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Supporting family carers of people with dementia

According to Alzheimers New Zealand, the number of New Zealanders with dementia is expected to exceed 170,000 by 2050.1 Dementia refers to a collection of progressive neurodegenerative illnesses, including Alzheimer's disease, vascular dementia and Lewy body type. Local NASC services assess people with dementia and their families' abilities to provide care, and help them access appropriate services such as day care or respite care.14 Other services that people with dementia and their families are referred to include Alzheimers New Zealand, Carer Support, Age Concern, regional health services for older people and mental health services for older people. [...]in the Nelson Marlborough DHB, older persons mental health service and Age Concern are some of the tertiary services that can provide reactive support when crises occur.15 About 40 per cent of people over the age of 65 in general hospitals have delirium, dementia or both.16 When nurses care for people with dementia and their carers on a general hospital ward, they have the opportunity to assess carers' stress and needs, and provide interventions.16,17 A qualitative study of carers' perspectives of acute hospitalisation of their family member with dementia found six themes that contributed to a positive hospitalisation experience.13 These included good communication, being empathetic and advocating for the carer. [...]early recognition of carer burden through nursing assessments helps prevent carer hospitalisation.

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Key Information

Type of Reference
Type of Work
Journal article
New Zealand Nurses' Organization
Publication Year
Issue Number
Journal Titles
Kai Tiaki : Nursing New Zealand
Volume Number
Start Page
End Page