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Caregivers described how an Alzheimer's disease respite programme gave them time to attend to their own needs

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QUESTION: In caregivers for family members with Alzheimer's disease (AD), what are their experiences of a respite programme?

Design

Qualitative study using semistructured interviews.

Setting

An overnight weekend respite programme in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.

Participants

19 caregivers (11 caregivers were 28–80 years of age, median age 65 y) who used the respite service for family members who had AD. Participants were wives (n=8), daughters (n=3), sons (n=3), husbands (n=2), sisters (n=2), and 1 granddaughter.

Methods

Participants were interviewed by telephone. Questions included “How did you spend the time while [your family member] was attending the programme?” and “How do you think [your family member] experienced the programme?” Interviews were audiotaped and transcribed. Content analysis was used to identify themes and ideas. Constant comparative analysis was used until consensus was reached on categories and themes.

Main findings

3 categories were identified. (1) …

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