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Alzheimer’s Caregivers and the Use of Respite Services

Arnaud Campéon, Céline Rothé

Research Framework: Since 2000, Alzheimer’s disease has been recognized as a major public health issue by public authorities and has been the target of significant public investment. Three programs have been implemented over the past 15 years, the most recent of which emphasizes that respite is both a vital need and a priority for caregivers.

Objectives: Much of the research has focused on elderly people, how social services are used and how decisions are made about social programs and their implementation. To gain a better understanding of this specific type of care, this article proposes several hypotheses concerning the perception and use of respite services.

Methodology: Our methodology is based on a qualitative survey of about 40 family caregivers for people suffering from Alzheimer’s disease in three different regions of France. All the interviews were recorded and transcribed to provide a cross-sectional analysis.

Results: This research demonstrates that there are two rationales for using respite services. These are structured around two principal variables, namely the time-related aspect of decision-making and the social perceptions of Alzheimer’s disease.

Conclusion: This work allows for a better understanding of the work done by caregivers and how they manage to preserve daily life and the identity of their loved-ones.

Contribution: This work is a reflection on the issues surrounding respite services, their use and the way they are mobilized to support family caregivers of Alzheimer’s sufferers.