Older Lesbian and Gay Partner Caregivers of Persons with Alzheimer’s Disease or a Related Disorder: A Systematic Review

By Mary Lilly, Jennifer L. Reich and Dorothy J. Dunn.

Published by The International Journal of Aging and Society

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Objective: To identify and summarize research on the subject of older lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transperson partner caregivers in the context of Alzheimer’s disease or a related disorder. Data Sources: Databases included Medline, PsychINFO, PsychARTICLES, CINAHL Plus, SocINDEX, and Academic Search Complete; no date limiters were used. Review Method: Systematic review using guidance from the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) Results: Twenty-seven articles were identified via the databases, and examined using the inclusion/exclusion criteria; eight articles were retained. Six additional articles were selected from the reference lists. Conclusions: There is a dearth of research, particularly within the nursing literature, on partner caregiving within these groups, particularly for bisexuals and transpersons. These groups and this subject should be a priority for nurse researchers and educators both within the US and across the globe.

Keywords: Alzheimer’s Disease, Caregiving, Gay, Lesbian, Partner

The International Journal of Aging and Society, Volume 2, Issue 1, 2012, pp.55-69. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 206.860KB).

Dr. Mary Lilly

Associate Professor, School of Nursing, College of Health and Human Services, Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff, AZ, USA

Mary Lilly is an Associate Professor in the School of Nursing at Northern Arizona University, teaching within both the undergraduate and graduate programs. Her academic interests include psychiatric mental health nursing, theory, research, and administration. Her research interests include Alzheimer's disease, caregiving, emotions, genetics, and diversity. Dr. Lilly’s methodological approaches include quantitative and qualitative with a primary focus on content analysis in the qualitative area. She enjoys interdisciplinary collaboration and applications of diverse points of view and approaches to common clinical issues. Dr. Lilly has many years of work with caregivers for persons with Alzheimer's disease or a related disorder.

Jennifer L. Reich

Assistant Professor, School of Nursing, Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff, AZ, USA

Jennifer Reich is an Assistant Professor in the School of Nursing at Northern Arizona University. Dr. Reich received her PhD in nursing from The University of Arizona. Her training and nursing practice has been in gerontology and palliative care settings. Her background also includes degrees in Exercise Science/Gerontology and English and training and practice in Mind-Body Stress Reduction, Reiki, Health Appraisal and Meditation. She has incorporated these diverse experiences to design wellness programs and teach self-care strategies to nurses and caregivers throughout the United States. She is also a poet and storyteller, and her research explores the role of story as a health promotion and healing process.

Dorothy J. Dunn

Assistant Professor, School of Nursing, Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff, AZ, USA

Dr. Dorothy J. Dunn PhD, RNP, ANP-C, FNP-BC, AHN-BC is an Assistant Professor of nursing at Northern Arizona University. Dr Dunn teaches across the curriculum. As a board certified FNP she has an interest in the specialty of gerontology. Dr. Dunn's research agenda explores how formal and informal caregivers care for others with compassion. Currently, she is focused on the unpaid caregivers caring for persons diagnosed with mild cognitive impairment and mild dementia at the time of diagnostic disclosure.