Providing Care for Persons with Dementia in Rural Communities: Informal Caregivers’ Perceptions of Supports and Services

Allison Gibson, Sarah D. Holmes, Noelle L. Fields, Virginia E. Richardson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Scopus citations

Abstract

Dementia is one of the costliest and most time-consuming diseases among older persons. Although informal caregivers provide the majority of care for persons with dementia, little is known about the self-perceived need for social services of caregivers of persons with dementia within rural areas. This pilot study examined the knowledge, access and intent of the practice-oriented service model of caregivers of persons with dementia in rural communities in the Midwest U.S. After a systematic training, researchers interviewed 11 rural caregivers of persons with dementia (n = 11). Data were analyzed using thematic analysis. Although similarities with other caregivers of persons with dementia were found, important differences suggesting unique issues among these rural caregivers of persons with dementia. Many participants found strength in their community, which often served as a safety net of support. Consistent with existing literature, participants expressed financial concerns, geographic barriers and lack of dementia-specific services when using formal services. The need for more specialized formal services in rural areas to supplement existing informal care networks is discussed. Policies and services based on rural caregivers’ unique concerns and challenges and that build upon their existing care networks are recommended.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)630-648
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Gerontological Social Work
Volume62
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 18 2019

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019, © 2019 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.

Keywords

  • Dementia/dementia care
  • caregiving/informal care
  • rural
  • social services

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Nursing (miscellaneous)

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