Institute for Health & Ageing

Promoting positive ageing and an age friendly society

What are the barriers and facilitators for service use among dementia family caregivers?

Ashley Macleod, Gemma Tatangelo and Marita McCabe, with Emily You from the Department of Psychiatry, University of Melbourne, undertook a qualitative study to examine the barriers and facilitators to accessing and using formal care services by family caregivers of community-dwelling individuals living with dementia. The study also identified the experiences of both offspring and spouse carers in their role as caregiver.

The researchers co-authored a paper on the study that was published recently in International Psychogeriatrics. Six main barriers were identified:
– the inability of caregivers to find information about relevant services or support,
– the poor quality of the available services
– mistrust of the available services,
– the inflexibility of services,
– caregivers’ beliefs about the obligations associated with their care-giving role, and
– resistance to service use by the care recipient.

Key facilitators included:
– caregivers having good communication with the care recipient and feeling comfortable with the service provided,
– having an ‘expert’ point of contact, and
– having beliefs about their role that enable the use of services.

Read their paper here.

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