Caring for migrant older Moroccans with dementia in Belgium as a complex and dynamic transnational network of informal and professional care: A qualitative study.

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Background: Due to its labour migration history, Belgium is confronted with an increasingly older population of people of Moroccan background who have been diagnosed with dementia. These migrants came to the country during the labour migration wave of the nineteen-sixties and seventies to work in mines and other industries and they are now ageing. Yet little is known about how dementia care is provided to this older population. Objectives: This study explores how dementia care is provided to these Moroccan older people with dementia, and what challenges do caregivers face in providing care. Methods: A qualitative study including 31 informal caregivers of older Moroccan migrants with dementia and professional caregivers in the field of dementia care in several Belgian cities was conducted. After an initial focus group including 6 informal and professional caregivers, individual in-depth interviews were held with 12 informal caregivers of Moroccan decent and 13 professional caregivers. In order to be included in the study, informal caregivers had to have a recent experience in caring for an older family member with dementia. The professional caregivers had to be active in the field of dementia care (General Practitioners, nurses, psychologists,…) and have experience with older migrants with dementia. Results: Analyses of the collected data reveal that current dementia care is a challenging, complex and dynamic search process. This process is shaped by (1) multiple factors reflecting the changing care needs of the care recipient during the course of the dementia, (2) the individual (transnational) recourses of the informal caregivers and the (3) current (lack of) accessibility of professional dementia care (driven by the absence of an accessible migration-, culture- and religion-sensitive professional care). The limited professional service-use is predominantly compensated through the search for transnational external helpers. The limited migration, cultural and religious sensitivity of current dementia care is often overlooked by professional caregivers. Conclusion: The study provides a better understanding of the complex reality of dementia care for older migrants in which these different aspects intersect. This understanding enable health professionals and policy makers to develop a better suited care for older migrants with dementia.

Original languageEnglish
Article number103413
Pages (from-to)1-9
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Journal of Nursing Studies
Issue number103413
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2020


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