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Home care in dementia: The views of informal carers from a co-designed consultation

Background: In the United Kingdom, there is a current priority for high-quality dementia care provided at home. However, home care or domiciliary care is an area where problems have been reported, in terms of a lack of consistency, coordination and appropriate responses to the specific needs of those with dementia. The views of informal carers, who often must respond to these problems when supporting relatives, are crucial in shedding light on the issues and in seeking to promote solutions. Methods: This study explored the views of informal carers of those with dementia concerning home care, through a consultation using an electronic survey. The survey questions were designed by informal carers, through a public involvement group within an existing programme of dementia research. The survey elicited responses from 52 informal carers in 2017/18. The data were analysed qualitatively using framework analysis. Findings: Carers’ views focused on the need for investment into meaningful personalisation, recognising the value of providing care and valuing formal carers, systemic failings of care coordination and provision and the importance of ongoing collaboration and care planning. Conclusion: Based on a framework drawn from the views of informal carers themselves, this study articulated issues of concern for home care and its delivery for people with dementia. Attempts should be made to make dementia home care more consistently personalised, inclusive and collaborative with informal carers and key others involved. Further areas to explore include working conditions of formal carers and current models utilised in homecare provision. 

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