The Leaning Tree Isn’t Always the First to Fall: African American Men Caring for Loved Ones with Dementia
Johnson, Julie A
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The purpose of this dissertation research was to explore the experience of informal African American male caregivers of family members with dementia and the impact of grief, culture, and gender on the caregiving experience. Throughout the trajectory of dementia caregiving, the caregiver experience is impacted by the caregiver-care recipient relationship, the values and beliefs of the caregiver, and the perceptions and emotions of the caregiver. The first chapter presents a systematic review of the literature, providing insight into the existing knowledge of the informal African American male caregiver experience of a family member with dementia. The second chapter presents results of a qualitative research study that explored the experience of informal African American male caregivers of a family member with dementia. A directed content analysis approach was used with thematic analysis. Ten men were interviewed on the South Side of Chicago, all of whom were Christian non-spouse relatives. Four major themes emerged: duty, care management, faith, and emotional impact. Furthermore, 4 caregiver roles emerged: the provider, the companion, the executive, and the servant. Personal care avoidance by the caregiver coupled with self-protection by the care recipient may be the first descriptions of this in the literature and implicate both gender and relationship as concepts worthy of further study in relation to personal care provision. Future research should focus on understanding the caregiving experiences of men of multiple races and ethnicities, multiple social and economic backgrounds, multiple religious and spiritual beliefs, and men who live in various geographical locations so that the impact of culture and gender can be better understood.
SubjectCaregiving, African American, Male Caregivers, Dementia, Grief