Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository


Master of Science


Health and Rehabilitation Sciences


Savundranayagam, Marie


Understanding goals of family caregivers of persons with dementia is critical to provide effective education and support. However, there is little understanding about family caregivers’ goals. This study investigated goals set by family caregivers prior to an education and training program and whether their goals varied across the caregiving career. Phases of the caregiving career were measured by relationship identity; the extent to which participants viewed their relationship in terms of familial and caregiver roles. Conventional content analysis on goals of 30 family caregivers yielded five categories which varied by relationship identity. Enhancing relationships reflected goals for the familial role primarily. Managing caregiver’s emotions, developing skills, and learning about dementia reflected goals for the caregiver role primarily. Supporting outlook of a relative with dementia reflected importance across the caregiving career. Findings advance a better understanding of family caregivers’ goals across the caregiving career to provide targeted education and support.