Meaning Through Caregiving: A Qualitative Study of the Experiences of Informal Carers

Chak K CHAN, Tom Vickers, Adam Barnard

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)Researchpeer-review

Abstract

This article reports the findings of a qualitative investigation of the way people find meaning through caregiving. It draws on the results of in-depth interviews with 37 informal carers and 11 stakeholders in Nottinghamshire, the United Kingdom. For most respondents caregiving involved looking after family members—for example, husband or wife, father or mother, young or adult children and mother-in-law. The meaning that respondents found through caregiving motivated them to cope with the difficulties associated with looking after a person in need. This research found that most informal carers operate with long-standing, gender-based understandings of their role, creating a potential risk that using gender-neutral terminology when referring to family members may obscure the subjective values that carers attach to informal caregiving and lead to role confusion. Moreover, although informal carers typically feel obliged to take care of family members in need and may value this role, they often require additional support from the state to reduce the pressures associated with caregiving and to enable them to continue to lead a meaningful life both within and beyond their caring role.
Original languageEnglish
JournalBritish Journal of Social Work
Early online date21 Apr 2019
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 21 Apr 2019

Fingerprint

caregiving
Caregivers
Spouses
experience
Mothers
family member
Confusion
Adult Children
Terminology
Fathers
gender
Young Adult
husband
technical language
Interviews
wife
Pressure
father
stakeholder
Research

Keywords

  • caregiving and culture
  • marital commitment
  • meaning through caregiving
  • parental duties
  • state support

Cite this

@article{ae23c579e7a04ef09de56d941dcb3b21,
title = "Meaning Through Caregiving: A Qualitative Study of the Experiences of Informal Carers",
abstract = "This article reports the findings of a qualitative investigation of the way people find meaning through caregiving. It draws on the results of in-depth interviews with 37 informal carers and 11 stakeholders in Nottinghamshire, the United Kingdom. For most respondents caregiving involved looking after family members—for example, husband or wife, father or mother, young or adult children and mother-in-law. The meaning that respondents found through caregiving motivated them to cope with the difficulties associated with looking after a person in need. This research found that most informal carers operate with long-standing, gender-based understandings of their role, creating a potential risk that using gender-neutral terminology when referring to family members may obscure the subjective values that carers attach to informal caregiving and lead to role confusion. Moreover, although informal carers typically feel obliged to take care of family members in need and may value this role, they often require additional support from the state to reduce the pressures associated with caregiving and to enable them to continue to lead a meaningful life both within and beyond their caring role.",
keywords = "caregiving and culture, marital commitment, meaning through caregiving, parental duties, state support",
author = "CHAN, {Chak K} and Tom Vickers and Adam Barnard",
year = "2019",
month = "4",
day = "21",
doi = "10.1093/bjsw/bcz039",
language = "English",
journal = "British Journal of Social Work",
issn = "0045-3102",
publisher = "Oxford University Press",

}

Meaning Through Caregiving: A Qualitative Study of the Experiences of Informal Carers. / CHAN, Chak K; Vickers, Tom; Barnard, Adam.

In: British Journal of Social Work, 21.04.2019.

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)Researchpeer-review

TY - JOUR

T1 - Meaning Through Caregiving: A Qualitative Study of the Experiences of Informal Carers

AU - CHAN, Chak K

AU - Vickers, Tom

AU - Barnard, Adam

PY - 2019/4/21

Y1 - 2019/4/21

N2 - This article reports the findings of a qualitative investigation of the way people find meaning through caregiving. It draws on the results of in-depth interviews with 37 informal carers and 11 stakeholders in Nottinghamshire, the United Kingdom. For most respondents caregiving involved looking after family members—for example, husband or wife, father or mother, young or adult children and mother-in-law. The meaning that respondents found through caregiving motivated them to cope with the difficulties associated with looking after a person in need. This research found that most informal carers operate with long-standing, gender-based understandings of their role, creating a potential risk that using gender-neutral terminology when referring to family members may obscure the subjective values that carers attach to informal caregiving and lead to role confusion. Moreover, although informal carers typically feel obliged to take care of family members in need and may value this role, they often require additional support from the state to reduce the pressures associated with caregiving and to enable them to continue to lead a meaningful life both within and beyond their caring role.

AB - This article reports the findings of a qualitative investigation of the way people find meaning through caregiving. It draws on the results of in-depth interviews with 37 informal carers and 11 stakeholders in Nottinghamshire, the United Kingdom. For most respondents caregiving involved looking after family members—for example, husband or wife, father or mother, young or adult children and mother-in-law. The meaning that respondents found through caregiving motivated them to cope with the difficulties associated with looking after a person in need. This research found that most informal carers operate with long-standing, gender-based understandings of their role, creating a potential risk that using gender-neutral terminology when referring to family members may obscure the subjective values that carers attach to informal caregiving and lead to role confusion. Moreover, although informal carers typically feel obliged to take care of family members in need and may value this role, they often require additional support from the state to reduce the pressures associated with caregiving and to enable them to continue to lead a meaningful life both within and beyond their caring role.

KW - caregiving and culture

KW - marital commitment

KW - meaning through caregiving

KW - parental duties

KW - state support

U2 - 10.1093/bjsw/bcz039

DO - 10.1093/bjsw/bcz039

M3 - Journal Article (refereed)

JO - British Journal of Social Work

JF - British Journal of Social Work

SN - 0045-3102

ER -