The NUI Galway School of Psychology is seeking participants for a new study to examine psychological factors that may have protected family caregivers of people with dementia in Ireland during the last year of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Caroline Jennings, Psychologist in Clinical Training and Dr Anne O’Connor, Lecturer in the Doctoral Program in Clinical Psychology at NUI Galway are looking for family caregivers who may be interested in sharing their coping experience during the Covid-19 pandemic.
“Recent research from the Alzheimer Society of Ireland has highlighted the disproportionate impact the pandemic has had on the mental and physical health of people with dementia and their families,” they said.
“It shed light on existing adaptation challenges, combined with the impact of service closures, reduced supports and increased demands for care. The researchers hope: “to shed light on the impact of the pandemic on mental health and understand whether different ways of coping were more or less protective for family caregivers.”
“Resilience is what helps us when we face challenges or when life goes wrong. A growing body of research suggests that greater compassion for oneself may protect against burnout and be associated with greater resilience for professional caregivers, such as healthcare professionals. We are examining whether this is also the case for family carers of relatives with dementia in Ireland.
“Self-compassion” is about recognizing and normalizing times of suffering. It’s about finding ways to be kind and compassionate to ourselves, rather than berating ourselves, when we are going through difficult emotions, such as stress, anxiety, frustration, grief or a bad mood. . For many of us, this ability doesn’t come naturally. However, psychological research suggests that the ability to be more compassionate is a skill that can potentially be learned or improved with practice. We are trying to understand through this research if this is something that would be useful for family caregivers of loved ones with dementia ”.
If you are a family caregiver of someone with dementia and would like to participate in this study, please visit https://bit.ly/NUIGalway-Survey-Dementia-FamilyCarers for more information and to complete the anonymous survey in line.