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Older Brazilian caregivers and their lived experiences of caring—A hermeneutic phenomenological study

Aims and objectives: To understand the lived experiences of older Brazilian carers. Background: For many caregivers, the practice of caregiving becomes their daily lives, embedding in their care and the experiences, beliefs, learning and techniques that contribute to the meanings these caregivers attach to their world. Studies have reported on the experiences of caregivers in general; however, few studies have addressed the unique characteristics of older caregivers. Method: Phenomenological research was conducted in the homes of these persons who were registered in a public programme of home care. This study utilised recorded interviews with a guiding question and roadmap for characterisation. The transcribed interviews were analysed based on philosophical hermeneutics and on the understanding of the hermeneutic circle. The units of meaning were discussed from the perspective of Heidegger's phenomenology. Results: Six older primary caregivers participated, aged between 62–84 years. The following units of meaning were developed: the daily life of being in the world as an older person caring for another older person, the historicity and their disclosedness to the world of care. Conclusions: The worldliness of these people is influenced by a taxing routine and being overloaded and lonely, which renders these caregivers vulnerable because of this routine and because of the inherent weaknesses induced by the ageing process. Relevance to clinical practice: This research can help health professionals better understand the worldliness of older caregivers. Such understanding will enhance the assistance available to caregivers, which must extend beyond the care of the sick person: interventions can reduce their overburden and risk of illness, improving their experiences as caregivers and their quality of life. 

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Type of Reference
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Journal article
John Wiley & Sons Inc
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Journal Titles
Journal of Clinical Nursing
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