Author(s): Fruhauf CA, Orel NA
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Abstract This qualitative research examined the perceptions, beliefs, attitudes, and experiences of grandchildren caregivers who ranged in age from 7 to 29 years. Thirty-four caregiving grandchildren participated in face to-face semistructured interviews lasting approximately 35 to 90 minutes. Interviews were audiotaped and transcribed verbatim. Analysis of the data revealed that caregiving grandchildren: a) experienced a wide range of emotions as providers of care to their grandparents; and b) developed specific coping strategies to deal with the stress of providing care. The intensity, type, and range of emotions experienced and the coping strategies used were a reflection of the developmental issues of the grandchildren. Although grandchildren caregivers experienced similar responsibilities, their developmental level and the context in which care was provided played a role on how they were best able to cope with caregiving responsibilities. Practitioners must consider grandchildren caregivers when developing programs and services for family caregivers.
This article was published in Int J Aging Hum Dev
and referenced in Journal of Gerontology & Geriatric Research