Care providers’ perceptions of the importance of oral care and its performance within everyday caregiving for nursing home residents with dementia
Background: The oral caregiving in nursing homes for persons with dementia often becomes complicated due to the patients’ lack of compliance, which in turn can result in giving oral care a low priority in daily care. Furthermore, directives for responsibilities are unclear. Objective: The aim of this article was to describe care providers’ perception of and reasoning for the oral care for nursing home residents with dementia and to describe registered nurses’ reasoning in relation to their responsibility for monitoring oral care interventions within the regular caregiving routines for nursing home residents with dementia.
Methods: Two sub-studies were carried out; focus group discussions with nine care providers and interviews with four nurses. All participants were staff in nursing home units specialized in dementia.
Results: The focus group discussion revealed three themes: Art of caregiving, Barriers and Treatment strategies. Themes related to the nurses’ statements about oral hygiene within caregiving were Care, Responsibility for care and Information.
Conclusion: Three main findings from the study are discussed: Unclear responsibilities of different staff members related to daily oral care for the nursing home patients; a lack of guidelines and routines for oral hygiene and a lack of guidelines for sharing information between the different professional groups.
Scand J Caring Sci; 2010
Keywords: dementia, care
Submitted 16 October 2008, accepted 6 March 2010