Dementia care practitioners’ decision-making on moves to a care home

Dementia care practitioners’ decision-making on moves to a care home

New paper: Factors affecting dementia care practitioners’ decision-making on moves to a care home for persons living with dementia: A factorial study

Deciding if and when might be the ‘optimal’ time for a person living with dementia to move to a care home is often difficult for the individual, family and practitioners. Research led by Dr Kritika Samsi and colleagues from King’s College London drew on the experiences of people living with dementia and family carers as well as social workers and care home managers to explore factors in the decision-making process leading to a person living with dementia moving to a care home.

As part of the project, the research team carried out a factorial study. Using findings from qualitative interviews with older people living with dementia, family carers, care home managers and social workers, they identified four factors that appeared to influence the decision to move to a care home: (1) Family carers’ ability to support the person with daily activities, (2) amount of support provided by home care workers, (3) level of risk of harm and (4) the person living with dementia’s wishes. These factors were then randomised within skeleton vignettes that told the story of a fictitious woman (Jane) living with dementia at home with her husband. Fifty-four variations of the vignettes were produced and randomly assigned to 100 surveys. A total of 100 volunteer dementia care practitioners (78% female, 54% over 50 years of age) received their own personalised online survey link via email and were asked to read each vignette and decide whether to suggest Jane (a) move to a care home or (b) continue living at home.

The findings from the factorial study were published today in Health and Social Care in the Community.

The research team found that Jane’s wishes principally drove most dementia care practitioners’ decision on whether to suggest a move to a care home or stay living at home (odds ratio = 6.5–19.5).

Full paper

Cole L, Bisquera A, Samsi K, Manthorpe J (2021) Factors affecting dementia care practitioners’ decision-making on moves to a care home for persons living with dementia: A factorial survey, Health and Social Care in the Community. Published Online.

View the full research paper

Thursday, October 21st, 2021

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