Day care centres for people with dementia

The influence of day care centres for people with dementia on family caregivers: an integrative review of the literature.
Aging & Mental Health Volume 20, Issue 5, 2016

Objectives: Day care centres (DCC) for people with dementia (PWD) have received increased attention recently, due to a shift in policy from the use of residential care towards home-based services. The aim of this study is to provide an extended understanding of the influence of DCCs on family caregivers (FCs).

Method: An integrative review including 19 studies was used: qualitative (n = 2), quantitative non-randomised (n = 8), quantitative descriptive studies (n = 7), and with mixed-method design (n = 2). The quality of the studies was evaluated by the mixed-methods appraisal tool (MMAT).

Results: FC experienced the DCC both as a respite service, and to some extent as a support service, improving their competence in caring for the PWD. The quality of the DCC influenced its use, and the FC’s motivation to care for the PWD. FC’s gender, role, individual needs, PWD behavioural problems and need for assistance played an important role.

Conclusion: As a respite and support service, DCCs have the potential to give FCs a feeling of safety and relief, reduce the caregiver’s burden, and increase their motivation towards their role as caregivers. These outcomes depend on the quality of treatment, and how the service meets the FC’s needs for flexibility, support, information, and responsibility sharing.

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