Journal Article

Decision-Making Involvement of Individuals With Dementia

Heather L. Menne and Carol J. Whitlatch

in The Gerontologist

Published on behalf of The Gerontological Society of America

Volume 47, issue 6, pages 810-819
Published in print December 2007 | ISSN: 0016-9013
Published online December 2007 | e-ISSN: 1758-5341 | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1093/geront/47.6.810
Decision-Making Involvement of Individuals With Dementia

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  • Geriatric Medicine
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Purpose: Research underscores how autonomy and decision-making involvement may help to enhance the quality of life of older adults; however, individuals with dementia are often excluded from decision making that is related to their daily functioning. In this study we use a modified version of the Stress Process Model to consider the stress process of individuals with chronic illness, and in particular to explore the predictors of decision-making involvement among individuals with dementia (n = 215). Design and Methods: We collected data from individual with dementia (IWD)–family caregiver dyads. Relying primarily on data from the IWD, we used hierarchical multiple regression analysis to determine the predictors of the IWD's decision-making involvement. Results: Results indicate that individuals who report more decision-making involvement are younger, female, have more education, have a nonspousal caregiver, have fewer months since their diagnosis, exhibit fewer problems with activities of daily living and fewer depressive symptoms (based on caregiver report), and place more importance on autonomy/self-identity. Implications: In our discussion we examine the importance of autonomy and impairment levels for understanding the decision-making involvement of persons with dementia.

Keywords: Autonomy; Daily functioning; Impairment; Stress process; Well-being

Journal Article.  6933 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Geriatric Medicine ; Biological Sciences ; Psychology ; Gerontology and Ageing

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