Characteristics of Care and Caregivers of Alzheimer's Patients in Elderly Care Homes: A Qualitative Research


Sh Yektatalab 1 , MH Kaveh 2 , * , F Sharif 1 , M Fallahi Khoshknab 3 , P Petramfar 1

1 Department of Psychiatric Nursing, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Iran

2 Department of Health Education and Promotion, School of Health and Nutrition, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, [email protected], Iran

3 Department of Nursing, Social Welfare and Rehabilitation University, Iran

How to Cite: Yektatalab S, Kaveh M, Sharif F, Fallahi Khoshknab M, Petramfar P. Characteristics of Care and Caregivers of Alzheimer's Patients in Elderly Care Homes: A Qualitative Research, Iran Red Crescent Med J. Online ahead of Print ; 14(5):294-299.


Iranian Red Crescent Medical Journal: 14 (5); 294-299
Article Type: Research Article
Received: October 10, 2011
Accepted: January 12, 2012




Background: Due to the increase in the number of Alzheimer’s patients in Iran and also the limitation of cultural knowledge about caring of these patients, this study was designed to explore the perceptions of Iranian caregivers about caring Alzheimer patients in the elderly care homes.


Methods: A qualitative content analysis method was conducted on two elderly care homes of Shiraz/Iran, during 2009-2011. Fourteen key informants (10 women and 4 men, between 25-35 years of age), who had been working in elderly care homes caring for the elderly with Alzheimer disease for about 1-11 years (Mean=30 months) were selected by purposive sampling method. The caring experience and ability of transferring their experience to others were the main criteria for selection of the participants. They were participated in 2 focus groups and 4 interviews.


Results: Nearly, 800 initial codes were extracted and categorized into 3 groups of "multidimensional care", "going along with the patients" and "need to be professional" and 12 subcategories. Although several aspects of care were mentioned by the participants but the main aspect was physical care. Infantilizing the patients was the main feature of care and caring personality was an important characteristic of caregivers.


Conclusion: An appropriate schedule of care considering main categories and subcategories of this research based on cultural context should be prepared. Moreover, consistent promotion of the schedule, employment of trained staff and plans for continued education for them can improve the quality of care and patient's life in elderly care homes.


Alzheimer disease Elderly care home Perception Care

© 0, Author(s). This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License ( which permits copy and redistribute the material just in noncommercial usages, provided the original work is properly cited.

Full Text

Full text is available in PDF