chapter  16
20 Pages

Behind the facts: an insight into the burden on family carers of dementia patients

Most of the dementing elderly live at home (NRV, 1993). Those no longer able to organize their own affairs are consequently dependent on the care provided by others. It is usually the family, for which read 'partner' or 'daughter', who provides this care - sometimes for many years and seven days a week. Whereas in the past professional help was focused mainly on the patient, now it is essential that the scope of support is widened to include the family, and that this support will have to take account of the dual position of these family members (Duijnstee, 1991): in other words, care professionals will be asked to develop not only a co-operative relationship with a family carer, but also a supportive one (Duijnstee, 1994a).