The role of the home environment in dementia care and support: systematic review of qualitative research

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Abstract

Background: The domestic home is the preferred site for care provision for people with dementia and their families, therefore creating a dementia and caring friendly home environment is crucial. This systematic review synthesised qualitative studies to explore the role of the home environment and identify potential barriers and facilitators in home dementia care and support to inform future practice and research.

Methods: A systematic search in 12 databases identified international qualitative literature on perceptions and experiences of community-dwelling people with dementia, family and formal carers regarding the role of the home environment and ways to tackle daily challenges.

Results: Forty qualitative studies were included and analysed using thematic synthesis. The main three themes were: ‘home as a paradox’, ‘there is no magic formula’ and ‘adapting the physical space, objects and behaviour’. Findings indicate that home is an important setting and is likely to change significantly responding to the changing nature of dementia. Themes were later validated by family carers of people with dementia.

Conclusions: The home environment is an important setting for care and needs to remain flexible to accommodate changes and challenges. Family carers and people with dementia implement and often improvise, various environmental strategies. Continuous and tailor-made support at home is required.
Original languageEnglish
Article number0
Pages (from-to)1237-1272
Number of pages36
JournalDementia
Volume18
Issue number4
Early online date17 Feb 2017
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2019

Keywords

  • Dementia
  • home environment
  • systematic review
  • qualitative
  • thematic synthesis

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