"The Long Goodbye": Uncertainty Management in Alzheimer's Caregivers

Description:

Caregivers for individuals diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease (AD) shoulder a remarkably complex burden as compared to other caregivers of elderly individuals. For long distance caregivers, geographical separation further compounds the problems experienced by AD caregivers, as they are isolated from family members and support networks. Both on-site and long-distance AD caregivers experience uncertainty; the findings from this study illustrate how AD caregivers manage the uncertainty of the disease and primary care, as well as how uncertainty differs between on-site and long-distance caregivers. AD caregiver (N = 13) interviews were transcribed and qualitatively analyzed using uncertainty management theory as a thematic lens. The analysis revealed that AD caregivers experience overwhelming feelings of burden, guilt, and doubt; however, these feelings manifest differently depending on caregiver type. The findings of this study demonstrate that sources for obtaining information regarding AD and caregiving were useful for on-site caregivers; however, the sources did not account for the needs of long-distance caregivers or the psychosocial needs of on-site caregivers. Furthermore, AD caregivers did not seek support or information about AD and caregiving from health care professionals. Implications for future research regarding long-distance and on-site AD caregiving are discussed.

Creator(s): Shaunfield, Sara
Creation Date: May 2011
Partner(s):
UNT Libraries
Collection(s):
UNT Theses and Dissertations
Usage:
Total Uses: 283
Past 30 days: 14
Yesterday: 1
Creator (Author):
Publisher Info:
Publisher Name: University of North Texas
Place of Publication: Denton, Texas
Date(s):
  • Creation: May 2011
Description:

Caregivers for individuals diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease (AD) shoulder a remarkably complex burden as compared to other caregivers of elderly individuals. For long distance caregivers, geographical separation further compounds the problems experienced by AD caregivers, as they are isolated from family members and support networks. Both on-site and long-distance AD caregivers experience uncertainty; the findings from this study illustrate how AD caregivers manage the uncertainty of the disease and primary care, as well as how uncertainty differs between on-site and long-distance caregivers. AD caregiver (N = 13) interviews were transcribed and qualitatively analyzed using uncertainty management theory as a thematic lens. The analysis revealed that AD caregivers experience overwhelming feelings of burden, guilt, and doubt; however, these feelings manifest differently depending on caregiver type. The findings of this study demonstrate that sources for obtaining information regarding AD and caregiving were useful for on-site caregivers; however, the sources did not account for the needs of long-distance caregivers or the psychosocial needs of on-site caregivers. Furthermore, AD caregivers did not seek support or information about AD and caregiving from health care professionals. Implications for future research regarding long-distance and on-site AD caregiving are discussed.

Degree:
Level: Master's
Language(s):
Subject(s):
Keyword(s): Alzheimer's disease | Alzheimer's caregivers | uncertainty management | long-distance caregiving
Contributor(s):
Partner:
UNT Libraries
Collection:
UNT Theses and Dissertations
Identifier:
  • ARK: ark:/67531/metadc67947
Resource Type: Thesis or Dissertation
Format: Text
Rights:
Access: Public
License: Copyright
Holder: Shaunfield, Sara
Statement: Copyright is held by the author, unless otherwise noted. All rights reserved.