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Alzheimer’s disease (AD) refers to the menacing, persistent and debilitating type of disorder which impairs the ability of the affected person to self-care. The article continues to argue that the disorder does not only affect the helpless person but also their families at large. The statistics derived from Canada portrays a significant amount of persons diagnosed with the disorder in a span of every 5 years. It is also noted that the disorder has its prevalence mostly in women as compared to men. The significant figure in women has engaged the local governments of Canada to put more emphasis on home care for the diagnosed patient as the statistics indicates an increase in the number of patients each and every year (Griffin, Bol & Oudshoorn, 2010).
The same government has been faced with the challenge of taking care of both the patients as well as their families in a bid to minimize the encroachment of facilities dealing with the provision of hospitalized care services. It is stipulated that the emphasis is put so to reduce the congestion of the facilities and encourage family members in providing psychological nourishment to the dementia patients.
A major setback towards this phenomenon is portrayed when the number of family members in possession of formal care education has reduced greatly thus implicating a challenge towards achieving the overall objective of the home based program. Another setback indicates that women form the majority of both the care givers as well as the patients hence affecting the composition of women involved in dealing with dementia. It is also noted that the only option left in curbing the situation as well as in achieving the objective of realizing optimal home based dementia care is by directing even more attention to the women (Griffin et al., 2010). Women are supposed to be consulted and their respective voices heard whenever possible so that in the long run they are equipped well for the purpose of conducting the tasks. In another case study which was conducted in Canada indicated that amongst the twelve determinants used in identifying health issues acknowledged gender as a factor which was affected in participation as well as on the consequences implicated in health issues.
It should be noted that the major purpose for conducting a critique on this particular research paper is to establish the entire insight and experiences which are faced by women diagnosed with the disorder. This objective further includes the goal of getting to understand the life experiences of women who suffer from the disorder first hand. In coming up with the research, the researchers focused on factors which caused the wrangles affecting the relationship daughters shared with their ailing mothers.
The research further implicated that the wrangles which existed in the relationships shared between daughters and their ailing mothers came as a result of the miscalculations in negotiation techniques which include finding a balance, taking over the responsibilities once held by the mother as well as the carrying of the whole load in taking care of the ailing mother. Further research indicated that the relationships relied upon the flexibility of the matter at hand so that the family members, particularly the daughters could seek for help freely without the fear of downgrading their personal expectations.
It is also noted that the quality of this type of relationship daughters share with their ailing mothers depended entirely on the level of interactions with which family members had with their ailing mothers prior to the disorder meaning that the relational interaction was supposed to be either positive or negative depending on prior family relations. Another important factor which was taken into consideration was reciprocity. When it was inquired on how the mothers with dementia received care, the issue of reciprocity was perceived to take a center stage. The findings carried out by the researchers indicated that the dissimilarity that existed between mothers and their children was in fact used to characterize the willingness of these adult children to provide dementia care to their ailing mothers.
For the purpose of disregarding the assumptions made about the capabilities associated with the aforementioned mothers, a study into retrieving their personal views indicated that their feelings wandered from being dependent on the lack of the ability to make choices. When asked about their feelings, the adult daughters indicated that they were completely willing and able to carry out the care giving services. A further study carried out on three women and men living with their families indicated a five stage process which assisted them in adjusting to the disorder. The stages included antecedents, anticipation, appearance, assimilation and acceptance.
The study also indicated that concerns about the issue of power, relationships and gender changed greatly with the particular gender under study. While men suffering from dementia implicated that they were at all times concerned about maintaining self, women, on the other hand, were so much affected by the disorder to the point that they delegated all their decision making abilities to the professionals. These women felt that they could not challenge the decisions made by these health professionals hence proving the fact that gender determined the relationship professionals had with their patients.
During the aforementioned study, the families of the persons with dementia raised at least eight issues which affected them negatively. This issues included the difficulty in obtaining the right kind of diagnosis, issues which came as a result of self-hood and self-esteem, the resultant changes within the family structures, the ability to comprehend (by the patient) of the changes within their bodies, issues relating to finances, issues which related to the feelings of rejection and exclusions, issues which related to dependency and lastly those which related to the lack of purposeful occupation. In order to understand the various challenges associated with providing care to people suffering from dementia, there was a need to include research into their life course. Since ignoring this fact meant that there could be divisiveness in the conceptualization of care and service provision between the patients and the caregivers at large. In addition to this fact the study also indicated that when much focus was put onto the static life stages, there was a failure to attracting the issue of gender identity as well as the forthcoming experiences in life for a patient suffering from dementia (Griffin et al., 2010).
It should be noted that the major purpose of the study involves addressing two crucial facets which include the determination of both the experiences and relationships women with dementia share with their daughters. Despite the fact that the study would entirely focus upon these two factors there is also the need to stipulate on the various recommendations which would be of benefit to the improving of the lives of women in this controversial relationship. It is worth to note that the research is also based upon facts which indicate the resultant meaning in providing and receiving care is defined on the experiences of a life time rather than to those which involve the current matters or situations.
When a sample of the mothers with dementia were interviewed, it was found out that all mothers received most of the help they needed ranging from personal care, transportation, housekeeping and even meal preparation from their respective daughters. For the purpose of exploring the findings fully, the researches opted to include the study of such things as the relationship itself, the emotional labor and the complexity which was brought about by the exchanges of care, that is, the giving and receiving of care.
During the continuation of the research, the researchers were able to expose at least four kinds of responses which were provided by the mothers receiving dementia care. These responses included doing care, which was an expression used by mothers when they meant their respective ability to performing self-care. This response showed clearly the need mothers, suffering from dementia, had in providing personal care independently, that is, without involving any other participant. This was clearly showcased by the fact that most mothers lived far from their daughters citing the reason that they never wished to be burdens to their daughters in which every case. They continued to cite the need for independence and hence saw it better to live alone. The major reason for choosing to live alone was derived from cultural values which fostered the expectations for adults to be completely independent thus the deeper insights into their move towards self-reliance and productivity in general.
The second response which was put forward by these ailing mothers implicated or rather fostered the undemanding care altogether. This type of response was associated with the need for these particular mothers to withhold their requests for assistance. The mothers were heard citing the issue of even burdening their children whom they perceived to be weary of there ever busy working life let alone family matters. Along the aforementioned issue of undemanding care came forth the desire for these mothers to attract social interactions particularly when they lived with their daughters.
Mothers, who had their daughters go to work each and every morning indicated that they needed them to stay though it was absolutely impossible since they feared demanding too much from there ever busy daughters. There were certain collected comments which the mothers presented which stipulated the cultural fact that the family of procreation was culturally considered important than the family which came about as a result of origin. The following is a comment which cemented this fact
“I don’t bother them. I never call them. If they come, they come, if they don’t, they don’t. They’re busy and they have families…I can’t expect them to……they all have responsibilities and families….I don’t demand nothing from them.”
The third response put across by these ailing mothers stipulated the need for determining care. The issue brought about by this matter indicated that the mothers were faced with a hard choice of determining the level of assistance they needed to the level of independence they sought to allow. They were ready to accept assistance under certain conditions hence maintaining the level of control towards the same.
The mothers accepted the level of assistance they received from their daughters only when they knew that it was never going to interfere with their normal daily routines like working. It’s seen that mothers were concerned completely with their daughters lives and thus made an effort to minimize the level of the attention provided to them. The following is an illustration of a comment which portrays the desire that most women possess towards the type of relationship they would allow with their daughters.
“I know that if I called and said, ‘Hey I’d like to see you-I’m lonely,’ she would be here. But I don’t do that. She has her own life to lead” (Helen).
As a result of determining the level of care, the mothers allowed assistance in specific types of chores which included medication and doctors’ appointments while activities such as banking, shopping and laundry were considered to be normal routines for adults to perform. The research was also able to determine the fact that ailing mothers did not only have the urge for determined care but also the possibility of the future being filled with more of independency as well as the need for preserving their sense of self-importance.
The fourth response involved accepting the care provided to them by their daughters. Mothers indicated that at whichever the reason, they were only willing to accept the care at a minimum level. This behavior was portrayed by mothers receiving frequent care from their daughters. It should also be noted that the level of acceptance entirely dependent upon the time and energy their daughters spent in providing care. Individualism and familiarity are the two facets which are stipulated to be behind the degree of acceptance for the care.
The research is critiqued to have mewt its objective since it was able to establish the fact that most women with dementia were somehow reluctant in being cared for by their daughters for different reasons which have been discussed extensively in this critique. In addition to that, the research was able to confirm the fact that there was a thriving need for reviving the home-care based system to provide for the needs of these suffering women without many limitations. This achieved in the case where families were perceived as the main cornerstone for the home care and women’s proper role as caregivers within the family unit.
The third factor which arose during the research indicated that true correlations within care recipients and care giver were only achievable once the sentiments of both participants were taken into consideration. The approach had the advantage of fostering a collective way of listening to the various issues affecting the participants of this condition. It also helped in challenging the government and other social institutions to pay the much needed attention the condition so much required. The findings of this research was furthermore formulated to helping people in understanding the lives of the impaired persons so that in the end, find ways of making moments matter in the active lives of people suffering from dementia.