Voices of Couples Affected by Alzheimer’s Disease
The purpose of this research was to identify themes in communication between persons with Alzheimer’s disease and their spouse caregivers. Theme identification provides insight so that interventions can be designed to improve communication. The long term goal of this research is to improve quality of life for couples experiencing dementia and increase their satisfaction with their relationship. Thirty transcribed videotaped ten-minute interviews between fifteen couples who consented to participate in a previous study (Principal Investigator: Williams) were analyzed to identify common themes. Themes included Harmony in Spite of a Memory Disorder, Healthy Acceptance, and Discord and Contempt. These themes were further divided into individual subthemes, which included “Loving Affection,” “Bringing up the Past,” “Orienting Spouse to the Situation,” “Giving Assurance,” “Fighting Acceptance of Illness,” and “Bitterness and Frustration.” Understanding the themes generated within the conversations help to further analyze the effects that Alzheimer’s disease has on communication in a relationship.