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Index de Enfermería

On-line version ISSN 1699-5988Print version ISSN 1132-1296


RUIZ DE ALEGRIA FERNANDEZ DE RETANA, Begoña; LORENZO URIEN, Elena de  and  BASURTO HOYUELOS, Salome. Coping strategies of women who care for a parent suffering from Alzheimer's disease. Index Enferm [online]. 2006, vol.15, n.54, pp.10-14. ISSN 1699-5988.

Introduction: Caring for an elderly person with Alzheimer's disease implies a big change in the lives of women aged between 45 and 55. Their dual position as wife and daughter and the need to combine this with work outside the home make heavy demands on them which put their physical and mental health at risk.  Aim: To discover the strategies and tools that have helped these women to deal with the implications of caring for a an elderly relative diagnosed as having Alzheimer's disease in phase 3-4. Methods: We used a qualitative design and case study as research methods Data were collected with the strategy of in-depth consecutive interviews. The six participants were women carers aged between 45 and 55, chosen through a theoretical selection of key informants. The study uses an emergent, inductive approach applying categorial content analysis Results and conclusions: Responding to the demands of work and caring leads them to suffer distressing situations in which the carer is aware of loss of control and a high degree of stress, as they themselves express it. In the face of this situation the carers have resorted to cognitive and conductual strategies such as the the search for support, information, hobbies, problem-solving and reassessment. All these coping strategies lead to greater competence in caring for the elderly person, more control of the situation, a better acceptance of the process and a better social adjustment. The end result is a positive approach to this complicated, difficult and stressful situation.

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