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Pietilä Rosendahl, S., Söderman, M. & Mazaheri, M. (2016). Immigrants with dementia in Swedish residential care: An exploratory study of the experiences of their family members and nursing staff. BMC Geriatrics, 16(18), 1-12, Article ID 200.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Immigrants with dementia in Swedish residential care: An exploratory study of the experiences of their family members and nursing staff
2016 (English)In: BMC Geriatrics, ISSN 1471-2318, E-ISSN 1471-2318, Vol. 16, no 18, p. 1-12, article id 200Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]


Worldwide, there is a growing population of older people who develop dementia in a country other than that of their origin. When their dementia has reached an advanced stage, residential care is most often needed. People with dementia in Sweden are often cared for in group homes. For immigrants, this may mean a linguistically challenging care environment for both healthcare staff and the patients’ family members.

The aim of this study was to explore and describe the experiences of family members and professional caregivers regarding the care provided to immigrants with dementia in group homes in Sweden.


An exploratory, descriptive study with a qualitative approach was chosen. In-depth semi-structured interviews were conducted with nine professional caregivers and five family members of people with dementia with Finnish, Estonian, Hungarian and Ingrian backgrounds; all were chosen purposefully. All people with dementia had lost their Swedish language skills as their second language. The data was analysed using qualitative content analysis.


Three main categories and seven subcategories were identified. The first main category: A new living situation comprised the subcategories: adjusting to new living arrangements and expectations regarding activities and traditional food at the group home, the second main category: Challenges in communication with the subcategories: limited communication between the immigrant with dementia and the Swedish-speaking nursing staff and the consequences of linguistic misunderstandings and nuanced communication in a common language and the third main category: The role of the family member at the group home with the subcategories: a link to the healthy life story of the family member with dementia andan expert and interpreter for the nursing staff.


The family member played a crucial role in the lives of immigrants with dementia living in a group home by facilitating communication between the nursing staff and the PWD and also by making it possible for PWD to access the cultural activities they wanted and which professional caregivers were either not able to recognise as needed or could not deliver.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
BioMed Central, 2016
communication, dementia, family member, group home, nursing
National Category
Health Sciences Gerontology, specialising in Medical and Health Sciences
urn:nbn:se:his:diva-17056 (URN)10.1186/s12877-016-0200-y (DOI)000368075700002 ()2-s2.0-84954413376 (Scopus ID)
Available from: 2016-01-17 Created: 2019-06-13 Last updated: 2019-06-13Bibliographically approved
ORCID iD: ORCID iD iconorcid.org/0000-0001-5391-623X

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