Meaning through caregiving: a qualitative study of the experiences of informal carers

Chan, C.K. ORCID: 0000-0002-9461-8623, Barnard, A. ORCID: 0000-0002-7824-6022 and Vickers, T. ORCID: 0000-0001-5430-290X, 2020. Meaning through caregiving: a qualitative study of the experiences of informal carers. British Journal of Social Work, 50 (3), pp. 682-700. ISSN 0045-3102

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This article reports the findings of a qualitative investigation of the way people find meaning through caregiving. It draws on the results of in-depth interviews with 37 informal carers and 11 stakeholders in Nottinghamshire, England. For most respondents caregiving involved looking after family members – for example, husband or wife, father or mother, young or adult children, and mother-in-law. The meaning that respondents found through caregiving motivated them to cope with the difficulties associated with looking after a person in need. This research found that most informal carers operate with long-standing gender-based understandings of their role, creating a potential risk that using gender-neutral terminology when referring to family members may obscure the subjective values that carers attach to informal caregiving and lead to role confusion. Moreover, although informal carers typically feel obliged to take care of family members in need and may value this role, they often require additional support from the state to reduce the pressures associated with caregiving and to enable them to continue to lead a meaningful life both within and beyond their caring role.

Item Type: Journal article
Publication Title: British Journal of Social Work
Creators: Chan, C.K., Barnard, A. and Vickers, T.
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Date: April 2020
Volume: 50
Number: 3
ISSN: 0045-3102
Divisions: Schools > School of Social Sciences
Record created by: Jonathan Gallacher
Date Added: 15 Apr 2019 10:45
Last Modified: 25 Jun 2021 15:19

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