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J Korean Acad Nurs. 2013 Jun;43(3):389-398. Korean. Original Article.
Sung MR , Yi M , Lee DY , Jang HY .
Department of Nursing, Kyung-in Women's University, Incheon, Seoul Metropolitan Center for Dementia, Seoul, Korea.
College of Nursing & Research Institute of Nursing Science, Seoul National University, Seoul, Korea.
Department of Psychiatry Seoul National University Hospital, Seoul Metropolitan Center for Dementia, Seoul, Korea.
Graduate School of Nursing, Seoul National University, Seoul, Korea.

PURPOSE: The purpose of the study was to understand and describe the overcoming experiences of family members caring for elderly patients with dementia at home. METHODS: Data came from autobiographies on the overcoming experiences of caregiving from 31 participants, who had submitted the autobiographies to a public contest held by the Seoul Metropolitan Center for Dementia in 2012. Data were analyzed using qualitative content analysis. RESULTS: Four overcoming stages emerged from the analysis: confronting stage; challenging stage; integrating stage; and transcendental stage, representing transformation of experiences from frustration and suffering to happiness and new hope in life. The confronting stage illustrates severe negative feelings and exhaustion occurring after the diagnosis of dementia. The challenging stage signifies major driving forces in taking good care of their patients. It includes tender loving memories about the patients as well as family and social supports. The integrating stage shows genuine empathy for the patients' situation and the happiness of 'here and now', while the transcendental stage represents new hope in the future. CONCLUSION: Health professionals need to support caregivers to find true meaning of caring and happiness in everyday life, while providing specific information on dementia care and relieving various negative feelings.

Copyright © 2019. Korean Association of Medical Journal Editors.