Important decisions about the future care of people living with dementia are routinely made in hospitals. Very little is known about how the care needs of hospitalized people with dementia are understood, or how the perspectives of the person, families, and staff intersect to inform decision-making. This study explores how the care needs of people with dementia are understood by the person, their family, and hospital staff (the care triad), and how these perspectives shape decision-making.
Ethnographic data were collected from 2 care-of-older-people general hospital wards via observations, conversations, and interviews with people with dementia, families, and staff. In total, 400 hr of observation and 46 interviews were conducted across two 7- to 9-month periods.