|The nature of the experience of women caregivers for aged parents: a social problem|
Ellen Goldschmidt Ehrlich
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Pockets: Gottesman Libraries Archive, Historical Dissertations
Tags: Aging parents, Caregivers, Family relationships, Home care, women
THE NATURE OF THE EXPERIENCE OF WOMEN CAREGIVERS FOR AGED PARENTS: A SOCIAL PROBLEM
Ellen Goldschmidt Ehrlich
A descriptive study utilizing a phenomenological approach was chosen for this Level I (exploratory) qualitative study to examine the problem in this study: What is the nature of the experience of women caregivers for elderly parents?
The number of aged individuals has increased dramatically during the past century. It is not uncommon to live to eighty or ninety today. As the aged become more frail they begin to need assistance so that they can remain living at home. Since 95% of aged individuals live in home settings, care of the aged becomes a major societal issue. The literature has demonstrated that daughters are the most frequent caregivers and that many stressors are involved in caregiving. Certainly there are not enough nurses to care for all of the elderly. So for nurses and for society the question raised is: How can society best support and assist the daughter caregivers?
This study used the ideas about phenomenological writing that were expressed by van Manen to explore and describe the world of the adult caregiver of the aged to discover themes and meanings that lead to greater understanding for future caregivers, society and nurses. To discover themes the researcher utilized data from personal experiences, interviews of experiential descriptions from caregiving daughters, and examples of experiential descriptions from art and literature.
The data were analyzed using a highlighting technique and essential themes were discovered. The themes were then written. Direct illustrations of some of the talk of the caregivers was presented. Phenomenological writing was done combining two approaches which were thematic and analytic in nature.
The findings based upon the data sources indicated a number of themes that were common to all caregiving daughters. Examples of a few of the major themes are: confinement, moral dilemmas, and sources of assistance.
Implications and recommendations are based upon the need and concerns expressed by the caregivers. It became apparent that this is a major societal issue and that we must look not only at nursing but at the structure and resources in our society to assist parents and daughters in caregiving.