Critique a research Study (Qualitative) Name University 20th March 2012 Abstract The paper by Ward-Griffin et al. (2004) reports on an empirical research project exploring the perceptions and experiences of 10 women with mild to moderate cognitive impairment due to dementia who were all being cared for by their daughters in the community…
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A number of recommendations for practice, policy and research were made in the light of these findings. The problem that the paper seeks to address is the need to find better ways of supporting the rising number of cases in Canada where an elderly woman is cared for in the community by an adult daughter. This problem has arisen partly because of the demographics of Canada, which show a lengthening of life expectancy in general, and a predicted rise in the number of age related diseases, including Alzheimer’s disease and other kinds of dementia. Another factor that is causing the numbers of such cases to rise is the rising cost of care home provision, and the closure of many care homes, leaving by far the majority of dementia sufferers to be cared for by their families in the community, often with little or no support from professional carers. The purpose of this study is then to address this gap in the literature and investigate the perceptions and experiences of mothers who are suffering from dementia and who are cared for by their adult daughters. Literature Review Since the emergence of feminist theories in the middle of the twentieth century there has been a growing awareness of the particular problems and issues that face women in largely patriarchal Western societies. Considerable research has been carried out on the relocation of care from home to a residential setting and even here the continuing care of family members can be beneficial to dementia sufferers, so long as the relationship and interaction between professional care staff and family carers is carefully managed. A study by Maas et al. (2004) on a Family Involvement in Care Intervention carried out in 14 American care home settings concluded that the use of such a structured program improved the caregiving experience of family members in nursing homes, and also had positive effects on the attitudes of nursing home staff towards family caregivers. Dementia affects whole families, because it changes the way that the dementia patient relates to others, and requires adjustments in the way that the family sees the mother role in particular. A study by Mui (1995) confirmed that families who enjoyed good relationships before the onset of dementia generally coped better with the diagnosis and rallied round to provide better care for their loved one, than families which had previously had strained relationships. Because care in the community is a relatively recent phenomenon, there has until now been a focus on care home treatments of dementia, with less research into women with dementia who remain in the community. When this has occurred, it has often focused on the effects of the situation on carers, who can suffer stress due to the demanding nature of the illness (McCarty, 1996). There has been very little research from the perspective of the patients themselves, especially when they are cared for in their own home and outside the mainstream healthcare system. The paper by Ward-Griffin et al. (2006) builds on these earlier studies and takes them one step further by eliciting views directly from women with dementia themselves. Theory This paper explicitly states that it is guided by feminist and life-course perspectives (Ward-Griffin et al., 2004, p. 183). This implies an awareness of the social context of care, and the expectations, inequalities and pressures that Canadian society attaches
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