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Using a Life History Approach to Explore the Identity of a Woman Diagnosed with Alzheimer's Disease: The Life of Mary
This study utilized life history as a methodological tool to explore the identity formation of Mary, a woman in her eighties who is diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease. The results of this study showed that Mary's sense of self was greatly influenced by her childhood experiences. Five predominate themes emerged in the interview process: Mary's admiration for her father, her willingness to share wisdom, her career as a beautician, her role as a mother, and her devotion as a wife. The Dynamical Identity Model was constructed to help further illustrate Mary's identity development and the model served as a basis to describe possible outcomes in Mary's life, as a woman diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease. Her story reveals that Mary has a wonderful disposition about life and, even though she was diagnosed with this disease, she does not perceive the disease as threatening.