How do family carers assist people with dementia? A qualitative observation study of daily tasks

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Introduction: As people with dementia progressively experience difficulties when performing daily tasks, family carers often become the main providers of support. Little is known about the role of carer support during task performance. Therefore, Occupational Therapy interventions are often underinformed in this area. Knowledge of how carers assist people with dementia could support Occupational Therapists to promote participation in daily tasks. The objective was to explore how carers support people with dementia during the performance of daily tasks. Methods: A secondary analysis was conducted on observations video-recorded for the TASKed project, where people with dementia completed a task with carer support. Data were analysed using an inductive reflexive thematic analysis approach. Findings: Video-recordings of twenty-one dyads were included in this study. Five themes were generated depicting how carers supported people with dementia during task performance: 1) Person-enabled assistance, 2) Goal-directed assistance, 3) Carer-led assistance, 4) Partnership-oriented assistance and 5) Bystander. Conclusion: Our findings suggest carers employ different approaches when assisting people with dementia with daily tasks. Knowledge of these different modes of assistance could help Occupational Therapists and researchers understand what works well and what could be changed to facilitate the participation of people with dementia in daily activities.
Original languageEnglish
JournalBritish Journal of Occupational Therapy
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 24 Jun 2024

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