Together but apart: Caring for a spouse with dementia resident in a care facility

Dementia (London). 2016 Jul;15(4):872-90. doi: 10.1177/1471301214542837. Epub 2014 Jul 15.


This longitudinal, exploratory study was designed to better understand the lived experience of spousal caregivers age 60 and older providing care to partners with Alzheimer's disease and related dementias resident in a care facility. Twenty eight spousal caregivers were interviewed up to three times over a period of 2 years, and long-term care facility staff from four locations across British Columbia (BC), Canada participated in four focus groups. Thematic analysis of interview and focus group transcripts revealed a central, unifying theme 'together but apart'. The results identify key targets for policy makers and service providers to support positive health and well-being outcomes for spousal caregivers providing care to their partners diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease and related dementia and living in care facilities.

Keywords: Alzheimer’s disease; care facility; caregiver burden; dementia; spousal caregiving.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Alzheimer Disease / psychology*
  • Attitude of Health Personnel
  • British Columbia
  • Caregivers / psychology*
  • Dementia / psychology*
  • Female
  • Health Status
  • Humans
  • Life Change Events
  • Long-Term Care / psychology
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Needs Assessment
  • Residential Facilities
  • Spouses / psychology