Nursing Publications

Title

Family Members Providing Home-Based Palliative Care to Older Adults: The Enactment of Multiple Roles

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

Fall 2008

Journal

Canadian Journal on Aging

Volume

27

Issue

3

First Page

267

Last Page

283

URL with Digital Object Identifier

http://dx.doi.org/10.1353/cja.0.0032

Abstract

Canadians are experiencing increased life expectancy and chronic illness requiring end-of-life care. There is limited research on the multiple roles for family members providing home-based palliative care. Based on a larger ethnographic study of client-family-provider relationships in home-based palliative care, this qualitative secondary analysis explores the enactment of multiple roles for family members providing home-based palliative care to seniors with advanced cancer. Family members had multiple expectations to provide care but felt their expectations of services were unmet. The process of enacting multiple roles was depicted by three interrelated themes: balancing, re-prioritizing, and evolving. Positive and negative health responses resulted from attempts to minimize personal health while simultaneously maintaining health. “True” family-centred care was found to be lacking, but should be a goal of health professionals involved in end-of-life care.