Family caregiver strategies to encourage older relatives with dementia to use social services




To elicit the strategies used by Japanese family caregivers in the community to encourage older relatives with dementia to use adult daycare and respite stays.


Older adults with dementia often require adult daycare and respite stays for their family caregivers to gain respite from care-giving. However, persons with dementia often face difficulty in new environments and timely access to sufficient services may be difficult to achieve. Few studies have examined how family caregivers encourage their service use.


A qualitative method.


Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 16 family caregivers who were caring for relatives with dementia at home between 2005–2007. Data were analysed qualitatively.


Family caregivers used various strategies to encourage older relatives to use services, allowing the older adult to decide whether to use the service, yearning and searching for the least harmful service, tailoring the service to the older adult, persuading the older adult to use the service, conforming the older adult to the service and coercing the older adult to use the service. Different strategies were used depending on factors such as desperation in needing respite, willingness to do what is best for the older adult, confidence in taking care of the older adult and the anticipated response of the older adult to services.


Nurses should carefully assess caregivers' strategies in their attempts to encourage service use and should provide adequate assistance in accordance with those strategies.