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Spouses' experiences of mealtimes with a partner suffering from dementia
Jönköping University, School of Health and Welfare, HHJ, Dep. of Nursing Science. Jönköping University, School of Health and Welfare, HHJ, Institute of Gerontology. (Ageing - Living Conditions and Health)
Jönköping University, School of Health and Welfare, HHJ, Dep. of Rehabilitation. Jönköping University, School of Health and Welfare, HHJ. Ageing - living conditions and health.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-3594-4805
Jönköping University, School of Health and Welfare, HHJ, Dep. of Nursing Science.
Jönköping University, School of Health and Welfare, HHJ, Dep. of Nursing Science. Jönköping University, School of Health and Welfare, HHJ. Ageing - living conditions and health.
2014 (English)In: The journal of aging research & clinical practice, ISSN 2273-421X, Vol. 3, no 4, p. 237-244Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Background: As difficulties in performing daily activities occur among persons with dementia, their spouses are also affected. This is also true for mealtimes, yet there is a lack of knowledge and research into how couples manage this situation at home. Objective: The aim of the study was to explore and describe spouses’ experiences of mealtimes in couples in which one partner has dementia. Design, Setting and Participants: Ten spouses were interviewed in their home in respect to their experiences regarding mealtimes when living with a partner diagnosed with dementia. To identify themes across the data set, thematic analysis was conducted. Results: One major theme, Recognizing and managing the range of mealtime change, was identified and showed that depending on where the families were in the dementia process their experienced varied. As progression occurred in the partners disease, routines, responsibilities and relationships were affected within the couple. Strategies the participants used tomanage mealtimes at home regarding these problems were highlighted such as getting support from social services, but also strategies they had learnt by themselves. Conclusion: These results generate an insight into what couples face, and their needs for support. Spouses experiences varied which indicates that it is important that support is based on individual needs. Hence, nursing staff should continuously pay attention to couples mealtime situation. Further it increases staff´s knowledge regarding possible solutions on how to involve persons with dementia in mealtime activities and maintain their nutritional intake.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014. Vol. 3, no 4, p. 237-244
Keyword [en]
Dementia, mealtimes, qualitative research, spouses.
National Category
Nursing
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hj:diva-25349DOI: 10.14283/jarcp.2014.41OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hj-25349DiVA, id: diva2:772922
Available from: 2014-12-17 Created: 2014-12-17 Last updated: 2015-10-23Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Foodwork and meals in everyday life among persons with dementia and their partners
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Foodwork and meals in everyday life among persons with dementia and their partners
2013 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The aim of this thesis was to explore and describe foodwork and meals for older persons with dementia and their partners in ordinary homes.

Descriptive and explorative designs were used in the four papers this thesis is based on. Longitudinal data, including older home-living unlike-sex twins, were analysed using descriptive and analytical statistics. An ethnographic approach was used to describe everyday life for persons with dementia. Interviews with partners and staff were analysed using thematic analysis and qualitative content analysis, respectively.

The results revealed that, among home-living older persons, there is an association between a person’s cognitive ability and nutritional status; i.e. low cognitive ability leads to increased risk of malnutrition. For home-living persons with dementia and their partners, foodwork and meals sometimes changed, meaning that shopping, preparing food and eating as well as social interaction become complicated, which seemed to lead to transitions in roles, routines and relations. There was foodwork that the persons with dementia could perform, and participants expressed a desire that abilities and independence be preserved. However, support was sometimes needed, and it was emphasized that this was based on the person’s needs, wishes and problems.

In conclusion, there is an association between decreased cognitive ability and increased risk of malnutrition. Furthermore, foodwork and meals affected both persons with dementia and their partners. Therefore, early intervention whereby both partners in a couple get individually adjusted support is of importance. Consequently, a person-centred care approach can be useful in arranging the support.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Jönköping: School of Health Sciences, 2013. p. 80
Series
Hälsohögskolans avhandlingsserie, ISSN 1654-3602 ; 45
Keyword
aged, dementia, food, home nursing, independent living, malnutrition, meals
National Category
Nursing
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:hj:diva-21179 (URN)978-91-85835-44-7 (ISBN)
Public defence
2013-06-14, Forum Humanum, Hälsohögskolan, Jönköping, 13:00
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2013-05-16 Created: 2013-05-16 Last updated: 2015-10-23Bibliographically approved

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