Relatives’ experiences of everyday life when receiving day care services for persons with dementia living at home


Relatives often become involved in the care of people with dementia who are living at home. The caregivers’ burdens are extensively described in several studies, and one of the most common, unmet needs of the caregivers is the opportunity for daytime activities. The aim in this qualitative study is therefore to explore the everyday lives of eight relatives of people with dementia who are receiving day care services. A content analysis is used, and three major themes emerge and are discussed: 1) when life becomes chaotic; 2) rebuilding a new, everyday life; and 3) the agonies of choice. The findings indicate that day care service offers respite care, and, at the same time, it gives both the relatives and those with dementia a meaningful day. These findings can also be described as relatives traveling a route from a situation characterized by chaos and suffering to a new life situation that has meaning through day care services. It is important to note that despite this new meaning in the relatives’ lives, the relatives continue to struggle with decisions about the futures of their loves ones in regard to the dilemma of placing them in an institution versus aging in place.

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Solum Myren, G. , Enmarker, I. , Saur, E. and Hellzen, O. (2013) Relatives’ experiences of everyday life when receiving day care services for persons with dementia living at home. Health, 5, 1227-1235. doi: 10.4236/health.2013.58166.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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