Care transition experiences of spousal caregivers: from a geriatric rehabilitation unit to home.
Qualitative health research
URL with Digital Object Identifier
The purpose of this study was to develop a theoretical framework about caregivers' experiences and the processes in which they engaged during their spouses' transition from a geriatric rehabilitation unit to home. We used a constructivist grounded theory methodology approach. Forty-five interviews were conducted across three points in time with 18 older adult spousal caregivers. A theoretical framework was developed within which reconciling in response to fluctuating needs emerged as the basic social process. Reconciling included three subprocesses (i.e., navigating, safekeeping, and repositioning), and highlighted how caregivers responded to the fluctuating needs of their spouse, to their own needs, and to those of the marital dyad. Reconciling was situated within a context shaped by a trajectory of prior care transitions and intertwined life events experienced by caregivers. Findings serve as a resource for scientists, rehabilitation clinicians, educators, and decision makers toward improving transitional care for spousal caregivers.