Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Living with Alzheimer's disease: Daughter caregivers and their contemporary families
by Montano, Rebecca C., Ph.D., Capella University, 2011, 557; 3454482
Abstract (Summary)

The problem is understanding the impact on the contemporary family relationships of the daughter caregiver as she takes on responsibility of caring for a parent with moderate Alzheimer's disease or higher, and consequently, has less energy and time to devote to relationships with her spouse or significant other, her children, and/or her grandchildren. Traditionally, research has indicated daughters continue to be the primary resource for family caregiving to aging parents. Daughter caregivers of parents with Alzheimer's disease experience many changes in their lives, as they take on the responsibilities of caring for that parent. One potential change experience is a familial relationship change with contemporary family members, which for the purpose of this study includes her spouse or significant other and/or her children. This study employed a qualitative case study approach grounded in interpretive epistemology with 9 daughter caregivers and their contemporary families. Qualitative analysis was utilized, since the focus of this methodology is to explore and understand participants' subjective perspectives regarding caregiving as a social phenomenon in the natural setting. Furthermore, the case study approach allowed the researcher to view the daughter caregiver and her contemporary family as a bounded entity, while allowing the theoretical framework of Adlerian and structural family theories to guide the research. Finally, interpretive epistemology allowed the researcher to investigate deeper into the feelings and perceptions of lived experience, since interpretive epistemology is a process of examining the human experience at a more profound level. Specifically, the researcher examined the impact on familial relationships between the daughter caregiver and her contemporary family within the care dynamic when the daughter caregiver takes on the responsibility of caring for a parent with Alzheimer's disease as the primary caregiver. Results from this study provided the daughter caregiver, her family, and geriatric care professionals with ways to identify symptoms of contemporary family distress in order to balance roles and preserve relationships.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Donovan, Amy
Commitee: Disch, William B., Johnson, Joyce
School: Capella University
Department: School of Public Service Leadership
School Location: United States -- Minnesota
Source: DAI-A 72/08, Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Gerontology, Aging, Individual & family studies
Keywords: Aging, Alzheimer's disease, Caregiving, Daughter caregivers, Dementia care, Families
Publication Number: 3454482
ISBN: 978-1-124-64033-4
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