Title

The Changing Nature of Guilt in Family Caregivers: Living Through Care Transitions of Parents at the End of Life

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

6-2017

Abstract

Older adults cared for at home by family members at the end of life are at risk for care transitions to residential and institutional care settings. These transitions are emotionally distressing and fraught with suffering for both families and the older adult. A theoretical model titled “The Changing Nature of Guilt in Family Caregivers: Living Through Care Transitions of Parents at the End of Life” was developed using the method of grounded theory. When a dying parent cannot remain at home to die, family members experience guilt throughout the transition process. Findings indicated that guilt surrounding transfers escalated during the initial stages of the transfer but was mitigated by achieving what family members deemed as a “good” death when relatives were receiving hospice care. The findings of this interpretative approach provide new insights into family-focused perspectives in care transfers of the dying.

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