The meaning of care for experienced caregivers

Cheung Ming CHAN, Carmen K. M. NG, Liliane C. K. CHAN, David Rosser PHILLIPS

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


Through in-depth and searching interviews with two older care-givers, this study explored the determinants that help to sustain carers in their long-term care role and proposes an explanatory model for sustaining care. Attempts were made to uncover those meanings held by Chinese care-givers in interpreting their roles in a positive way despite the enormous demands placed on them by care-giving or, if they interpreted their care giving negatively, the attitudes that sustained their giving of care. Narrative accounts were obtained through separate interviews (conducted by two experienced social workers) asking open-ended questions guided by prescribed themes (determinants). Content coverage included basic demographic variables: sex, income, education level, religion, age; family responsibility/reciprocity, doing what needs to be done, caring personality, satisfaction and gratification, friendship and company, improved relationship, personal growth and identifying specific rewards of care-giving for self (i.e. the care-giver). The respondents were asked to describe all the above in relation to providing the care as they themselves perceive these domains, then were encouraged to provide a detail explanation for how these domains were encouraging/discouraging them to continue to care. The study also informs practice in identifying and sustaining good care-givers.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-17
Number of pages17
JournalThe International Scope Review
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 2004


  • Care-Giving
  • Elderly Caregivers


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