Hanging on to Some Autonomy in Decisionmaking: How do Spouse Carers Support this? Academic Article uri icon


  • In Australia, the majority of people with dementia live in the community with informal care provided by family, commonly a spouse. A diagnosis of dementia is a threat to one’s personhood and is often accompanied by perceptions of future dependency, which will involve the inability to carry out conventional roles and complete everyday tasks including making decisions. Being able to make decisions, however, is part of being a ‘person’ and it is through relationships that personhood is defined and constructed. In face-to-face interviews with seven couples (a carer and person with dementia dyad) and two spouse carers, this study explored why, and how, spouse carers support continued involvement in decision-making for people with dementia. The findings highlight the importance of loving and respectful relationships in the development of strategies to support continued decision-making for people with dementia.

publication date

  • 2019