PURPOSE: This study explored the adjustment experiences of spouses of elderly people with dementia in Korea.
METHODS: A grounded theory method was used. The data were collected by individual in-depth interviews with 11 spouses of elderly people with dementia.
RESULTS: In the analysis, 17 categories were derived. A core category emerged: Adjusting to daily life of providing love-based care. Eight major strategies for dealing with the psychosocial problems faced by spouses of elderly people with dementia: Feeling one's own responsibility in caring: halting personal activities: adopting a spouse-oriented daily lifestyle: caring with love: efforts for maintaining one's own health: efforts for maintaining spouse's health: depending on religious belief: and trying to have time for oneself. The consequences that resulted from applying these strategies were identified as "feeling worthwhile for caring," "maintaining a peaceful life," and "being grateful of the present."
CONCLUSIONS: This study presents a holistic view of the adjustment experiences of spouses of elderly people with dementia. This study can also provide directions for developing interventions for enhancing the quality of life of spouses of elderly people with dementia.
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