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Caregivers' strong commitment to their relationship with older people


Annica Kihlgren, Örebro University, 701 82 Örebro, Sweden. Email:


Häggström E, Mamhidir, A-G, Kihlgren A. International Journal of Nursing Practice 2010; 16: 99–105
Caregivers' strong commitment to their relationship with older people

The aim of the present study was to describe caregivers' good as well as bad experiences of working with older people. The study was based on five focus group interviews. One theme emerged from a latent content analysis: strong commitment to the relationship. This theme functioned as a thread of underlying meaning throughout the entire interpretative process of 48 caregivers' experiences of work. A delicate relationship existed that could be vulnerable and could reveal itself in feelings of lack of knowledge, guilt and fear. The caregivers' committed relationship to the older adults created independency in the ways in which they protected the older people's needs. Further studies are needed that focus on caregivers' transition from dependency to independency. The findings highlight the importance of clinical supervision to personal development and identity, and to promoting caregivers' self-esteem and maintaining a committed relationship. Commitment is a deep human feeling, and it should be promoted in order to maintain and further develop quality care for older adults.