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  • Hannah Jelley
  • Liselot Kerpershoek
    Maastricht University
  • Frans Verhey
    Maastricht University
  • Claire Wolfs
    Maastricht University
  • Marjolein de Vught
    Maastricht University
  • Anja Bieber
    Martin-Luther University, Halle-Wittenberg
  • Astrid Stephan
    Martin-Luther University, Halle-Wittenberg
  • Gabriele Meyer
    Martin-Luther University, Halle-Wittenberg
  • Mona Michelet
    Vestfold Hospital Trust, Tønsberg
  • Geir Selbaek
    Vestfold Hospital Trust, Tønsberg
  • Britt-Marie Sjölund
    Stockholm University
  • Anders Skoldunger
    Karolinska Institute, Stockholm
  • Louise Hopper
    Dublin City University
  • Kate Irving
    Dublin City University
  • Maria J. Marques
    Universidade Nova de Lisboa
  • Maria Conceição Balsinha
    Universidade Nova de Lisboa
  • Manuel Gonçalves-Pereira
    Universidade Nova de Lisboa
  • Daniel Michael Portolani
    IRCCS S. Giovanni di Dio “Fatebenefratelli”
  • Orazio Zanetti
    IRCCS S. Giovanni di Dio “Fatebenefratelli”
  • Robert Woods
Timely access to care services is crucial to support people with dementia and their family carers to live well. 390 carers of people with dementia recruited from eight countries, completed semi-structured interviews about their experiences of either accessing or not using formal care services over a 12-month period in the ‘Access to Timely Formal Care’ (Actifcare) study. Participant responses were summarised using content analysis, categorised into clusters and frequencies calculated. Less than half of participants (42.3%) reported service use. Of those using services, 72.8 per cent reported timely access and of those not using services 67.2 per cent were satisfied with this situation. However, substantial minorities either reported access at the wrong time (27.2%) or feeling dissatisfied or mixed feelings about not accessing services (32.8%). Reasons for not using services included use not necessary yet, the carer provided support, or refusal. Reasons given for using services included changes in the condition of the person with dementia, the service’s ability to meet individual needs, not coping or the opportunity to access services arose. Facilitators and barriers to service use included whether participants experienced supportive professionals, the speed of the process, whether the General Practitioner was helpful, participant’s own proactive attitude and the quality of information received. To achieve timely support, simplified pathways to use of formal care services are needed.


  • Carers, Dementia, Service Access, Formal care, Europe
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)403-420
Number of pages18
JournalAgeing and Society
Issue number2
Early online date16 Sept 2019
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2021

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