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An integrative review on family caregivers' involvement in care of home-dwelling elderly

Often family members provide care-giving, which allows older adults to remain in their homes. With declining health and increasing frailty, care-giving of elderly people becomes a task of family caregivers (FC) in conjunction with home care nurses. It has been shown in both acute care settings and long-term care facilities that family members prefer to be involved in decision-making and care planning for their next of kin. Therefore, an integrative review was conducted to explore the body of knowledge of FCs' involvement in home-care settings from the FCs' perspective. CINAHL, PubMed, and Cochrane databases was searched with the terms family caregiver, involvement, home care, and community dwelling. Studies written in German or English between 1996 and 2017 focusing on FCs' caring for home-dwelling older adults together with home care nurses were included and critically appraised. The extracted findings were analysed with concept analysis method. Twenty-six studies were included and five themes were identified. Four themes formed the basis of assistance towards family caregivers by nurses and included "relationship building with professionals," "negotiating with professional care," "being professionally supported," and "managing role expectations and knowledge sharing". The fifth theme, "working together" described the mutual care for the care recipient. Although the first four themes were consistent with a pre-existing conceptual model by Sims-Gould and Marin-Matthews (2010), the fifth required an expansion of the model with an additional contribution "collaborative practice". The findings illustrate that involvement in care is an interactional process, which provides the basis for collaborative practices with the home care nurses for family caregivers. Family members often want to be part of the healthcare team, and nurses need contextual factors that allow providing their full range of skills and knowledge to involve family caregivers accordingly.

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John Wiley & Sons Inc
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Health & Social Care in the Community
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