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Care issue disagreements rife among family caregivers and patients

Care issue disagreements rife among family caregivers and patients
2nd August 2011

Family caregivers and their dementia patient relatives may disagree over many issues, according to new research, possibly meaning they will want to find a care home sooner than planned.

A study published in journal The Gerontologist investigated the five core values of autonomy: burden, control, family and safety among patients and their primary family caregivers.

It was revealed that caregivers underestimated the level of importance placed on these five issues by their patient.

Study leader Steven Zarit, explained that a major reason for this is the perception that caregivers view people with dementia as not able to make their own decisions about daily life.

"As people's cognitive abilities decline, they can no longer express clearly what they want. Family members have to act as surrogate decision makers, but if they don't understand the dementia patients' preferences about care, they may not be able to make the best choices," he elaborated.

Meanwhile, a Penn State and Viginia Tech study found that adult day care services like respite care, home care and assisted living led to a reduction in stress among family caregivers.

Find the nearest Barchester care home.