Family composition and expressions of family-focused care needs at an academic memory disorders clinic

Academic Article


  • Objective. To understand who dementia patients identify as their family and how dementia affects family life. Background. Dementia care is often delivered in family settings, so understanding the constituency and needs of the family unit involved in care is important for determining contributors to family quality of life. Design/Methods. Seventy-seven families receiving care at an academic dementia clinic completed questionnaires regarding the affected person and the family. Responses were categorized as focused on an individual's needs or the family's needs. Results. Respondents identified a mean of 3.77 family members involved in care. Spouse (80.5%), daughter (58.4%), son (46.8%), and stepchild or child-in-law (37.7%) were the most frequently listed family members. Questions regarding the effect of dementia-related changes in cognition and mood were most likely to elicit a family-focused response. Questionnaire items that inquired about specific medical questions and strategies to improve family function were least likely to elicit a family-focused response. Conclusions. Both caregivers and persons with dementia frequently provided family-focused responses, supporting the construct of dementia as an illness that affects life in the family unit. This finding reinforces the potential utility of family-centered quality of life measures in assessing treatment success for people with dementia. © 2013 Brandalyn C. Riedel et al.
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Pubmed Id

  • 12946318
  • Author List

  • Riedel BC; Ducharme JK; Geldmacher DS
  • Volume

  • 2013