Understanding the experience of adult daughters caring for an ageing parent, a qualitative study
Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences
Journal of clinical nursing. - Oxford
, p. 1693-1702
University of Antwerp
Aims and objectives The objective of this study is to describe how adult daughters experience caring for a frail older parent at home. Background In the near future the ageing of the population will have a major impact on the demand for formal and informal long-term care. Relatives, especially spouses and adult children are the main providers of informal care. Design Qualitative research methodology was used to study the experience of adult daughters caring for their frail older parents. A phenomenological research perspective was used to better understand the daily experiences of caring for an ageing parent. Methods Data were collected using open-ended interviews. Interviews were audio recorded and transcribed verbatim. Data were subject to thematic analysis. Results Eleven women between 4070 years of age participated in this study. Inductive coding of the interview data led to four main themes: being a caregiver as a natural process in life, the perception and consequences of caregiving activities, sharing care and finding a good balance between caring for an ageing parent and other responsibilities. Caregiving activities could be divided into visible and invisible activities and generated different feelings. The visible activities were more easily shared with other family members and professionals than the invisible ones. The women who struggled the most and tended to have a higher level of burden were those who experienced less support from their family. Conclusions This study provided more insight into the experiences women have when caring for a parent. Supporting family networks that help in both visible and invisible activities may prevent overburden.