Aging & Society Research Network authors can make their journal articles Open Access.
See articles below…

Youth Experiences with Older Relatives Who Have Dementia

This study introduces the findings of a scoping review of intergenerational relationships with youth and older relatives with dementia in order to enhance the theoretical understanding of the intergenerational relationship phenomenon from an aging perspective. A scoping review was conducted in July–August 2015 to explore the literature pertaining to the experiences of youth and older relatives with dementia. In particular, it addresses youth awareness and experiences of dementia, youth behaviours toward the aging population, and the impacts on intergenerational relationships. This scoping review will advance knowledge and awareness for health and social providers working with youth and the aging population. It will inform behavioural, educational, and intervention research in the area of dementia to improve intergenerational relationships.

Attitudes of Staff, Patients, and Family Members toward Hospital Volunteers

Successful integration of volunteers in hospital settings is dependent on many factors and volunteer roles should be clearly defined to prevent tension between staff and volunteers. The objective of this article is to explore staff, patient, and family member’s perceptions of volunteers to work with and advocate for older adults with a cognitive impairment in the acute hospital setting. This research uses a qualitative descriptive design using semi-structured interviews in a medium sized acute teaching hospital in Ireland. The sample consisted of staff (n 25: nurses, porters, care assistants, and relevant line managers), patients aged sixty-five years or older (n 15), and family members of older patients (n 15) from medical, surgical, and geriatric wards and the emergency department. All groups consistently identified psychosocial support as an area that could well be supplemented by volunteers, followed by practical assistance. Concerns regarding confidentiality and the character of volunteers emerged as a strong theme among all groups. A potential advocacy role for patients was found to be a contentious issue among staff and was poorly understood by patients and family members. We conclude that volunteers to work with older adult patients are broadly welcomed by relevant acute hospital stakeholders especially for psychosocial support. Robust selection and monitoring of volunteers is necessary to reassure all involved. A combined support and advocacy role needs further patient/relative explanation and staff education prior to initiation.