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Title: Exploring the lived experience of becoming cared for from the perspective of women with Alzheimer's disease
Author: Borley, Gayle
ISNI:       0000 0004 5988 9203
Awarding Body: University of Northampton
Current Institution: University of Northampton
Date of Award: 2015
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This thesis presents a study exploring the lived experience of becoming cared for from the perspective of women with Alzheimer's disease (AD). The objectives of the study were to reveal the experience of receiving assistance with instrumental activities of daily living (IADL's) from the perspective of women with AD, to explore the care relationship between women and their spouses and to examine the changing role and identity of those women. Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA) was used as the methodology to explore the meaning given to becoming cared for. This methodology promotes the recognition of the unique ways individuals experience the world and is regularly used to better understand how illness affects behaviour and lifestyles. Eight women with AD took part in two semi-structured interviews and their transcripts were analysed individually, before exploring convergences and divergences across cases. Three key experiences emerged from the final analysis; 'It's a togetherness', 'Me being me' and 'Seeing cobwebs'. The findings identify becoming cared for as a relational phenomenon for the women, influenced by their experience of ongoing connections with their husbands. Some participants attempted to maintain their sense of self and womanhood in relation to completing IADL's, comparing their past selves to the present. However, this experience was often negatively affected by how others treated them. Other women viewed the changes they experienced in a more positive way, accepting becoming cared for as a part of life. There was a clear sense of contentment in their evolving lives, seeing beauty where they had not seen it before. This adds an alternative view to current literature, as some women appear to embrace the change in themselves when becoming cared for, rather than experiencing a loss of identity. Humanisation theory provides a conceptual framework to aid change in healthcare professional's practice, by encouraging them to regard women with AD as holistic human beings. Whilst change may be viewed by healthcare professionals as a negative symptom of AD, it should be considered that becoming cared for may be experienced as a positive transition in life.
Supervisor: Sixsmith, Judith ; Church, Sarah Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.Prof.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: HV1551 People with disabilities ; RC523 Alzheimer's disease