One of our new projects that’s getting underway is ‘Crossing the Line’, which is looking at getting a better understanding of some of the challenges faced by family carers when providing personal care for people living with dementia. The 18-month project has been funded by the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR) and brings together a host of co-applicants and project partners to ensure it reflects a range of different perspectives.
What is personal care?
Personal care can include a variety of different activities such as helping with going to the toilet, washing, bathing, dressing, mouth-care, shaving, haircare, foot and nail-care. Family carers that support people with dementia have reported that the issue of personal care is very important to them, though research has shown that little is known about it in the context of dementia and family care.
Family carers can face challenges adapting to the change in role that providing personal care brings, and this is worsened by lack of skills, know-how, shame and embarrassment. As a person’s dementia progresses, they may be increasingly unaware of their need for help or the impact it has on their family. This in turn can lead to high levels of distress, causing physical and emotional harm both to themselves and their family carer. The challenges around personal care are often a tipping point for the person living with dementia to move into a care home.
What will the project do?
The research team will carry out a survey and personal interviews with a diverse range of family carers from across the UK. This will make it possible to develop a deep understanding of the experiences of family carers relating to their provision of personal care to people living with dementia. That understanding will enable the research team to develop resources that will help families to cope with the challenges that they face.
You can keep up to date with the project via the relevant section on our website, which also has contact details for some of the key project team members.
We’ll also be posting updates via our social media channels, so connect with us on twitter @DementiaStudies and on Facebook @adsuow
This study is funded by the NIHR Research for Patient Benefit Programme/NIHR202970. The views expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of the NIHR or the Department of Health and Social Care.