Abstract

OBJECTIVE. Little is known about sons’ roles in caring for a parent with dementia. To ensure that interventions and practices appropriately match sons’ needs, we investigated their experiences.

METHOD. A qualitative descriptive approach was used; 20 sons of a parent with dementia participated in semistructured interviews.

RESULTS. Participants reported varied paths to becoming a caregiver, primarily undertaking a care management role and managing by using their own occupational experiences and receiving support from other family members, peers, and private and public community services. They experienced negative consequences such as participation restriction and stress and positive consequences such as feelings of satisfaction. Strategies used to cope included boundary setting and practicing self-care.

CONCLUSION. This study highlights the need to consider sons’ role as care managers for their parent with dementia in community-based settings, as well as their need for education and intervention. Occupational therapy practitioners can use this information to inform their practices and support clients and their families.

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