Do Family Members’ Most Important Concerns about Caregiving Vary across the Caregiving Career?Gerontological Society of America/IAGG World Congress of Gerontology and Geriatrics (2017)
Caregiver identity theory posits that family caregivers’ relationship identity changes across the caregiving career. Family caregivers’ initial relationship identity is one based on a familial dimension. As caregiving unfolds, however, their evolving roles help shape a new relationship identity involving the caregiver role. This study investigated whether family members’ most important concerns about caregiving vary across the caregiving career and by kinship status. Participants included 10 adult-child and 18 spousal/partner caregivers to the persons with dementia. Participants identified their caregiving concerns prior to engaging in an enhanced dementia education and training program. Thematic analyses of their concerns yielded the following themes from most to least frequent: positive approaches to care, health status, vigilance, addressing dementia-related changes, safety, happiness of person with dementia, caregiver stress, and time for self and others. Differences were found by relationship identity and by kinship status. With regard to positive approaches to care, adult-children viewed themselves primarily in terms of the familial role whereas spouses/partners viewed themselves primarily as caregivers. The same pattern was observed for health status. However, adult-children’s health concerns focused on their relative with dementia’s health whereas spouses/partners were concerned about their own health. Caregiver stress and addressing dementia-related changes were major concerns for spouses/partners whose relationship identity consisted primarily of the caregiver role. Happiness of the person with dementia, vigilance, and time for self and others did not vary across the caregiving career or by kinship. Findings reveal the differential needs of spouses/partners versus adult-children across the caregiving career.
Publication DateSummer July 24, 2017
Citation InformationMarie Y Savundranayagam, Shalane Basque, Angela Roberts, JB Orange, et al.. "Do Family Members’ Most Important Concerns about Caregiving Vary across the Caregiving Career?" Gerontological Society of America/IAGG World Congress of Gerontology and Geriatrics (2017)
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/marie_savundranayagam/25/