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Caring for dementia carers: the role of general practitioners in Ireland

Abstract

Background

Dementia patients in Ireland live 8 years on average after diagnosis and health policy aims to ensure patients are cared for in the home for as long as possible.

Aim

To assess the role of general practitioners in Ireland caring for dementia carers.

Methods

A PubMed search (1980–2010) was performed using MeSH terms “caregivers or carers”, “Dementia or Alzheimer’s disease”, “family physician or general practitioner”. An English language restriction was imposed and the search continued to June 24th 2010.

Results

Psychosocial multidisciplinary interventions that unite education, skills training, management of psychological problems and family support in the community are effective in managing the problems of carers and should be facilitated by general practitioners.

Conclusions

Dementia carers form an important yet understated patient group who present unique challenges for general practitioners in Ireland.

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Acknowledgments

This paper was written by the author as a final medical year research project while studying at the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland and awarded the Dr John O’Leary Gold Medal in General Practice.

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Correspondence to C. O’Connor.

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O’Connor, C. Caring for dementia carers: the role of general practitioners in Ireland. Ir J Med Sci 180, 327–332 (2011). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11845-010-0671-3

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Keywords

  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Dementia
  • Dementia carers
  • Dementia caregivers
  • General practitioner
  • Ireland