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Title: Exploring the experiences of male caregivers caring for a partner with Alzheimer's dementia : an interpretative phenomenological analysis
Author: McIntosh, Gwenne Louise
ISNI:       0000 0005 0286 4424
Awarding Body: Edinburgh Napier University
Current Institution: Edinburgh Napier University
Date of Award: 2020
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Introduction: Dementia is a global health issue. The role that family members adopt to support people to remain at home has an impact on caregivers, communities, health services and the wider economic climate. This thesis presents an exploration of male caregivers' experience of caring for a partner with Alzheimer's dementia. The aim is to uncover the experiences of male caregivers and identify factors that encourage or inhibit decisions to access support services. The perspectives of men caring for a partner with dementia are underexplored, resulting in a lack of insight into the individual caregiving experience. Method: The study adopts a qualitative phenomenological approach offering close examination of the lived experience of caregiving leading to deeper understanding of the concepts, values and meaning men draw from their experiences. Semi-structured interviews with seven men caring for their partners provided the data for this study and was analysed using Interpretive Phenomenological Analysis (IPA). Findings: Three themes were identified: 1. Lack of Influence; 2. Changes and Losses and 3. Protecting Others. Findings provide increased understanding of the individual experience of caregiving in the context of being a male partner. Men's experience is complex as Alzheimer's dementia brings about substantial change in roles, responsibility and relationships. Decisions about caregiving and accessing support are related to men's view of their sense of duty and the desire to protect others. Perceptions of support services influence men's decisions to access support, and the consequences that arise from interactions with service providers are often unexpected, unintentional or unwanted. The lack of involvement and power in making decisions adds to the emotional impact of caring resulting in a spiral of disengagement from services. Conclusion: This study offers new insights, providing opportunities for health and social care staff to better respond to the needs of men through improved engagement and will be of interest to those working with caregivers and those providing support for people with dementia.
Supervisor: Brown, Norrie Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: male caregivers ; Alzheimer's ; dementia ; caregiving experience