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Families in societyBoundaries and relationships$
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Linda McKie and Sarah Cunningham-Burley

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9781861346438

Published to University Press Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781861346438.001.0001

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date: 19 August 2017

Families, relationships and the impact of dementia — insights into the ‘ties that bind’

Families, relationships and the impact of dementia — insights into the ‘ties that bind’

Chapter:
(p.149) Nine Families, relationships and the impact of dementia — insights into the ‘ties that bind’
Source:
Families in society
Author(s):

Dot Weaks

Heather Wilkinson

Shirley Davidson

Publisher:
Policy Press
DOI:10.1332/policypress/9781861346438.003.0009

This chapter focuses more specifically on the effect of a particular disease diagnosis on relationships within a longer-term marriage. It presents two case studies where one partner, in both cases a man, has been diagnosed with dementia. It takes a social constructionist perspective in relation to the definition and impact of dementia and concentrates on how boundaries and relationships are co-constructed through the illness trajectory. In one case, new roles seemed to be rather imposed by the partner without dementia, effectively excluding the affected spouse from meaningful engagement in family decision making. This seemed to result in Angus seeking new social contacts outside the family through a support group for people affected by dementia. By contrast, for the other, a boundary seemed to be constructed around the family to protect the person from the outside and the revelation of his diagnosis to others.

Keywords:   disease diagnosis, dementia, social exclusion, family decision making, social contracts

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