Dignity work of older women caring for a husband with dementia at home
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Original versionTranvåg O, Nåden D, Gallagher A. Dignity work of older women caring for a husband with dementia at home. Health Care for Women International. 2019;40:1047-1069 https://doi.org/10.1080/07399332.2019.1578780
In this study, we explored perceptions of dignity, and sources preserving dignity of six older Norwegian women caring for a home-dwelling husband with dementia. Through hermeneutic interpretation of in-depth interviews, “having personal integrity,” “mastering everyday life,” and “giving of one self” were identified as crucial intrapersonal aspects of dignity – while “acknowledging worthiness and uniqueness of each human being” was found to be an essential interpersonal aspect. Nine dignity-preserving sources identified suggests that the wives engaged in “dignity work” to preserve their own dignity as a caregiver, as well as to safeguard the dignity of their husbands who were vulnerable to dignity loss.