Challenges to optimal medicines use in people living with dementia and their caregivers: A literature review

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Abstract

Dementia is fast becoming a global concern due to a demographic shift towards an older population. Many studies have shown that caring for a family member or friend has a profound and negative impact on the physical, emotional and psychosocial aspects of the caregivers’ life. One significant activity that a family caregiver undertakes is assistance with the management of medicines. This review was undertaken to ascertain what the issues are that affect optimal medicines use from the perspectives of people living with dementia and their caregivers, both in the community and care home settings. A literature search was conducted using electronic databases, employing a combination of search terms. A total of 16 studies met the inclusion criteria. Six broad themes were identified, together with some recommendations to improve medicines use in people with dementia. Challenges to medicines use centred on medicines management and administration, the impact on the caregiver and care recipient, their partnership and interface with formal care. Future research should focus on developing targeted interventions that can overcome these challenges to achieve optimal medicines use.

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