Invisible cornerstones. A hermeneutic study of the experience of care partners of older people with mental health problems in home care services.
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Anker-Hansen, C., Skovdahl, K., McCormack, B. & Tønnessen, S. (2018) Invisible cornerstones. A hermeneutic study of the experience of care partners of older people with mental health problems in home care services. International Journal of Older People Nursing, 14 (1) [e12214].
To explore the lived experiences and support needs of the care partners of older people with mental health problems living at home with assistance from home care services. Care partners face significant challenges in their care role and they often feel unsupported. An understanding of their experiences may help improve home care to support their needs. An exploratory qualitative approach was used. The study is based on the SRQR and COREQ reporting guidelines. In-depth interviews were conducted with six Norwegian care partners from two municipalities. Data were collected during 2012-2013 and 2016. The data were analysed using Gadamer's hermeneutics. Three themes were identified: "invisible cornerstones," "dimensions of collaboration" and "unwanted roles." Few or no routines for collaboration exist between care partners and home care, and the care partners seem to have little knowledge of legal rights. They request more information, spare time and the opportunity to remain in their original family role. However, their main focus is for the patient to receive the necessary help from home care. Home care have restricted resources for meeting these needs and share a sense of powerlessness and lack of influence over their own everyday life with the care partners. There is a need for a systematic, person-centred approach to collaboration. A correlation is necessary between what is communicated at the system level and the means of realising this in practice for home care to meet care partners' needs. [Abstract copyright: © 2018 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.]