Why do administrators employ or not employsupport contacts?: A Norwegian qualitative study
2012 (English)In: Nordic Journal of Social Research, ISSN 1892-2783, Vol. 3Article in journal (Refereed) Published
This is a qualitative study based on statements by administrators in thedementia sector in Norwegian local authorities. The aim of the present study isto investigate the arguments for and barriers to the allocation and organizationof support contacts for people with dementia and their families. Variousservices are needed to help these families from being isolated. ‘Supportcontacts’ can be one such service, yet the local authorities rarely use them inthe Norwegian dementia-care sector and little is known about why that is so.Support contacts are ‘paid friends’ and their tasks can be compared to respitecarers or volunteers in other Western countries. The data was gathered frominterviews with 35 informants (34 women and one man, aged 35-66 years)during 2011, from 32 local authorities in Norway. The analysis of data involveda qualitative content analysis. Three main categories emerged: ‘knowledge’,‘accessibility’, and ‘management’. ‘Knowledge’ describes the range of anadministrator's familiarity both with dementia and with the legislationconcerning the offering of a support contact to families with dementia, and ithas two subcategories: ‘formal knowledge’ and ‘experiential knowledge’. Thecategory of ‘reaching out’ describes the circumstances that lead families withdementia to apply for help and contains the subcategories of ‘supplyinginformation’ about the service and ‘characteristics of target group’ receiving asupport contact. The category of ‘management of services’ describes thevarious ways in which a supporter service may work satisfactorily and containsthe subcategories ‘recruitment’ and ‘organization’. In conclusion, theadministrators consider support contacts to be a valuable service. The authorsconclude that managers of local authorities need to organize theirdepartments in a way that administrators will have sufficient knowledge aboutmaking the service available and supporter contacts will receive the necessaryguidance and knowledge to maintain the service effectively.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2012. Vol. 3
accessibility, dementia, health promotion, public health, services
Medical and Health Sciences
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:norden:org:diva-3760OAI: oai:DiVA.org:norden-3760DiVA: diva2:787140