AlzU Blog

Spirituality Helps Caregivers Cope with Early Stages of Alzheimer’s Disease

Coping with the many twists and turns of dealing with Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is an ongoing factor for most family caregivers.  If you have performed your online research, you are most likely aware of the numerous research articles discussing the topic of coping strategies for caregivers.  If you have exhausted all of your resources and are still struggling with some of the issues that accompany AD, read on.

Believe it or not, several studies show promise that spirituality is a key factor in coping with an older person suffering from a chronic, debilitating terminal condition such as AD.  One study even took a look at the beneficial results of spirituality and improved emotional health and well-being in coping with the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease.

In the case studies, spirituality was defined as; adopting a belief system, meaning and purpose in life, spiritual connectedness and spiritual awakening, and more.  These characteristics were used and the participants in the studies were identified as being spiritual but did not necessarily report being religious.

Studies on coping with the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease were conducted by Davis and Taylor, Bahro, et al., Katsuno, Matano, Phinney, Snyder and Stuckey et al.-6 articles all in all were published.  These studies found that one third of the participants reported that their personal spirituality positively impacted factors such as; acceptance of losses, improvement in feelings of fear and anxiety, acceptance of pain and suffering-believing there was meaning and purpose to suffering.

Although the study participants had various interpretations of just what was considered spiritual in nature, they agreed on the idea that being able to lean on one’s spirituality to cope with AD helped to improve the quality of their ability to cope with AD, as well as overall quality of life.

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