Purpose of the study: Caring for a spouse diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease holds potentially severe negative consequences for the physical and psychological well-being of the caregiver. As it is known that the maintenance of a flexible time perspective holds benefits for individual health, the main purpose of this study was to identify and describe the changes in the time perspective of persons caring for a spouse diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease.
Design and Methods: The SELE instrument was administered in order to shed light on the time perspective of a total of 40 participants. A criterion group design was used, and a mixed methods approach adopted during the collection and analysis of data.
Results: The results of this research project highlighted the existence of a number of important differences regarding the time perspective of caregivers and non-caregivers. The time perspective of caregivers was severely affected by the caregiving situation and the accompanying grieving process. This proved to be one potential avenue through which the caregiving situation has its negative effect on caregivers’ well-being.
Implications: Owing to the usually insufficient funding for the care of demented patients, research regarding the identification of potential cost-effective methods to enhance the resilience of caregivers is of the essence. Maintenance of a balanced time perspective might prove to be to the benefit of caregiver psychological well-being.