Dementia, Volume 22, Issue 7, Page 1392-1419, October 2023. Background and objectivesResilience – the ability to bounce back after a stressor – is a core component of successful family caregiving for people living with dementia. In this manuscript, we describe the preliminary empirical validation of a new behavioral framework developed from existing literature for assessing care partner resilience, CP-R, and propose its potential value for future research and clinical care.MethodsWe selected 27 dementia care partners who reported significant challenges prompted by a recent health crisis of their care recipient from three local university-affiliated hospitals in the United States. We conducted semi-structured interviews to elicit care partners’ accounts of what they did to address those challenges that helped them recover during and after the crisis. Interviews were transcribed verbatim and analyzed using abductive thematic analysis.FindingsWhen persons with dementia experienced health crises, care partners described various challenges in managing new and often complex health and care needs, navigating informal and formal care systems, balancing care responsibilities with other needs, and managing difficult emotions. We identified five resilience-related behavioral domains, including problem-response (problem-solving, -distancing, -accepting, and -observing), help-related (help-seeking, -receiving, and -disengaging), self-growth (self-care activities, spiritual-related activities, and developing and maintaining meaningful relationships), compassion-related (self-sacrifice and relational compassion behaviors), and learning-related (learning from others and reflecting).Discussions and implicationsFindings support and expand the multidimensional CP-R behavior framework for understanding dementia care partner resilience. CP-R could guide the systematic measurement of dementia care partners’ resilience-related behaviors, support individual tailoring of behavioral care plans, and inform the development of resilience-enhancing interventions.

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This post is Copyright: Yuanjin Zhou | June 9, 2023
SAGE Publications: Dementia: Table of Contents