Caring for a family member with dementia: exploring the impact
Cardiff Metropolitan University
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Due to the rise in the amount of people over the age of sixty-five receiving dementia diagnoses, there has been an increase in family members taking on the role of carer. Family caregivers are expected to undertake tasks usually carried out by health care professionals. This puts pressure on the caregivers and can contribute to mental health problems such as depression. Existing research currently focuses on the impact of dementia on caregivers but fails to fully acknowledge how dementia can impact on close relationships. For this reason, the current study aims to look at the impact of dementia on the relationship between family caregivers and their loved ones with dementia. Semi structured interviews and Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis were used to understand how family caregivers viewed their relationships with their partners with dementia. Four superordinate themes were found: Relationship Pre-Diagnosis, Initial Impact of Diagnosis, Adjusting to Changing Roles and Loss. The findings concluded that the participants felt that dementia had a negative impact on their relationships with their partners. Further research could focus on how the impact of dementia on close relationships could be used to put interventions in place to improve relationships between caregivers and their loved ones with dementia.
BSc (Hons) Psychology
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