Title

The Experiences of Caregivers Caring for Loved Ones with Dementia

Department

Social Work

Date of Paper/Work

2012

Degree Name

Master of Social Work (M.S.W.)

Type of Paper/Work

Clinical research paper

Advisors

Catherine Marrs Fuchsel

Abstract

The Alzheimer’s Association indicates there are almost 15 million caregivers providing care to those diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease and dementia (2011). Oftentimes family members willingly assume the role of caregiver for their loved ones as dementia progresses and cognitive abilities begin to fail. As a result, this qualitative research sought to explore the experiences of caregivers caring for a loved one with dementia. Seven participants were asked open-ended questions designed to elicit responses that explained their experiences caring for a loved one with dementia. The research participants were the primary caregivers for their loved ones for whom they were either providing in-home care or were the primary contact for the facility where their loved one was residing. Research participants’ loved ones had a diagnosis of dementia of the Alzheimer’s type, frontotemporal dementia, or dementia - unknown, and participants were the primary caregiver caring for their loved one for a time period of two to five years. The findings indicated caregiving does contribute to relationship and life changes and has its challenges; however, it was found that caregiving can also be a rewarding experience and caregivers do continue to participate in self-care activities, despite their important responsibilities. It was also found that caregivers today are still in need of help and support from other family members and friends.

Keywords

Alzheimer’s, dementia, caregivers, qualitative, rewards, challenges

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.