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Mother-Adult Daughter Relationships Within Dementia Care

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More and more people have been diagnosed to have dementia. These people need special care that may be provided by their relatives or specially trained caregivers. It has been observed that women with dementia who have daughters are usually cared for by them. Catherine Ward-Griffin, Nancy Bol, and Abram Oudshoorn’s research is devoted to the mother-daughter relationships and the perspectives of women who receive care from their adult daughters.

Sometimes, it is better for women when they are cared for by their daughters. This care is more effective than the formal one (Ward-Griffin, Hall, DeForge, St-Amant, McWilliam, Oudshoorn, Forbes, & Klosek, 2011). Nevertheless, there are some difficulties in such relationships. Mothers sometimes feel that they make the life of their daughters more difficult. They do not want their daughters to devote so much time to them and they start feeling guilty before them. Mothers with dementia may consider themselves to be unnecessary or even a burden for their daughters’ lives.

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The types of care, as well as the types of caregiver-patient relationships, may be different. The care provided by the daughters may be determining, undemanding or accepting. As for the types of daughter-mother relationships, they also may be different. Custodial, combative, cooperative, and cohesive relationships are differentiated in the research (Ward-Griffin, Oudshoorn, Clark, & Bol, 2007). Cohesive and combative relationships are based on emotions while cooperative and custodial are task-oriented. More than that, there are a lot of other factors predetermining these relationships such as the level of support provided by the daughters and mothers’ expectations from their daughters. Sometimes mothers demand more than their daughters may offer or the daughters provide more support than their mothers expect from them (Forbat, 2003). Both these situations may have negative consequences. In the first case, mothers with dementia may feel unnecessary and neglected by their daughters and they judge their daughters for paying less attention than they could pay. In this case, daughters understand that their mothers except more than they can provide and they feel upset. These conditions make their relationships worse and as a result daughters seek at finding a professional caregiver to improve the level of support but the reaction of their mothers may also be different to such a new ball game. The mothers with dementia may think that their daughters want to get rid of them. In the second situation when the level of support is higher than mothers expect it to be they feel guilt in this case. They persuade their daughters to devote much time to their own lives and refer to the services of formal caregivers to make their life easier. Sometimes it is quite difficult to find the decision of these problems as far as the women with dementia are unpredictable in their behavior and emotions. It should be noted that in some cases professional help is necessary. Nevertheless, not every family with women with dementia may afford to pay for these professional services (Brindley, 2011). It is one more problem of modern society. Women with dementia need social help from the government. These services should be free of charge.

From the above said, we may conclude that it is a widespread phenomenon when daughters take care of their mothers with dementia. Factually this care has a positive effect in most cases but there are some difficulties posed before daughters. One of the main drawbacks of such relationships may be the unprofessional care provided by daughters. Women with dementia should be provided special care by people who have been specially trained and skilled.

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Mother-Adult Daughter Relationships Within Dementia Care. (2022, November 25). Edubirdie. Retrieved February 8, 2023, from
“Mother-Adult Daughter Relationships Within Dementia Care.” Edubirdie, 25 Nov. 2022,
Mother-Adult Daughter Relationships Within Dementia Care. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 8 Feb. 2023].
Mother-Adult Daughter Relationships Within Dementia Care [Internet]. Edubirdie. 2022 Nov 25 [cited 2023 Feb 8]. Available from:
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