Hospital admission of a person with dementia can have a significant impact on the family carer, who temporarily relinquishes caring to health professionals. A descriptive qualitative design using in-depth interviews with a conversational approach was used to elicit data. Adjusting to the change in the carer's role can be challenging and result in feelings of helplessness, loneliness, loss of control and being undervalued. Family support can assist with the transition but family conflict increases anxiety. Good communication between clinicians and the carer is vital. The carer should be included in decision-making as the 'expert' in the care of the person with dementia. This article discusses findings of a larger study specifically related to the emotional support required for the carers of people with dementia, who are admitted to hospital. The carer and the patient must be considered as a dyad in relation to discharge planning.
Keywords: carer; dementia; emotional support; family carer; hospital.
© The Author(s) 2014.