Carer needs on an organic inpatient unit

Jennifer Clegg, Sarah Craven-Staines

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The purpose of this paper is to further understand the needs of carers when a relative with dementia is admitted to an organic impatient ward.

A constructivist grounded theory approach was employed to generate a substantive theory to understand the needs of carers and how staff perceive carer needs when a relative is admitted to a dementia ward. Five relatives and six members of staff were interviewed using purposive and theoretical sampling. Interview transcripts were analysed using initial, focused and theoretical coding using constant comparative methods to develop the end theory.

The grounded theory concluded that carers have three categories of needs: “The Safe and Cared for Relative”, “The Informed Carer and “The Understanding, Responsive and Available Service”. Underpinning the needs are the relationships between carers, their relative and staff. Three barriers were identified which can impact on these needs being effectively met. These identified barriers were: Loss, Time and Ineffective Communication.

The grounded theory demonstrates that carers needs fundamentally relate to their relatives being safe and cared for and being included and informed during the admission. Relationships can be ruptured when a barrier prevents the needs from being effectively met. Recommendations are made to aim to reduce the impact of the barriers and to aid staff in developing their understanding of the carer experience.
Original languageEnglish
JournalQuality in Ageing and Older Adults
Publication statusPublished - 9 Dec 2019


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