Caring for older people: relational narratives of attentiveness, commitment and acceptance

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Mary Breheny Massey University, New Zealand

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Barbara Horrell Massey University, New Zealand

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Christine Stephens Massey University, New Zealand

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Informal care evolves from an existing relationship with the care recipient. This study aims to understand the relational nature of such care. Six participants caring for a spouse or parent chose their own methods of data collection, including keeping a journal, telephone interviews or face-to-face interviews. Participants drew on personal narratives to reveal different identities, which included a guardian, a partner, a coper, and a campaigner on behalf of the person receiving care. These findings demonstrate how providing good care is part of each carer’s relational identity. Acknowledging the relational nature of care will enable better support for carers.

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Mary Breheny Massey University, New Zealand

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Barbara Horrell Massey University, New Zealand

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Christine Stephens Massey University, New Zealand

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