Care seeking and elders' dependency work: "My time is occupied trying to live".
AuthorRussell, Cynthia Kay.
Aged -- psychology.
Attitude to Health.
Patient Acceptance of Health Care.
Committee ChairPhillips, Linda R.
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractEven though a plethora of research is devoted to explicating caregivers' experiences, comparatively there is a dearth of information about care recipients. The purpose of this study was to further theoretical and empirical understanding of care recipients' experiences within care relationships. Specifically, this study was concerned with identifying the strategies elders use to seek care and how the processes and characteristics of individual, interpersonal, and structural levels interact to affect elders' care seeking. A synthesized symbolic interactionist and life span developmental framework informed the research. Multiple qualitative field work methods (semi-structured interviews, participant observation, focus group) were utilized to collect information about care recipients who were representative of the variety of care relationships within a life care retirement community. The care seeking process emerged as a sequence of activities engaged in as elders elicited care from others and negotiated care with others. Of most conceptual interest, however, was elders' dependency work: The work elders engaged in as they not only sought care for a specific need but also situated each care occasion within past experiences of care and future possibilities for care. Dependency work was agency in action, serving to define the everyday lives of elders involved in care relationships. The findings of this study suggest the need for viewing care recipients as agents, actively being with others in their delicate dance of dependency.