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2007 Grant - Sherman
Alzheimer Caregiving in the Context of Late-Life Remarriage
Carey Wexler Sherman, Ph.D.
University of Michigan
Ann Arbor, Michigan
2007 New Investigator Research Grant
As our population ages, adults are experiencing increasingly diverse and complex marital and family histories. Yet virtually nothing is known about the effects of Alzheimer's disease on caregiver-spouses in remarried couples. Prior research indicates that women caregivers who remarried late in life have substantially more caregiver isolation and stress, minimal family help and frequent conflicts with their stepfamilies over medical and financial decisions.
Dr. Carey Wexler Sherman, Ph.D., and colleagues will expand on this research by interviewing 100 remarried caregiver spouses. They will ask about marital history, severity of the disease, the quality of the caregivers' social relations, and their support and emotional health. Spousal caregiving is often isolating and stressful, and the group hypothesizes that this is increasingly the case with remarried caregivers.
Public policy relies heavily on family members to provide long-term care for people with Alzheimer's disease. The study seeks to identify the unique characteristics, needs and concerns of a growing but understudied group of caregivers.