Use of Health and Human Services by Community-Residing People with Dementia

By Toseland, Ronald W.; McCallion, Philip et al. | Social Work, November 1999 | Go to article overview

Use of Health and Human Services by Community-Residing People with Dementia


Toseland, Ronald W., McCallion, Philip, Gerber, Todd, Dawson, Caroline, Gieryic, Susan, Guilamo-Ramos, Vincent, Social Work


This article reports on the use of and need for health and human services by community-residing people with dementia. Telephone interviews were conducted with a sample of 608 caregivers of such individuals who were randomly selected from a dementia registry. Caregivers reported using an average of 3.2 health services and 3.7 human services to assist them in the care of the person with dementia. Despite the high level of services use, 73 percent of the caregivers indicated a high need for at least one additional service, and 72 percent indicated that additional services would reduce the likelihood of institutionalization of the recipient. Although services use was more frequent than expected, many caregivers lacked knowledge about services, a fact that suggested that social workers have a vital information and referral role to play.

Key words: Alzheimer's disease; caregiving; community care; dementia; frail elderly people

It has been projected that there will be 2.3 to 5.8 million older people with Alzheimer's disease and other dementias residing in community settings in the United States by 2000 (Brookmeyer, Gray, & Kawas, 1998; Evans et al., 1990; Khachaturian & Radebaugh, 1996). The number of people with Alzheimer's disease alone is expected to quadruple by 2050, at which time it will affect one in 45 Americans (Brookmeyer et al.). When family members are available, they provide most of the support and supervision needed by cognitively impaired older adults (Gwyther, 1996). But many community-dwelling cognitively impaired older adults need support and assistance from health and social services agencies because they do not have family caregivers. Also, as dementia progresses, professional health and human services often are needed to supplement and support the care provided by family members.

Many social workers already play a vital role in meeting the biopsychosocial needs of community-residing people with dementia. Because social workers work in an array of public, private, and voluntary health and human services agencies, they serve in intake, assessment, and intervention capacities. For example, hospital and nursing home social workers frequently work with caregivers when a crisis occurs and when increasing care needs exceed caregivers' capacity. Similarly, social workers in family services agencies and employee assistance programs often are called on to work with caregivers of people with dementia. Although some social workers have played an important part in the development of services and service options for people with dementia and their families, there is increasing concern that not enough social workers are involved in these efforts. Indeed, many social workers report a need for more knowledge and skills in aging services (Klein, 1996; Peterson & Wendt, 1990). With support from the John A. Hartford Foundation, several organizations recently undertook initiatives for faculty, field education, and curriculum development to respond to these needs and to encourage social work leadership (O'Neill, 1999). Consistent with these initiatives, the present study was undertaken to develop a more complete picture of services use by people with dementia and their family caregivers and to explore areas for additional social work intervention.

Although there is a growing body of literature on the use of formal health and human services by community-residing, cognitively impaired older adults and their family caregivers, a review of the literature for this study failed to yield a comprehensive picture of services use. Most of the studies that have been conducted have asked caregivers about their use of particular services, such as home care or respite care (Adler, Kuskowski, & Mortimer, 1995; Cotrell, 1996; Cox, 1997; Gill, Hinrichsen, & DiGiuseppe, 1998; Ginther, Webber, Fox, & Miller, 1993; Gonyea & Silverstein, 1991; Kosloski & Montgomery, 1992; Penning, 1995). …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

Use of Health and Human Services by Community-Residing People with Dementia
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.