How Children of Parents With Dementia Can Make Their Subject Positions Understandable and Meaningful

Qual Health Res. 2020 Apr;30(5):704-716. doi: 10.1177/1049732319873051. Epub 2019 Sep 18.


The families of people diagnosed with dementia are commonly first-in-line caregivers. This can have a considerable effect on their lives, health, and relationships. However, few studies have focused on the children in such families. Therefore, the aim of this study was to describe how children, in their own narratives, construct themselves as subjects growing up and caring for a parent with dementia. The study applies discourse analysis. The findings show three subject positions: parent to your parent(s), orphan with parents, and time traveler stuck in time. There is a need to support these children, both as children and as young adults. More knowledge is necessary regarding the kind of support they might want or need. For health care professionals, it is important to know that it might not always be easy to ask for information or support as a child caring for a sick parent.

Keywords: Sweden; blogs; children; dementia; experience; ideological dilemma; parent; qualitative; subject position.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Caregivers
  • Child
  • Dementia*
  • Humans
  • Parent-Child Relations
  • Parents*
  • Young Adult