Hospital Discharge as Experienced by Family Carers of People with Dementia: A Case for Quality Improvement


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Abstract

To explore whether hospital discharge practices meets the needs of the family carer of a person with dementia. Qualitative methodology utilizing semistructured interviews with the primary family carer of a person with dementia after hospital discharge. Purposive sampling methods were used to recruit family carers within 2 months of discharge from hospitals in the state of Victoria, Australia. Twenty-five family carers were interviewed. Key issues that families found problematic include: coordination of discharge planning, the ability of the staff to address family members' needs, poor engagement with family, and perceived lapses in care delivery. Findings suggest that a number of changes to hospital processes and health professionals' practices are needed in order to better meet the transitional needs of family carers of people with dementia. Considerations for practice to improve the quality of hospital discharge preparation for family carers of people with dementia are provided.

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