Introduction

Home carers are vital to the quality of life of growing numbers of people with dementia and their families, yet how they work behind closed doors and what impact this has is little-studied. Likewise, the experience of receiving home care warrants greater investigation: the views of the clients offer valuable insights regarding the factors that make home care a positive experience rather than a tiresome necessity.

Objectives

The purpose of this study was to examine home care for people with dementia so that its function in community support can be described fully, with a view to service development and effective commissioning.

Methods

The project:

  • carried out participant observation in two home care agencies
  • involved home carers being trained and supported to keep reflective diaries
  • included interviews with the home carers and their managers, and with clients and their carers
  • review of documents and guidance about home care for dementia together with a survey of commissioners’ specifications for home care contracts.