Do you forget... I remember

Student thesis: Master thesis (including HD thesis)

  • Anja Volden Kolmos
4. term, Sociology, Master (Master Programme)

This project is a qualitative study of the way in which everyday life changes, when a person’s spouse has got senile dementia. The aim of the project is to describe the topic as well as to understand the complexities involved in having a demented spouse. The project is based on eight persons with demented spouses and their personal accounts of the way in which they have experienced their spouses’ illness, as well as the related challenges they have experienced.
The investigation is made from an everyday perspective. Apart from this perspective also the gender perspective is included, as it is investigated whether there are differences in the way in which men and women handle the role of caregiver when dealing with their demented spouse.
The first part of the project consists of an introduction and a problem area, leading to the introduction of the method of investigation. Then the main focus points of the paper will be elaborated and the theory introduced. Subsequently the analysis of the interviews, which will be expanded on in the discussion section of the paper. Finally a conclusion will be reached, based on the results of the investigation.
In the theoretical section the following theorists appear:
Anthony Giddens and Arlie Hochschild, the purpose of which is to throw light on marriage. Alfred Schütz and Christine Swane expose everyday life, and Irvind Yalom and Steinar Ekvik, who focus on the grief which may be related to having a demented person as your spouse.
The results of the investigation showed:
Relating to the role of caregiver major changes in everyday life can be observed. The informants have experienced essential changes, both emotional and physical, in the period in which the demented person lived at home. The period after the demented spouse had moved to a nursing home also brings challenges and leaves a void in the everyday life of the informants.
In this connection it is observed that there are differences in the challenges that male and female informants experience. The challenges of the women are often related to financial challenges when the spouse has got senile dementia, where as the male informants more frequently experience practical challenges in terms of cooking.
Publication date5 Feb 2015
Number of pages91
ID: 208233611