Mid-Life Transitions: Spousal Experiences of Coping ...

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Section title Mid-Life Transitions: Spousal Experiences of Coping with Dementia of the Alzheimer Type
Section author(s) Colleen R. MacQuarrie
Book title Alzheimer's Disease in the Middle-Aged
Book editor(s) Hyun Sil Jeong
Start page 225
End page 253
Date 2008
Abstract A diagnosis of possible or probable Alzheimer's Disease has repercussions at any age, however, coping with this diagnosis at mid-life can be particulary challenging. This chapter explores the coping experiences of a middle-aged couple over a period of six months. A phenomenological hermeneutic approach to analyzing the interviews reveals the individual as well as the shared impact of the disease in their lives. Experiences with Alzheimer Disease are typically portrayed either from the caregiver's perspective or the care-recipient's perspective. This chapter focuses on the longitudinal impact of living with a diagnosis of AD from a couple's perspective. The analysis reveals the impact of the diagnostic process from both a caregiver and a care receiver's perspective and the longer term impacts on self image, adaptation, resilience, and coping to questions about relationships with spouse and others, to care, the meaning of the disease, and existential meaning. This chapter can provide insight for couples in middle-age who are learning how to cope when one of them is diagnosed with dementia of the Alzheimer Type.

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