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Appl Nurs Res. 2013 Aug;26(3):121-6. doi: 10.1016/j.apnr.2013.05.001. Epub 2013 Jul 2.

Finding meaning in caring for a spouse with dementia.

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Seattle Pacific University, School of Health Sciences, Seattle, WA 98119, USA.


Dementia caregiving can be burdensome with many challenges, especially for spousal caregivers who are elderly and may have limited resources and chronic conditions of their own. However, it can also be an opportunity for growth and transcendence. Thematic qualitative analysis was conducted with 11 caregiver interviews to investigate how spousal caregivers of individuals with dementia found personal meaning in their caregiving experience. Caregivers commonly had altruistic values, and the discipline to live those values. They found meaning by believing in a choice of attitude and perceiving satisfaction in living according to their values in life. They had faith in a higher power, a strong sense of love for their spouses and they derived strength from past challenges. Positive attitudes among caregivers of individuals with dementia may be enhanced by sharing these stories and strategies. Study results also provide an expansion beyond commonly held views of caregiving for nurses.


Caregiving; Dementia; Positive meaning; Qualitative research

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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