Which are the perceived needs of family caregivers of people with dementia?

The phenomenon of longevity is an unprecedented achievement in human history, gaining not only in years but also in quality of life. However, it is indisputable that diseases and, therefore, dependency and disability (and therefore care requirements) are more frequent in the elderly.

Dementia is a chronic and complex disease that encompasses all conditions characterized by cognitive and functional impairment. Taking care of a family member with dementia can cause more physical and emotional problems than in other care situations, due to the high and changing demand for care from people with dementia. Knowing the needs perceived by family caregivers of people with dementia is essential for the proper care of such caregivers, therefore, members of our research group within the line Caregivers and informal and family care, have recently conducted a study to identify, classify and analyze the perceived needs of caregivers of elderly people with dementia during the care process.

For this purpose, seven focus groups was conducted in different primary health care centers in the province of Jaén (Spain), identifying two main categories of perceived needs of caregivers after a thematic analysis of the data; the first was related to the management of caring for a relative with dementia, and the second was related to the management of the caregivers’ own care.

Findings support the provision of comprehensive interventions for the improvement of caregivers’ emotional health that encompass more than one care need. This is where psycho-educational interventions aimed at managing the various aspects of dementia and self-care in caregivers can be accommodated. In addition, proactive interventions to develop important skills to care for a relative with dementia, which are not perceived as needs by the caregivers, are needed. These include skills in family negotiation, planning and searching for resources outside the family.

The full text is available at: Moreno-Cámara S, Palomino-Moral PA, Moral-Fernández L, Frías-Osuna A, Parra-Anguita L, del-Pino-Casado R. Perceived Needs of The Family Caregivers of People with Dementia in a Mediterranean Setting: A Qualitative Study. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health. 2019; 16 (6): 993.

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