A1 Journal article (refereed)
Muistisairauden aiheuttamat käyttäytymisen muutokset ja parisuhteen vastavuoroisuus (2022)
Behavioural changes caused by dementia and the reciprocity of a couplehood

Eskola, P., Jolanki, O., Van Aerschot, L., & Aaltonen, M. (2022). Muistisairauden aiheuttamat käyttäytymisen muutokset ja parisuhteen vastavuoroisuus. Gerontologia, 36(4), 344-361. https://doi.org/10.23989/gerontologia.114513

JYU authors or editors

Publication details

All authors or editors: Eskola, Päivi; Jolanki, Outi; Van Aerschot, Lina; Aaltonen, Mari

Journal or series: Gerontologia

ISSN: 0784-0039

eISSN: 2489-494X

Publication year: 2022

Publication date: 09/12/2022

Volume: 36

Issue number: 4

Pages range: 344-361

Publisher: Kasvun ja vanhenemisen tutkijat

Publication country: Finland

Publication language: Finnish

DOI: https://doi.org/10.23989/gerontologia.114513

Publication open access: Openly available

Publication channel open access: Open Access channel

Publication is parallel published (JYX): https://jyx.jyu.fi/handle/123456789/84672

Additional information: Artikkelit


Usually, the spouse is the first to face the cognitive and personality changes associated with their partner´s dementia, which may manifest as behavioural changes. In this qualitative study, we examined in which situations disruptive behavioural symptoms caused by dementia appear and how they affect the reciprocity of spouses. The theory of social exchange was used to interpret the data. Disruptive symptoms were mentioned only in interviews of couples in which the spouse with dementia was the husband. Although the spousal carers expected that their partner’s behaviour might change with the illness, the behavioural symptoms came as a surprise. Behavioural symptoms appeared in situations where the partner with dementia tried to control the activities of their spousal carer, when the spousal carer had to advise and guide the partner´s daily routines, or limit what the partner with dementia was doing. Behavioural changes also appeared when the partner with dementia had to face his own illness. The theory of social exchange emphasizes reciprocity as the basis of an intimate relationship. When one of the spouses had dementia that causes disruptive behavioural changes, reciprocity was not possible. The spousal carer has to come up with various strategies to cope with daily life and avoid conflicts. These situations and efforts may not be recognized at all by the person with dementia. The strong emotional ties associated with a long-term intimate relationship make the spousal carers stay in the relationship.

Keywords: people with memory disorders; memory loss diseases; symptoms; behaviour; personality; caring for close relatives; family caregivers; spouses; couple relationship

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Ministry reporting: Yes

Reporting Year: 2022

JUFO rating: 1

Last updated on 2023-03-10 at 12:52