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The Latino Family Caregiving Experience Along the Trajectory of Dementia

Background: The number of people affected by dementia continues to increase. Dementia is progressive and affects the ability of the person to care for themselves with time. The persons living with dementia have cognitive changes that worsen over time and affect their physical function. Latino families are known for being a collectivist culture who value family. There are studies that describe the experience of caregivers caring for someone with dementia; however, vi few are focused on multiple family members. There is also a need for further research, specifically on Latino families going through this experience. Methods: Qualitative descriptive design with grounded theory strategies was used for this study. The Chronic Illness Trajectory Framework was used as a sensitizing framework. Bilingual and monolingual (Spanish/English) Latino/Hispanic dementia caregivers were recruited. A total of 11 families were interviewed. Constant comparative analysis was used. Initial codes were created and then grouped into categories which were further broken into themes. Results: Five categories emerged from the data analysis. These categories included: (a) culture in caregiving, (b) learning about dementia, (c) relationships, (d) emotional responses, and (e) challenges and strengths. Each category had an impact on family caregivers throughout the trajectory of dementia. Culture was shown to have a large impact on the overall experience. Conclusions: This study contributes to the body of knowledge surrounding Latino family dementia caregivers. These findings facilitate a better understanding of the experiences of these families. One of the more significant findings was that of conflict within these families and how it affects the caregiving experience. In time, this information can enable the creation of interventions for this population and improve their experiences. These interventions, in turn, can promote better outcomes for caregivers and their loved ones. 

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