In time for Dementia Action Week, a new paper by Dr Catherine Quinn has just been published online in Aging and Mental Health https://doi.org/10.1080/13607863.2019.1602590
This work looks at the influence of the carer’s experience of caring on the well-being of the person living with dementia. A lay summary is presented here:
Carers are family members, friends, or other supporters of people living with dementia. They have an important role in providing support and care to the person with dementia. Because of this close supportive relationship it is likely that what the carer is experiencing could have an influence on the overall well-being of the person with dementia. In this study we explored the impact of the carer’s experiences on the overall well-being of the person with dementia.
For this study we used information provided by 1,283 carers and the people with dementia they cared for who had taken part in the IDEAL study. The carers completed questionnaires on their experiences of providing care. People with dementia completed questionnaires on their quality of life, well-being, and satisfaction with life.
We found that where carers were highly stressed, lacked a feeling of being competent in the caring role, and experienced social restrictions, the people they cared for rated their quality of life, well-being, and satisfaction with life less positively. How well carers felt they were coping, and whether carers could identify positive aspects of their caring role, did not make a difference to the way in which the people they cared for rated their quality of life, well-being and satisfaction with life.
These findings show that what family carers are experiencing is important, not just for their own well-being, but also for the well-being of the person with dementia for whom they provide care. This information may help us to understand what kinds of support may be most helpful for carers. It is vital to ensure that carers are supported both emotionally and practically in order to reduce stress levels and increase feelings of competence, and that they are able to access help when needed. This will both benefit carers and improve the potential for ‘living well’ among the people with dementia for whom they provide care.
To access the full article see: Quinn, C., Nelis, S. M., Martyr, A., Morris, R. G., Victor, C., & Clare, L. on behalf of the IDEAL study team (2019). Caregiver influences on ‘living well’ for people with dementia: Findings from the IDEAL study. Aging and Mental Health. https://doi.org/10.1080/13607863.2019.1602590
Dr Catherine Quinn