Resilience and Dementia: Understanding the Implications of Cultural and Linguistic Differences in the Canadian Care Environment

  • Author / Creator
    Jalkanen-Sargent, Maija J
  • Resilience has been defined as ‘doing ok’ during adversity. To date, very limited research has been conducted on resilience and dementia. My study explored the influences of cultural and linguistic differences between individuals with dementia and foreign-born care workers in order to understand how these differences influence resilience of the ‘dementia care triad’ (individuals with dementia, family members, foreign-born health care workers). Four participants were interviewed about dementia and resilience in the context of cultural and linguistic differences. Thematic analysis methods were used to identify themes and categories from the interview data. The themes identified through the study included ‘Values’, ‘Culture and language’, ‘Community of support’, ‘Maintaining dignity and autonomy’, and ‘Understanding dementia’. The themes were comprised of categories which acted as protective or vulnerability factors for the participants. The connections between the categories associated with the themes were complex. Cultural and linguistic differences were perceived to have both negative and positive influences on the resilience of the individuals with dementia, their family members, and the foreign-born health care members. Communication strategies employed by the family members and the care staff member, cultural adaptation, and sharing cultural aspects were believed by the participants to counteract some of the identified negative influences. The cultural value ‘Respect for elders’ was found to be a protective factor. The clinical recommendations for speech-language pathologists from my study include organizing supported communication strategy workshops for foreign-born care workers and family members to help improve interactions and facilitate resilience, and acknowledging, utilizing, and encouraging the sharing of cultural values and beliefs in the Canadian care environment.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
    Spring 2018
  • Type of Item
  • Degree
    Master of Science
  • DOI
  • License
    This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.