evidence and practice
What is an older husband’s experience of caring for his wife who has dementia?
Kerry Nel Third-year adult nursing student, Department of Nursing and Clinical Sciences, Bournemouth University, England; Michele Board, principal academic in nursing older people, Faculty of Health and Social Sciences, Bournemouth University, England
• To learn more about the under-represented experiences of older male spouse carers
• To develop an awareness of the altered dynamic in marriage as a result of dementia
• To understand the need for further research on the experiences of older male spouse carers
A significant number of informal carers look after people who have dementia. Women’s caring experiences are well documented. However, a substantially smaller amount of research exists specifically investigating the male carer perspective.
This literature review explores older husbands’ experiences of caring for their wives who have dementia.
The findings suggest that husbands are committed to their caring role but can feel socially isolated. The caring role of older men has altered the dynamic in the marriage. Husbands continue to show commitment towards their spouses but feel that male-only support groups could offer some respite from their responsibilities.
Nurses need to take time to listen to husbands’ experiences, offering emotional support and signposting them to other services.
Further research on the long-term effects and support needs of older male carers is needed.
Nursing Older People. doi: 10.7748/nop.2019.e1214Peer review
This article has been subject to external double-blind peer review and has been checked for plagiarism using automated softwareCorrespondence
Nel K, Board M (2019) What is an older husband’s experience of caring for his wife who has dementia? Nursing Older People. doi: 10.7748/nop.2019.e1214
Published online: 06 November 2019