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We share the care: family caregivers' experiences of their older relative receiving home support services

Although both family care and home support are considered essential components of home-based health-care, the experiences of family caregivers who have a relative in receipt of home support services are not well understood. Little is known about what aspects of home support services assist family caregivers or hinder them in their caregiving. This study examines family member’s experiences of the home support services received by their elderly relatives. Based on a previous Canadian study of contributions in family caregiving, we developed a conceptual model for understanding multiple contributions in caregiving. The present study used this conceptual model to guide the analysis of data from in-depth interviews with family caregivers (N = 52), completed August 2007–April 2008, who have or had an older relative in receipt of home support services in British Columbia, Canada, in the previous 12 months. Verbatim transcripts were read, re-read and independently coded by three members of the research team to identify common themes. Themes relating to direct care (care provided directly to the elderly person) and assistive care (care provided to one caregiver by another) were identified. In discussing the direct care provided by workers, family members emphasised dissatisfaction with instrumental assistance provided by home support workers while also stressing the importance of affective assistance. In commenting about assistive care there were three key themes: caring together, care management, and quality assurance and monitoring. In conclusion, the important role of home support in providing relief for caregivers is highlighted and implications for caregiver policy are discussed.

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Additional Titles
Health Soc Care Community

Key Information

Type of Reference
Jour
ISBN/ISSN
0966-0410
Resource Database
Hmic
Publication Year
2010
Issue Number
4
Volume Number
18
Start Page
415-23
Language
English