Spousal dementia caregiving in the context of late-life remarriage

Wexler Carey Sherman, Pauline E Boss

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations

Abstract

Increasing numbers of older couples entering late-life remarriage will face dementia and spousal caregiving. This qualitative study, informed by grounded theory methods, is a first to explore spousal caregiving in the late-life remarried context. Interviews with nine late-life remarried wife caregivers identified complex intergenerational stepfamily dynamics that appear to amplify isolation and stress for this group of caregivers. Most women reported experiencing rejection of remarriage by adult children, minimal family involvement in caregiving, and intergenerational conflict regarding decision making. Nonetheless, caregivers described proactive, strategic approaches toward caregiving. This study examines the construct of boundary ambiguity as it relates to late-life remarriage and dementia caregiving, thus merging the unique challenges of caregiver and stepfamily dynamics. Findings are discussed in light of the potential risks highlighted for remarried couples facing chronic health issues. Future dementia research that accounts for diverse marital and family histories is suggested.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)245-270
Number of pages26
JournalDementia
Volume6
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - May 1 2007

Keywords

  • Aging
  • Boundary ambiguity
  • Dementia
  • Intergenerational relations
  • Late-life stepfamily

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Spousal dementia caregiving in the context of late-life remarriage'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this