Our first featured article from ANS 43:4 is titled “The Post-caregiving Health Model: A Theoretical Framework for Understanding the Health of Former Family Caregivers of Persons with Dementia” authored by Kristin Corey Magan, PhD; Mary K. McCurry, PhD; Kristen A. Sethares, PhD; Meg Bourbonniere, PhD; Salimah H. Meghani, PhD; and Karen B. Hirschman, PhD. While this article is featured, you can download it at no cost from the ANS website! We invite you to do so, and share your responses here! Dr. Magan shared this background information about this work for ANS readers:
As a doctoral student, I decided to explore my observations further. My mentor, Dr. Mary McCurry, and I conducted a pilot study of the experiences of former dementia caregivers following the care recipient’s death. The study findings supported my observations from clinical practice. We also found that depressive symptoms and sleep disturbances persisted for as long as a decade after caregiving ended. The findings provided a foundation for my doctoral dissertation, which involved the development and testing of the Post-caregiving Health Model. This article provides a detailed description of the development of this model.
The Post-caregiving Health Model highlights a stage of caregiving that has been neglected in previous research: the stage we refer to as “post-caregiving” or the time following the death of a care recipient. Based on the Transactional Theory of Stress, the model emphasizes the effects of appraisal, emotion, and coping on long-term post-caregiving health outcomes using a holistic perspective. We intend to utilize this model to guide our future research on post-caregiving health outcomes and as a foundation for developing and testing interventions that target effective coping for caregivers after caregiving ends.