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Keywords:

  • Family caregiving;
  • dependent caregiving;
  • dependent older adults;
  • grounded dimensional analysis

Abstract

Purpose

The aim of this study was to understand how Thai families care for dependent older adults.

Design and Methods

The methodology used for the study was grounded dimensional analysis. Participants were 30 adult family members from 15 families who were involved in caregiving. A total of 46 interviews were conducted. Data were collected and analyzed in three phases: (a) calling up dimensions, (b) assigning relative value to each of the dimension considers, and (c) inferring.

Findings

In Thai families, “natural caregiving” precedes care of dependent older persons (dependent caregiving). Dependent caregiving begins when dependency is first noticed and care needs are identified. Dependent caregiving is a dynamic process integrating three major processes: (a) mobilizing family members, (b) performing dependent care, and (c) maintaining continuity of care. The consequences of performing dependent care and unpredictable changes lead to care remobilizing.

Conclusions

Dependent care for older adults varies across and is influenced by many conditions. Health personnel need to assess and monitor these varying conditions in order to support Thai families caring for dependent older adults.

Clinical Relevance

The conceptual model developed from the findings of this study provide a starting place for increasing our understanding of how to help Thai families care effectively and continuously for their older family members.