Turkish Adult Children as Caregivers of Parents with Alzheimer's Disease: Perceptions and Caregiving Experiences

Ar Karcı Y., KARANCI A. N.

DEMENTIA-INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF SOCIAL RESEARCH AND PRACTICE, vol.18, no.3, pp.882-902, 2019 (SSCI) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 18 Issue: 3
  • Publication Date: 2019
  • Doi Number: 10.1177/1471301217693400
  • Journal Indexes: Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.882-902
  • Keywords: Alzheimer's disease, caregiving, culture, changes, coping strategies, familism, collectivism, CULTURAL-DIFFERENCES, DECISION-MAKING, DEMENTIA, CHINESE, AMERICAN, CARE, PREVALENCE, ETHNICITY, APPRAISAL, RELATIVES
  • TED University Affiliated: Yes


There is substantial evidence suggesting that Western and non-Western caregivers of patients with Alzheimer's disease have different caregiving experiences depending on the cultural values they adopt. Although family-centered constructs such as familism and filial piety have taken some attention, there is still a paucity of research on how cultural values and norms shape caregiving appraisals, coping strategies, and formal service use specifically in Eastern-oriented contexts. The aim of this study was to investigate Turkish adult children caregivers' perceptions of Alzheimer's disease and caregiving experience. Researchers conducted in-depth interviews with 20 primary caregivers and analyzed data with interpretative phenomenological analysis. First, most caregivers viewed family disharmony as the main cause of the disease. Second, although burden is evident in their accounts, caregivers reported positive changes during their caregiving experiences, as well. Third, caregivers employ religious/fatalistic coping and they benefit from social support during their caregiving experiences. Forth, most caregivers opposed to nursing home placement because they view it as a morally improper act; they are afraid of neighborhood pressure; they perceive caregiving as a child's responsibility; they do not want their children to do so; and they do not trust conditions of care facilities in Turkey. Findings indicated that Eastern norms and values might have differential impacts on Alzheimer's disease caregiving outcomes. Hence, we invite mental health professionals to integrate culturally sensitive aspects into the possible intervention programs targeting Alzheimer's disease caregivers from non-Western contexts.