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Dementia Research Articles

Marie Savundranayagam, School of Health Studies, Western University
2014 – 2018


While family caregivers of persons with dementia often use support services, understanding the goals of the caregiver is critical to developing and delivering these services effectively. This study investigated goals expressed by family caregivers prior to an education or training program and whether these goals varied across phases of the caregiving career.


Analysis of the goals of 30 family caregivers yielded five categories: managing caregiver emotions, enhancing relationships, developing caregiving skills, supporting the outlook of the person with dementia, and increasing their knowledge of dementia. Goal categories varied by phases of the caregiving career and were based on how participants viewed their relationship with the person they are caring for.

Enhancing relationships was reported by individuals primarily aligned with a familial role. The categories of managing caregiver emotions, developing skills, and increasing dementia knowledge were reported by individuals primarily aligned with a caregiving role. Supporting their relative with dementia’s outlook occurred across phases of the caregiving career.

Findings suggest that support services should take into consideration individual family caregiver goals in relation to the phase of their caregiving career. Future studies could examine whether lowering caregiving costs, reducing caregiver burden, and reducing/delaying long-term care relocation can be optimized by aligning the type and timing of support services with these goals.

  1. Basque, S., Savundranayagam, M., Orange, J.B., Roberts, A., Kloseck, M. & Johnson, K. (2018). Goals across the caregiving career expressed by family caregivers of persons with dementia. Gerontological Society of America (GSA). Boston, Nov 14-18, 2018. (Poster).
  2. Savundranayagam, M. Y., Basque, S., Roberts, A., Orange, J. B., & Johnson, K. (2017). Do family members’ most important concerns about caregiving vary across the caregiving career? 21st International Association for Gerontology & Geriatrics, San Francisco, July 23-27, 2017. (Poster)
  3. Basque, S., Savundranayagam, M.Y., Orange, J.B., Johnson, K. & Kloseck, M. (2016). Discovering goals set by family caregivers of persons with dementia prior to a behavioural interventions. Canadian Association on Gerontology (CAG). Montreal, Oct 20-22, 2016. (Poster)

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