Mary Lou Donovan, Mary A. Corcoran; Description of Dementia Caregiver Uplifts and Implications for Occupational Therapy. Am J Occup Ther 2010;64(4):590–595. https://doi.org/10.5014/ajot.2010.09064
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© 2020 American Occupational Therapy Association
OBJECTIVE. Most occupational therapy interventions for caregivers are designed to reduce negative consequences of caregiving by building skills to manage problem behaviors and dependence. However, therapists may be missing an opportunity to provide interventions that directly help caregivers to emphasize and act on positive aspects of care. We describe care-related thinking and action processes of long-term caregivers who report positive effects related to caring for a spouse with dementia.
METHOD. We analyzed data from 15 experienced and uplifted (reporting improved well-being from caregiving) spouse caregivers to describe how they think about and carry out their care duties.
RESULTS. We describe two primary themes of caregiver thinking and action: (1) engaging in positive behaviors and (2) making adjustments in attitudes.
CONCLUSION. These findings support a new focus for occupational therapy caregiver intervention that promotes a positive approach to thinking about and enacting care tasks.
One night I got up and the freezer door was wide open, and everything was just pretty much defrosted, and so I went in there and I said, you know, I have been meaning to clean out this freezer part. So within 5 minutes I took all the trays out and poured them off. I took a rag and wiped it up and it was spotlessly clean. I said, thank you Lord, I got my freezer cleaned.
He’ll sit down, and he’ll take off the old pants, and say, ‘I have to take off my shoes too.’ And, then I’ll make fun of it, and I’ll say, ‘Awwww, you really have to take off your shoes again? Awwww,’ and then he’ll smile.
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