Understanding of global policy for informal caregivers of people living with dementia: implications for Nepal

Author: Hari Prasad Uprety

Uprety, Hari Prasad, 2020 Understanding of global policy for informal caregivers of people living with dementia: implications for Nepal, Flinders University, College of Nursing and Health Sciences

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Informal caregivers of people living with dementia play a crucial role through caregiving. Their contributions reduce care costs, improve health outcomes, delay entry to institutional care, and help people living with dementia stay connected with their socio-cultural contexts. However, caregiving to people living with dementia can have significant consequences including increased stress, anxiety, depression, and job loss. Informal caregivers need support to maintain their wellbeing and ongoing ability to care. Despite there being an estimated 100,000 people living with dementia in Nepal, there are no policies to promote the wellbeing of informal caregivers in this country. The purpose of this study was to explore and analyse shared and unique features of dementia policies and supports available or recommended for informal caregivers and draw from these implications of the findings for Nepal. One hundred and five policy documents from six countries (Australia, Canada, India, the UK, the USA, and South Korea) were analysed using content analysis. Policy priorities, visions, objectives, and recommendations shared common themes, including research, awareness, early assessment and diagnosis, flexible care and supports, policies and programs, strengthening capacity and system, monitoring and evaluation, and a human rights-based and person-centred approach. Most policies envision a dementia-friendly society, recognise caregivers as a key component in the dementia care journey, and acknowledge the involvement of multiple stakeholders to support caregivers and families of people living with dementia. The key supports recommended for positive outcomes of informal caregivers were informational, procedural, direct, system level, and spiritual. Given there are no formal support provisions for informal caregivers of people living with dementia in low to middle income countries like Nepal, most of such practices of other countries can be adapted in their contexts.

Keywords: dementia, informal caregivers, dementia policies

Subject: Disability Studies thesis

Thesis type: Masters
Completed: 2020
School: College of Nursing and Health Sciences
Supervisor: Dr. Monica Cations