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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