Family carers of people with dementia often describe feelings of guilt, grief and low mood, and are also at increased risk of clinical depression. Through a skilled assessment of a carer’s feelings of guilt, an Admiral Nurse identified specific psychological approaches helpful in relieving this potentially damaging and paralysing phenomenon. Person- and family-centred approaches throughout the assessment process, and addressing the needs of individual family members in expressing their individual emotions and experience to the changes in needs of the person with dementia as they become more complex, are essential to family wellbeing. Identifying and differentiating between guilt, anticipatory grief and depression are essential when planning interventions to support family carers.
[The same article is also published in British Journal of Neuroscience Nursing Vol 14, no. 6 https://doi.org/10.12968/bjnn.2018.14.6.286 ]