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ERIC Number: EJ959478
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012-Apr
Pages: 9
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0016-9013
Baby Boom Caregivers: Care in the Age of Individualization
Guberman, Nancy; Lavoie, Jean-Pierre; Blein, Laure; Olazabal, Ignace
Gerontologist, v52 n2 p210-218 Apr 2012
Purpose: Many Baby Boomers are faced with the care of aging parents, as well as that of disabled or ill spouses or children. This study examines how Baby Boomers in Quebec, Canada, perceive and play their role as caregivers and how this might differ from their parents' generation. Design and methods: This was a qualitative and empirical study using an interpretive constructivist design. We interviewed 39 Baby Boomers caring for a family member with a semistructured guide that examined respondents' identification with their social generation, their relationship to and values regarding caregiving, and the reality of the caregiving they offered. Results: In contrast to our perceptions of previous generations, the majority of interviewees refuse to be confined to the sole identity of caregiver, as they work to juggle caregiving, work, family, and social commitments. To succeed in this juggling act, they have high expectations of support from services. Based on this new approach to caregiving, we advance the idea of a "denaturalization" of care, no longer seen as a "natural" destiny or "normal" family responsibility. Implications: The new conception of caregiving as work that can and should be shared with services is in direct opposition to public policy that is based on the assumption of family care as the cornerstone of long-term care. Can the healthcare system adapt to the new expectations of the Baby Boom generation or will these caregivers be forced to take on elements of caregiving they no longer consider legitimate?
Oxford University Press. Great Clarendon Street, Oxford, OX2 6DP, UK. Tel: +44-1865-353907; Fax: +44-1865-353485; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Canada