The impact of the physical home environment for family carers of people with dementia: a qualitative study

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Abstract

Background - Most people with dementia are cared for by their families at home. This study investigated family carers’ identification of barriers and facilitators when caring for a person with dementia at home.

Design and methods - Thirteen co-resident family carers were engaged in semi-structured in-depth walking interviews. Interviews were recorded, transcribed and analysed using thematic analysis.

Results
- Home environments can pose a number of challenges and opportunities. Aspects of the architectural and interior environment (e.g. size, condition, layout and accessibility, familiarity) are perceived as important (Theme 1) as well as a plethora of environmental strategies that encourage independence and comfort at home (Theme 2). Carers’ scepticism, timing, costs, property characteristics and mistrust of services are some barriers to implementing environmental strategies (Theme 3).

Conclusions - Carers often improvise solutions through trial and error. Environmental strategies can create an enabling and comfortable home environment.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)303-333
Number of pages31
JournalJournal of Housing for the Elderly
Volume31
Issue number4
Early online date2 Nov 2017
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2017

Keywords

  • home environment
  • dementia
  • family carers
  • environmental strategies
  • qualitative

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