Graduate School of Nursing
ADVANCED NURSING RESEARCH
Living with Memories that are slowly fading Away: An Interpretative Phenomenological study on the burdens faced by an elder with a partner diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease
Alneil T. Antonio RN
Aldrin Darilag RMT, RN, PhD
October 3, 2012
What’s the meaning of life when slowly you’ll forget things? What will you feel if your love one will soon forget the things you used to do? What are the burdens will you face in taking care of your partner diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease…
Alzheimer's ... it is a barren disease, as empty and lifeless as a desert. It is a thief of hearts and souls and memories.
- NICHOLAS SPARKS, The Notebook
Caring for a partner with Alzheimer’s Disease entails a severe burden. In particular, family caregivers of Alzheimer’s disease patients face extreme hardship and distress that represents a major but often hidden burden on healthcare systems. Family members and especially caregivers (usually the spouse or adult children) of the client with AD face the great deal of emotional and physical burden (Black, Hawks, 2009). The burden of providing care for clients with dementia is particularly troublesome. The degree of cognitive impairment, amount of help required with activities of daily living, personally changes, and presence of psychiatric symptoms and behavioral symptoms and behavioral disturbances cause the greatest concerns. (Navaie-Waliser, M. Feldman, P.H, gould, D.A. et al.2001) The relationship between the client and the caregiver can become strained and isolation from friends and activities creates additional social isolation. Caregivers often experience clinically significant changes in physical and mental health (Burns, A.2000). Alzheimer's disease, a chronic and progressive neurodegenerative disorder, affects millions of people all over the world. Aging remains to be the most important risk factor for the development of the disease. The rapid increase in the elderly population worldwide due to improving healthcare system is predictably accompanied by a rise in cases of Alzheimer's disease. The effect on the quality of life of the affected individual is devastating. The impact of Alzheimer's disease inevitably concerns caregivers and the society and the resulting caregiver burden and healthcare cost are overwhelming. The Philippines is likewise challenged with the epidemic of dementia and thorough preparation is necessary in order to confront this challenge competently.( http://www.dementia.org.ph/?fid=history) As the population ages, the number of caregivers for those with Alzheimer’s disease and dementia will increase. Hasselkus and Murray (2007) found that the majority of people with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias are cared for by family and friends in the community. In today’s ever increasingly mobile society and rapidly aging population, many people are going to be faced with the dilemma of providing care to a loved one with Alzheimer’s disease (Watari et al., 2006). Brookmeyer, Johnson, Ziegler-Graham, and Arrighi (2007) stated that there were 26.6 million people with Alzheimer’s disease in the world in 2006 with an increase to 106.8 million expected by the year 2050. The World Alzheimer Report 2010 estimated that roughly 35.6 million people worldwide have dementia, and anticipated that 115.4 million people will have dementia worldwide in 205.
BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
The study aims to interpret and understand the lived experiences of an elder with a partner diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease and the burdens they face in their daily life situation.
A nurse, as a healthcare...