ERIC Number: ED305525
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1988-Nov
Reference Count: N/A
Caregiving as a Family Network Event.
Mellins, Claude A.; And Others
Caregiving studies often focus on the impaired elder who is the care receiver and the one family member who is perceived as the primary caregiver. Such studies fail to consider all members of the family, whether or not they are involved in providing care. This study was conducted to explore the effects of an elder's health-related dependency on the family network through the eyes of family members other than and including the primary caregiver and care receiver. It focused on the nature of the caregiving experience and the types of changes that family members experience in response to a health-related dependency. Subjects were participants in the University of Southern California's Longitudinal Study of Generations and included 20 families interviewed in 1973, 1985, and 1986. Semi-structured interviews concerned with the health decline of the older family member and the effects on other family members were completed by an average of three to four members per family. The results suggest that: (1) caregiving is often a shared responsibility between either multiple primary caregivers, very involved secondary caregivers, or both; (2) a substantial part of the family network is affected by the experience of caregiving for an older adult; (3) the effects on family relationships are often positive as well as negative; and (4) network effects include altered perspectives about aging, one's own mortality, and other family members. (NB)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: University of Southern California, Los Angeles. Alzheimer's Disease Research Center.
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Gerontological Society (41st, San Francisco, CA, November 18-22, 1988).