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Gradually losing one’s foothold – a fragmented existence when living alone with dementia
University of Skövde, School of Health and Education. Skaraborg-institute, Skövde, Sweden.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-4503-9916
University of Skövde, School of Health and Education.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-9194-3244
2015 (English)In: Dementia, ISSN 1471-3012, E-ISSN 1741-2684, Vol. 14, no 2, 145-163 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The number of persons with dementia who lives at home for a longer period of time after diagnosis is increasing. Even if the literature in the dementia field is growing, there is a need for more knowledge about everyday life of persons with a dementia disease; particularly the lived perspective of persons who live alone. The aim of this study was to elucidate the phenomenon of living alone with dementia and having a manifest care need. This phenomenological study was carried out from a reflective lifeworld approach. The data material in the study consisted of field notes from 32 visits and transcriptions from 11 tape-recorded conversations with six participants. The results reveal that the person with dementia who lives alone ends up in a vague existence where they cannot survive alone. The person’s level of activity comes to a halt and body movement becomes slower. Daily life becomes more difficult to manage and the person’s earlier natural way of relating to the world and the people around them is gradually lost. This is followed by a loneliness and forgetfulness that cloud the meaning of life. This study highlights the importance of the patient’s perspective needed to better understand the inner life of a person who suffers from dementia. This understanding is important in the organization of help and care as well as for caregivers to better understand these individuals and their needs.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Sage Publications, 2015. Vol. 14, no 2, 145-163 p.
National Category
Medical and Health Sciences
Research subject
Medical sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:his:diva-8615DOI: 10.1177/1471301213494510ISI: 000351709500001PubMedID: 24339094ScopusID: 2-s2.0-84925234307OAI: oai:DiVA.org:his-8615DiVA: diva2:661434
Available from: 2013-11-04 Created: 2013-11-04 Last updated: 2016-02-19Bibliographically approved

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Svanström, RuneSundler, Annelie Johansson
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