Experiences of family caregivers of persons living with dementia with and without a smart-clothes assisted home nursing program during the heightened COVID-19 alert
Sung, Y.-L., Huang, H.-L., Lin, C.-C., Kröger, T., Hsu, W.-C., Hsu, J.-L., Lin, Yueh-E., & Shyu, Y.-I. L. (2022). Experiences of family caregivers of persons living with dementia with and without a smart-clothes assisted home nursing program during the heightened COVID-19 alert. BMC Geriatrics, 22, Article 697. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12877-022-03379-8
Published inBMC Geriatrics
DisciplineYhteiskuntapolitiikkaIkääntymisen ja hoivan tutkimuksen huippuyksikköSocial and Public PolicyCentre of Excellence in Research on Ageing and Care
© The Author(s) 2022
Background The COVID-19 pandemic has required restrictions of daily activities, which has been found to impact the lives of persons living with dementia (PLWDs) and their family caregivers, who have multiple care demands. The lack of relevant studies in Taiwan emphasized the need to explore the experiences of family caregivers of older PLWDs faced with the intensified restrictions to control the spread of COVID-19, and the impact of the availability of a smart-clothes home nursing program. Methods This qualitative study used semi-structured interviews with family caregivers of older PLWDs. Participants were recruited from dementia clinics of a medical center in northern Taiwan from a subset of a sample from a larger study on smart-clothes assisted home nursing care. A total of 12 family caregivers who participated in the original study were interviewed during the follow-up period; seven family caregivers of a PLWD wearing a smart-vest, which transmitted information to a home care nurse; five caregivers of a PLWD not wearing a smart-vest. Interviews were conducted by telephone because the conditions of the pandemic prevented face-to-face interviews. Recorded interviews were transcribed and analyzed using content analysis. Results Interview data showed family caregivers’ felt the care recipient’s health was compromised and functional conditions intensified as Covid-19-related pandemic restrictions increased. Specific concerns included a lack social interactions, decreased daily activity levels, loss of interest and lack of motivation for activities, increased mood and behavioral problems, a decline in physical function and an increase in health problems. Family caregivers were also impacted by these restrictions, with significant increases in severity of caregiver role strain, including feeling trapped, a lack of in-home support, profound powerlessness, and worries about the PLWD contracting the coronavirus. The smart-clothes assisted home nursing care program offered supplementary support to family caregivers by providing on-time interactions, helping them manage health problems, enhancing predictability of the care recipient’s behaviors, and providing caregivers with emotional support. Conclusions The findings of this study support alternative care such as implementation of technology-assisted home health services to meet caregiver needs to facilitate family caregiving of PLWDs during the necessary restrictions in activities implemented during the COVID-19 pandemic. Trial registration ClinicalTrials.gov Protocol Record NCT05063045. ...
ISSN Search the Publication Forum1471-2318
Publication in research information system
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Related funder(s)Academy of Finland
Funding program(s)Centre of Excellence, AoF
Additional information about fundingThis study was supported by the Ministry of Science and Technology, Taiwan (MOST107-2314B-182–007-MY3); Chang Gung Medical Foundation (CMRPD1H0221; CMRPD1H0222); Healthy Aging Research Center, Chang Gung University from the Featured Areas Research Center Program within the Framework of the Higher Education Sprout Project by the Ministry of Education (MOE) in Taiwan (EMRPD1I0421, EMRPD1I0501); and National Health Research Institute, Taiwan (NHRI-EX109-10906PI). ...
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