Chronological patterns and issues precipitating grieving over the course of caregiving among family caregivers of persons with dementia

Sadhna Diwan, Gavin W. Hougham, Greg A. Sachs

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

11 Scopus citations

Abstract

This study examines the patterns of grieving among caregivers of patients with dementia over the course of the caregiving period. We interviewed (by telephone) spouses and adult children of dementia patients (n = 87) who had received care at two geriatrics clinics 2 to 9 months after the patient's death. There appeared to be significant heterogeneity among caregivers in the chronological patterns of grieving and in issues that precipitated grief over the caregiving period. The chronological patterns of grieving prior to death could be characterized as: grieving at one point in time, grieving at multiple points in time, or grieving continuously. Issues precipitating grieving were: initial diagnosis; declines in function, cognition, and health; behavioral symptoms; interpersonal issues; nursing home placement; and nearing death. Implications for discussion of grief-related issues practice and in palliative care and caregiver support programs are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)358-370
Number of pages13
JournalClinical Gerontologist
Volume32
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 1 2009

Keywords

  • Alzheimer's disease
  • Bereavement
  • Loss and Grief
  • Palliative care

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Gerontology
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Social Psychology
  • Health(social science)

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