected papers using a pragmatic approach based on how the papers addressed the research question. Results: Sixty papers were individually appraised, with 40 being included in the review. Of these papers, 11 were literature reviews and 29 were primary studies. The themes identified were: the influential factors in carer decision making, the scope of carer decision making, the conflicts/problems in carer decision making, the resources carers need to make decisions and the impact of carer decision making. Conclusion: To date, the emphasis in dementia care has been on living well with dementia, but realistically there is a need to plan for a 'good death' that includes the person and their carers. There is a need to support people with dementia and their carers to make an advance care plan, while the person with dementia can take part in the decision-making process. This proactive intervention is likely to reduce carer decision burden at end of life and facilitate achievement of death in the person's preferred place, which is usually the home or care home.

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Time Use and Experienced Wellbeing of Older Caregivers: A Sequence Analysis

The diminished wellbeing of caregivers is well documented, but studies typically draw upon coarse measures of time use and thus provide limited understanding of the role of specific care activities in the daily lives of care providers. This study uses time diary data to explore whether there are signature care patterns throughout the day and whether these care patterns have implications for caregivers’ experienced wellbeing.Using a national sample of 511 time diaries from older caregivers in the Disability and Use of Time supplement to the Panel Study of Income Dynamics, we examine minutes of care provided on the prior day, overall and for four broad care categories (household, personal care, transportation, and visiting), and patterns of care over the day, the latter based on sequence and cluster analysis.Older caregivers spend on average 2.3 hr providing care to another adult on care days. Caregiving follows a roller-coaster pattern over the day, peaking at mealtimes. Sequence analysis suggests five distinctive caregiving patterns, which vary by both demographic characteristics of the caregiver (gender, work status) and care arrangement type (relationship to recipient, whether sole caregiver to recipient). The 40% who provide only marginal assistance of about 1 hr report lower experienced wellbeing than the 28% who provide sporadic assistance with a mix of activities for about 2 hr.A substantial share of older caregivers provides only 1 hr of assistance on a given day but appears to be at risk for reduced wellbeing. Better understanding of the reason for their marginal involvement and reduced wellbeing is warranted.

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The impact of personal budgets on unpaid carers of older people

Summary: This paper focuses on the impact of a personal budget – either in the form of a direct payment or managed personal budget – on the role of unpaid carers of older budget holders. Data were collected via postal survey of 1500 unpaid carers and semi-structured interviews with 31 carers. Findings: Unpaid carers played a central role in supporting older budget holders irrespective of the type of budget received. The allocation of a personal budget may have decreased the amount of ‘hands-on’ care they provided, enabling them to do different things for and with the person cared for, but most did not relinquish direct involvement in care provision. Both kinds of personal budget provided greater flexibility to juggle caring tasks with other roles, such as childcare or paid employment. However, carers supporting direct payment users did experience higher levels of stress. This seemed linked to the additional responsibilities involved in administering the direct payment. Carers seemed relatively unsupported by their local Adult Social Care Department: the survey found that only one in five said they had ever received a carer assessment. Application: The findings offer a detailed exploration of the impact of personal budgets on carers, suggesting that even in countries with relatively well-developed systems of support for carers such as England their impact remains overlooked. The paper may be of interest to social work practitioners, managers, academics and social work policy specialists working in countries that have, or are about to introduce, personal budgets or other forms of cash-for-care scheme.

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Caregivers for people at end of life in advanced age: knowing, doing and negotiating care

Background: the need for palliative and end of life care for the oldest old is growing rapidly. Family carers often report they do not feel well supported; for better practice and policy, we need better understanding of their experiences and how to support them. Design and setting: people in the LiLACS NZ longitudinal study of advanced age identified a carer to be interviewed after their death. Nominated caregivers were contacted 3–6 months after an older person’s death and invited to take part in the current study. Subjects: fifty-eight interviews were conducted with carers of 52 people in advanced age, 20 Maori and 32 non-Maori. The majority of the 58 carers were in their 60 s and were women. Methods: guided-conversation interviews covered end of life preferences and experiences, needs and gaps in support, arrangements after death, and experiences of bereavement. Rigorous data analysis included multiple researchers identifying and interrogating themes across and within: the transcripts, and feedback and discussion with participants. Results: we identify a typology of nine categories of care, and argue that the support and care provided by family should be understood as going beyond simple task-based transactions. We present a model of end of life care describing and explaining inter-related aspects of knowing, doing and negotiating care tasks. Conclusions: this work furthers current understandings of care, as multifaceted and negotiated. This has very practical implications for thinking about how best to support the complex end of life caregiving work of people caring for a person in advanced age.

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Planning for the future among older parents of adult offspring with intellectual disability living at home and in the community: a systematic review of qualitative studies

Background: The increased longevity of individuals with intellectual disability means that ageing parents often play an extended caregiving role into late life. This systematic review evaluates qualitative evidence on futures planning among older parents whose adult children live either in the family home or out-of-home. Method: Electronic databases were searched for studies published between 2000 and 2015. Studies that met the inclusion criteria were analysed using the McMaster Critical Review Form for Qualitative Studies. Results: Of 14 articles reviewed, quality was mixed. Three over-arching themes emerged: (1) external barriers to planning involving reservations about available serv