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The Experience of Adult Children Caregiving for Aging Parents

When the normal progression of life for an aging person is interrupted by a decline in physical and or mental abilities, adult children are often suddenly faced with assuming care of their parent(s). Currently, adult child caregivers of aging parents work up to 100 hours per month at caregiving. Most existing literature is focused on informal caregivers, which can consist of spouses, relatives, and friends' caregiving for persons with debilitating illnesses. Despite the amount of time dedicated to parental caregiving, little is known about the experience of this exclusive caregiver group. The aim of this study was to explore and describe the experience of adult children caregiving for aging parents at any stage of health. A qualitative phenomenological approach was used to interview six daughters and one daughter-in-law. Themes were identified and presented through the use of narratives and poetry. The participants expressed they felt unprepared for caregiving and their culture had a direct impact on the expectations of caregiving. A myriad of unpleasant emotions and loss were voiced, yet their outlooks remained extremely positive. The overall health of adult child caregivers needs to be supported to prepare them for what lies ahead with caregiving. Caregivers report their loved one(s) required several hospitalizations, which lead to performing medical/nursing tasks at home. Nursing then has a unique opportunity during discharge preparation, to identify those who need community, state, and faith-based services. Replication is needed to address the limitation of the number of participants, ethnic, and gender diversity. 

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Type of Reference
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Journal article
Sage Publications
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Journal Titles
Home Health Care Management & Practice
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