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Death Stud. 1997 Sep-Oct;21(5):501-14.

Caregivers of persons with Alzheimer's disease: some neglected implications of the experience of personal loss and grief.

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  • 1School of Nursing, Lakehead University, Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada.


This article questions some traditional conceptualizations of caregivers of persons with Alzheimer's disease and related dementias (AD). The phenomenology of caregiving in rural and isolated regions of northern Canada is examined within a framework developed from the constructs of personal loss and grief. Sixty-eight caregivers for persons with AD shared their thoughts and feelings about personal losses perceived to have occurred in their lives with the advent of the caregiving role. Four themes were identified suggesting a role perceived by caregivers as one in which they become subsumed to the needs of the person in care. Diminution of self in the caregiver role has been neglected in the literature.

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