Experiences of informal caregivers assisting individuals with Dementia

Purpose: The purpose of this study was to qualitatively explore the experiences of informal caregivers of Individuals With Dementia (IWD) in caring for their loved ones. Focus of inquiry: What are the experiences of Informal Caregivers who assist IWD? Methods: A phenomenological study method was utilized with a snowball sampling recruitment method. The study was conducted through the formal interviewing of ten informal caregivers. The data from these interviews was analyzed and compared to current literature. Results: The results yielded the following recurring themes: daughters as caregivers, time burden, caregiver responsibility, caregiver burden, the protective factor of family and friends, and the protective factor of the Christian Church. Discussion: This study demonstrates how the role of caregiving shapes the participant's lives. While Informal caregivers of IWD face a variety of difficulties while caring for their loved ones, protective factors were found to play a critical role in alleviating some of the adverse effects of caregiver burden. Resources such as ADS and caregiver support groups were found to be beneficial but underutilized. The implications of this study suggest that future research on informal caregivers of IWD should focus on the enhancement of protective factors for this population.