The purpose of this paper is to describe commonalities of the lived experience of being a spouse caregiver of a person with mild cognitive impairment (MCI). The Colaizzi method of empirical phenomenology was used for inter-viewing and analyzing data obtained from 10 spouse caregivers of persons with MCI. Four major themes were found and labeled: (a) Putting the Puzzle Pieces Together-There Really is Something Wrong; (b) A Downward Spiral into a World of Silence; (c) Consequences to Caregivers of Living in a World of Silence; (d) Taking Charge of Care. The findings of this study provided rich data to guide interventions to help caregivers to improve their awareness of MCI, gain new information and skills to deal more effectively with and adjust to the caregiving of their spouse with MCI over the long-term.
Keywords: Caregiver perspectives, mild cognitive impairment, caregiving issues, stress and coping
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