• Spontaneous concerns about risk and abuse reported by people with dementia and their carers

      Benbow, Susan M.; Kingston, Paul; University of Chester (Emerald, 2017-04-10)
      Purpose To look at concerns about risk/ abuse expressed spontaneously by people with dementia (PwD) and their carers in narratives describing their journeys with dementia. Method Thirty-five narratives were elicited from PwD, carers of PwD and couples where one partner was living with dementia as part of a study on the impact of producing narratives on PwD and their carers. Participants were found to allude to risk/ abuse, or specifically mention thoughts on risk and abuse in their narratives. A secondary analysis of the theme of risk/ abuse is reported here. Findings Concerns about risk/ exploitation were often expressed in the narratives, and covered a range of areas including driving; safety in the home; safety outdoors; falls; finances; risk to PwD from others; risk to others from PwD; potential or actual police incidents; and neglect. Research limitations The narratives were elicited as part of another project and participants were not asked directly about risk: themes reported here were brought up spontaneously by participants. Practical implications In relation to dementia a wide range of risk/ abuse issues is of concern to PwD and their carers, including driving and financial vulnerabilities. PwD and carers are prepared to talk about risk/ abuse when given an opportunity. It is important to investigate and understand experiences and concerns about risk/ abuse if they are to be addressed in health and social care practice. Originality The narratives offer unique insights into the concerns of PwD and family carers.