Self-Care Behaviors of Spouses Caring for Significant Others With Alzheimer's Disease: The Emergence of Self-Care Worthiness as a Salient Condition

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Abstract

Little of our empirical knowledge regarding how family caregivers of persons with Alzheimer's disease (AD) manage their self-care needs is grounded in the perspectives of caregivers themselves. Using a grounded theory methodology, we explored self-care behaviors of nine spousal caregivers and developed a substantive theory of finding normalcy for self that reflects how spousal caregivers restore self-care behaviors in the context of a constant state of flux. Self-care worthiness, a new concept, emerged as a salient condition of finding normalcy. This provides a starting point for understanding self-care in spousal caregivers and illuminates the intricate process of caring for self while caring for a significant other with AD.

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