A reflective study of Alzheimer's caregivers

Am J Alzheimers Dis Other Demen. 2001 Jan-Feb;16(1):11-20. doi: 10.1177/153331750101600108.


Symbolic interaction posits that to truly understand a situation, it must be considered from both an observer's perspective and the perspective of the actor involved in the situation. In this study, the actors involved are former Alzheimer's caregivers (N = 20) and the situations examined are reflections of the caregiving experience. An in-depth interview was used to explore caregiver issues. The results show that former Alzheimer's caregivers remember their experiences vividly and can recount many stories regarding their successes, regrets, coping strategies, and barriers faced. Participants also shared how they coped with the death of their loved one, the major issues they had immediately following the death, and issues with which they are still dealing. From the information shared by former caregivers, an Alzheimer's Caregiver Transition Model (ACT-M) was developed to help explain the process individuals go through as they transition out of the caregiver's role.

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological*
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Alzheimer Disease / nursing*
  • Attitude to Death*
  • Caregivers / psychology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Models, Psychological
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Social Support*
  • United States