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Views of life and sense of identity in people with Alzheimer's disease
Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Nursing.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-5994-4012
2010 (English)In: Ageing & Society, ISSN 0144-686X, E-ISSN 1469-1779, Vol. 30, no 7, 1257-1278 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Making it possible for people with Alzheimer’s disease to retain a sense of identity during the process of the disease poses a great challenge to care-givers, professionals and family carers. The aim of this study is to elucidate the role of the view of life of people with Alzheimer’s in framing their sense of identity. Is their view of life a vital aspect of their sense of identity ? ‘View of life ’ was interpreted as a vital aspect of sense of identity, understood as the individual’s beliefs about their life history and about the attributes that characterised them. Twenty-one people with mild to moderate stages of Alzheimer’s disease were interviewed about their life story. The narratives were interpreted using a phenomenological hermeneutic method. By telling their life story, the participants also narrated their view of life, i.e. their conception of reality, their central system of values and their basic emotional attitudes. By their own accounts, the origins of the narrators’ central values and basic emotional attitudes were established in early life. They also expressed a sense of meaningfulness and continuity when looking back on their lives. The findings suggest that for a care-giver or confidant, having knowledge of a person with dementia’s view of life is valuable when seeking to confirm that person’s sense of identity.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2010. Vol. 30, no 7, 1257-1278 p.
Keyword [en]
Alzheimer’s disease, identity, life story, view of life, interviews, phenomenological hermeneutics
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-38765DOI: 10.1017/S0144686X10000309ISI: 000283407000009OAI: diva2:381684
Available from: 2010-12-28 Created: 2010-12-28 Last updated: 2016-02-01Bibliographically approved

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Norberg, Astrid
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