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Journal of Nursing Research and Practice

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The three faces of loss: The cost of caring for a family member with Dementia

Author(s): Tracey Rickards, Donna Bulman, Justine L. Henry

The long term outcome of Alzheimer’s and related dementia (ADRD) is the eventual and complete dependence upon care givers, most often family or friends. There are costs to providing the kind of care needed to support and keep someone with ADRD at home safely. We conducted one-on-one interviews with 19 health care providers and 19 family/friend caregivers. Using thematic analysis to interpret the data we discovered that the cost of caring had three dimensions: physical, emotional, and financial. These dimensions often overlap as the cost of caring is often multi-faceted and complicated. Women are particularly affected by the role of caregiving as it frequently falls to them, they tend to juggle more responsibilities at once, and are affected by relationship history and a sense of obligation. We discuss these dimensions, providing recommendations for both health care providers and family/friend caregivers.