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The family accompaniment of persons with dementia seen through the lens of the capability approach

Abstract : Using the capability approach initially developed by A Sen as a theoretical framework, this paper analyses both what people with dementia and their families do in response to difficulties in their daily life brought about by the disease, and the reasons they give for acting as they do. Individual and collective interviews and ethnographic observations with 15 persons with dementia and one or more of their family members were conducted. Follow-up interviews were possible for nine families. Results highlight a great diversity in ways of doing things and in accompaniment by family members. Daily adjustments are often hidden or minimized, at least at the onset of the dementia. Later, they become more frequent, repetitive and indispensable but remain influenced by the social and gender roles that existed prior to the illness. The inventiveness of families, in a context marked by various kinds of constraints, is primarily motivated by their desire to maintain the apparently intact abilities of the person with dementia but especially to preserve forms of liberty and what counted for the person, what that person valued before the disease. There are some ways of living with dementia, even when accompanied, which may long remain preferable to others, which better answer to the past and present aspirations of persons with dementia and the purposes of the accompanying persons. It is thus essential that health professionals, as well as society in general, recognize and address this issue.
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Submitted on : Tuesday, January 18, 2022 - 1:35:50 PM
Last modification on : Sunday, June 26, 2022 - 3:31:36 AM


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Catherine Le Galès, Martine Bungener. The family accompaniment of persons with dementia seen through the lens of the capability approach. Dementia, 2019, 18 (1), pp.55-79. ⟨10.1177/1471301216657476⟩. ⟨hal-03480044⟩



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