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  2. “They take a lot of pressure off us”: Volunteers reducing staff and family care burden and contributing to quality of care for older patients with cognitive impairment in rural hospitals

“They take a lot of pressure off us”: Volunteers reducing staff and family care burden and contributing to quality of care for older patients with cognitive impairment in rural hospitals

Objectives: 1Explore the ability of trained volunteers to provide person-centred care focusing on nutrition/hydration support, hearing/visual aids and activities in rural hospitals for older patients with dementia and/or delirium. 2Explore the impacts and challenges of volunteer care for family carers and hospital staff. Methods: Staff were surveyed about their confidence, stress and satisfaction at 6 months post-implementation. Focus groups with staff and interviews with families explored program successes, challenges and enabling factors. Results: Volunteers integrated themselves into the care team, providing person-centred care, increased safety and quality of care for patients and a reduced burden for staff and families. Key enablers were clear processes for screening, training and supporting volunteers. Key challenges included initial role delineation, staff/volunteer trust and sustainability. Conclusion: The program is reported by families and staff as being effective in addressing the main barriers to providing person-centred care for older adults with cognitive impairment in rural acute hospitals. 

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Key Information

Type of Reference
Jour
Type of Work
Journal article
Publisher
John Wiley & Sons
ISBN/ISSN
1741-6612
Publication Year
2019
Issue Number
S2
Journal Titles
Australasian Journal on Ageing
Volume Number
38
Start Page
34
End Page
45