"I know who I am; the real me, and that will come back." The importance of relational practice in improving outcomes for carers of people with dementia

MacBride, Tamsin and Miller, Emma and Dewar, Belinda (2017) "I know who I am; the real me, and that will come back." The importance of relational practice in improving outcomes for carers of people with dementia. Illness, Crisis and Loss.

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    Abstract

    Effective support to carers of people with dementia can be critical to maintaining quality of life for people with dementia, their families and to sustaining the future of health and care systems. Qualitative interviews were undertaken with 14 carers of people with dementia across Scotland, and the data analysed to identify the outcomes important to the carers. The importance of relationships emerged as the core theme, including relationship with the person with dementia, family members, other carers, and professionals. Although not evident in the literature, the authors noted the concept of self-relationship was important to carers in the context of changing relationships with others. A multi-layered approach to understanding relationships, and an approach to engagement that enables carers to define and express their priorities, is necessary to fit with the relational nature of care.