Family as a Key Element in Nursing Care for Alzheimer's Disease Patient

Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Terezia Fertalova, PhD
Ludmila Majernikova, PhD
Iveta Ondriova, PhD
Fakulty of health, Department of nursing, Fakulty of health care, Presov University in Presov, Presov, Slovakia

Learning Objective 1: Identify problem scopes in the care of patients with dementia in Slovakia. Learner will be able to define regional differences in care of demention patients.

Learning Objective 2: Design a program of educational activities in afford to help to caregivers in family environment. Learner will be able to determine education activities with emphasis.

Dementias are disorders in which there is a substantial reduction in the level of memory and other cognitive functions, resulting in a gradual loss of self-sufficiency of the patient. Attitude, relationship, ability to handle unforeseen situations, emotional tension between the caregiver and the patient is finally the moment to determine whether the patient is able to live with a family who can provide him care or to be dependent on institutionalized care.

The object of our research were caregivers and their level of knowledge related to the care about patients with Alzheimer's disease, their interest for more information about nursing and measure their load. The sample consists of 55 respondents of different ages, caring for a close patient with Alzheimer's disease. We used Svanborg´s test of nursing load for collection of empirical data.

Studied group showed the relation between caregiver burden and disease stage of the patient. Statistically significant relation was demonstrated between stage of disease and caregiver´s burden in all daily activities. We assumed that main source of information related to the care of a patient with Alzheimer's disease for caregivers is nurse. Only 5.5% of respondents confirmed nurse as a primary source of information.

To 80´s of 20th century was no attention paid to families who provided care for their chronically ill family member. A significant turning point came in the late 20th century, when gerontologists began to study the burden of families that are a cornerstone in the treatment of patients with Alzheimer's disease. Socioeconomic degradation of the family is one of the most important issues related to the care of the patient.

Educational activities, enough knowledge, a multidisciplinary approach, interest of companies are guarantee for solution to problem areas in the care of patients with Alzheimer's disease at home.