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Alzheimer's Care Quarterly:
Feature Topic: Hearing and Healing the Hurts of Dementia, Part I

The Experience of Living Alone With Early Stage Alzheimer's Disease: What Are the Person's Concerns?

HARRIS, PHYLLIS BRAUDY PhD, LISW, ACSW

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Abstract

The number of older adults with Alzheimer's disease (AD) living alone continues to increase, yet this group is often overlooked; particularly missing is the perspective of the person living alone. This qualitative study conducted in-depth interviews with 15 people with AD living alone. The study identified a typology of 4 types, explaining how individuals with AD approach living alone: “Making it on my own,” “Living on the edge,” “Unaware of the situation,” and “With a little help from my friends.” Common themes related to issues of dependency, driving, decision making about the future, increasing social withdrawal, and coping strategies are also discussed.

©2006Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.

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