Marilyn T. Macdonald, RN, MSN, PhD – Investigator
The experiences and perceptions of unpaid caregivers providing care for community-dwelling adults with a dementia
Internationally, there is an emphasis on ageing in place and care happening in the home. In most countries, the predominant and first form of care is provided by family members/friends. Many governments around the world are now beginning to acknowledge the need for unpaid informal caregivers, and to provide funding for this service. Marilyn Macdonald’s review will capture the first-hand experiences of unpaid caregivers who are providing care for community-dwelling adults with a dementia. First-hand experiences of this group have not so far been reflected in other studies, and currently, the success of interventions for these unpaid caregivers is limited. By understanding more fully their experiences, the researcher will be able to define best practices that will serve caregivers’ needs better in building coping skills to manage physical, psychological, emotional, social, and financial stressors. Clinicians will be able to develop lines of action to enhance the wellbeing of unpaid caregivers, and to assist in optimal care for the person receiving care. These actions will strengthen health and social systems, and lead to new models of support for unpaid caregivers. Just as importantly, Ms. Macdonald’s review will identify gaps in what is known about the experiences of unpaid caregivers providing care to people with dementia, and where further research is needed.