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Older men's experience of informal caregiving

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Catherine S. Taylor (Creator)
Institution
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site: http://library.uncg.edu/
Advisor
Debra Wallace

Abstract: Providing care to a family member or friend is a new societal role for older men and their informal caregiving experiences are not well understood. Although the majority of participants in caregiving studies have been female, 30-40% of informal caregivers are men. More information is needed about their experiences to provide appropriate support to this growing group of caregivers. Purpose: The aim of this study was to explore older men's perceived meaning of the informal caregiving experience, transitions to and within the caregiver role, and perceived preparation for caregiving events. Framework: The Middle Range Theory of Transitions by Meleis provided a framework to examine elements of the caregiver role. Method: This phenomenological, mixed methods study consisted of initial interviews with 13 older men, mostly Caucasian. Instruments used were a demographic questionnaire, structured interview guide, and the Preparedness Scale of the Family Care Inventory. Findings: Participants described care giving as a familial, reciprocal responsibility. They viewed caregiving as a natural part of the life cycle and took pride in their work. Previous caregiving experience, supportive marriages, and skills acquired in their former work life were discussed as helpful in preparing them for their current caregiving experience. Men shared advice for others including asking for help, learning needed skills, and practicing self-care strategies. Implications for practice, education, systems, and technology were discussed. Due to the level of interaction with patients and families, nurses are uniquely positioned to support older male caregivers in this new role. Knowledge gained from this study will contribute to developing strategies to assist men in adapting to the informal caregiving role.

Additional Information

Publication
Dissertation
Language: English
Date: 2010
Keywords
Informal caregiving, Older men, Preparedness, Transitions
Subjects
Male caregivers.
Older men $xAttitudes