Attachment theory, caregiving and dementia: A review of the literature
Attachment theory has been widely used to further our understanding of close relationships throughout the life span. Within attachment theoretical literature there is a large body of research examining associations between adult attachment styles and caregiving. However, relatively little attention has been given to the role of attachment in clinical care settings. In recent years, there has been increasing interest in the significance of attachment in dementia care, and dementia researchers have highlighted the particular significance of attachment for people with dementia. Dementia is characterized by experiences of loss, insecurity and separation, which are hypothesized to lead to an increase in attachment behavior in people with dementia. The way in which care staff are able to respond to such attachment needs is essential for high quality dementia care.