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Who's the Family in Family Caregiving?*

  • Norah Keating (a1), Karen Kerr (a1), Sharon Warren (a1), Michael Grace (a1) and Dana Wertenberger (a1)...


Despite a recognition of the importance of families in providing informal care to frail seniors, there is no consensus as to who constitutes the caregiving family. The authors discuss the current ideology about the caregiving family and the state of knowledge about its composition and propose that the caregiving family has actual and potential elements. Based on the assumption that the concept of “who's the family” is socially constructed, the authors argue that it is essential to understand “who's the family” from the perspective of primary caregivers in order to evaluate the nature of family support. This paper challenges the notion that the cargiving family is equivalent to the kin family. It is argued that the status quo in which a simplistic view of family caregiving is used to justify pressure on families to provide more care is not sustainable.

En dépit de la reconnaissance du rôle d'information de la famille auprès des personnes âgées fragiles, il n'existe aucune entente sur la composition des familles assurant la prestation de soins. Les auteurs discutent de l'idéologie de l'aide aux aines par la famille et le degré de connaissance sur sa composition. Us proposent que ces familles présentent des caractéristiques actuelles et potentielles. En se fondant sur l'hypothèse que le concept de «la composition de la famille» est le résultat d'une construction sociale, les auteurs démontrent qu'il est essentiel de comprendre «la composition de la famille» selon l'optique des principaux prestateurs de soins afin d'évaluer la nature de l'appui familial. L'ouvrage remet en question la notion que la famille assurant la prestation de soins se compose des proches parents. Les auteurs soutiennent que le statu quo, où une perception simpliste de la famille offrant des soins est utilisée afin d'exercer des pressions sur les familles pour fournir plus de soins, n'a pas d'avenir.



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