Family Caregiving Amidst Age-Associated Cognitive Changes: Implications for Practice and Future Generations
Center for Leadership & Learning
As the number of older adults has increased, so has the prevalence of age-associated needs, including cognitive changes. Correspondingly, more than 43 million people provide care for an older family member whose needs range from basic household maintenance to 24-hour care. Those who serve aging families exclusively or work with multigenerational families face the challenges of inaccurate and/or incomplete information, confusing and unreachable services, and uncertainty about managing stress and ways to foster resilience within multigenerational family systems. Thus, the purpose of this article is to highlight the prevalence of age-associated cognitive changes and how they relate to the short- and long-term family resilience processes. More specifically, this article is directed to orient practitioners to the critical roles caregivers play, and individual, relational, and sociological dynamics of cognition, care, and resilience are discussed. The authors provide an overview of assumptions and outcomes related to caregiving, as well as considerations for care recipients, including personhood and empowerment. Finally, because practitioners become a key ingredient in navigating the normative and nonnormative processes of aging, the authors provide a checklist of relational processes to focus on when working with aging families, along with specific recommendations for practice for family life educators and marriage and family therapists.
Bailey, W. A., & Gordon, S. R. (2016). Family Caregiving Amidst Age-Associated Cognitive Changes: Implications for Practice and Future Generations. Family Relations, 65(1), 225–238. https://doi.org/10.1111/fare.12176