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Mobile dementia counselling: An instrument to support informal carers in rural; areas in Germany

Studies show that comprehensive and accessible counselling for people with dementia and their informal carers can improve the informal care setting in many ways. For example, a need-oriented and early use of counselling is fundamental for using professional care services. However, many informal carers do not use counselling due to various reasons such as an information deficit and a lack of (regional) accessibility of counselling. The Rhine-Erft district, a rural area in Germany, improved its network of dementia care services by establishing a mobile gerontopsychiatric counselling with special focus on dementia. A specially equipped “counselling bus” offers free counselling at several public places in towns and villages of the district at least once a month. The main objectives of the counselling service are to give informal carers an individual and neutral overview about local care services and to raise awareness for people suffering from dementia. Using a multi-method approach, the concept “mobile dementia counselling” was evaluated with the aim to determine how mobile dementia counselling has to be designed and implemented to meet the needs of informal carers. The results show first, that mobile dementia counselling is a low-threshold and successful way to reach informal carers and to inform them about different aspects of dementia care. Second, it contributes to the improvement of their caring situation and helps to reduce the burden of care. Third, it also improves the cooperation and communication of local stakeholders regarding dementia care. Based on these and other data from the evaluation, recommendations for an effective and successful implementation of a mobile dementia counselling service will be derived.

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Web of science - exported 12/7/2016
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