‘Trying to Continue to Do as Much as They Can Do’:Theoretical insights regarding continuity and meaning making in the face of dementia

Heather L. Menne, Jennifer M. Kinney, Darby J. Morhardt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

67 Scopus citations

Abstract

Face-to-face interviews were conducted with six individuals in the early stages of a dementia. Interviews were initiated to explore the day-to-day experiences of dementia. The commonality that emerged across the interviews was participants’ desire to maintain continuity with their previous way of life while coping with dementia-necessitated changes. We conceptualized this commonality in terms of Atchley’s (1989) articulation of continuity theory and Park and Folkman’s (1997) framework of meaning making. This research highlights how, despite their impairment, individuals with dementia not only are able but strive to maintain continuity and to make meaning of their situations. The results show that it is possible to gain insight from those in the early stages of dementia; the underlying practical and clinical implication is the importance of encouraging the maintenance of personhood by listening to the desires and concerns of those with dementia.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)367-382
Number of pages16
JournalDementia
Volume1
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 2002

Keywords

  • continuity theory
  • dementia
  • meaning making
  • qualitative research
  • subjective experience

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Social Sciences(all)

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