Living in the Moment: Empowered Caregiving in the United States for Family Members Living with Dementia

Heather Howard,

Published on: 2021-06-05


Adults living with dementia require increasingly higher levels of supervision as the disease progresses, often resulting in emotional stress for families. Eight female caregivers in the U.S. were recruited. Using feminist Critical Discourse Analysis, we engaged these caregivers in focus groups, exploring gender and empowerment related to caregiving responsibilities. Four major themes emerged:
• Female caregivers’ perspectives on caregiving as a gender role,
• Female caregiver burden and emotional distress,
• Acceptance of the current situation and developing a new relationship, and
• Female caregivers’ suggestions regarding care of family member living with dementia.
It is important to consider how to assist caregiver’s empowerment and promote positive coping. In order to provide better services for female caregivers, health professionals practicing in older adult settings should offer support groups and support acceptance and adaptation to the new relationship with the person living with dementia.

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