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Open Access Nurses as Caregivers of Elderly Relatives: Negotiating Personal and Professional Boundaries

Les infirmières agissant comme soignantes auprès d'un proche âgé ou comment négocier la frontière entre vie personnelle et professionnelle

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Abstract:

Recent changes in patterns of care provision for the elderly have led to an increasing reliance on family care. Although caring has been found to be a central and common feature of the personal and professional lives of many women, this paper discusses the challenges faced by women who provide care in both their work and their family lives ("double-duty caregivers").The author argues that the separation of paid caregiving and unpaid family caregiving in the conceptualizion of elder care is problematic, particularly for health-care professionals. Findings from a qualitative study with registered nurses providing care to elderly relatives revealed that these women are located at the juncture of public and private domains of caregiving, where they must constantly negotiate the boundaries between their professional and personal caregiving roles.The findings highlight the need to explore the interface between women's family and work lives and the need for policies that promote the health of double-duty caregivers.

French
L'évolution récente en matière de soins aux personnes âgées se traduit par une dépendance accrue sur la famille. Il a été démontré que donner des soins est une dimension centrale et courante de la vie personnelle et professionnelle de nombreuses femmes; le présent article aborde les difficultés que vivent les femmes chargées de dispenser des soins dans ces deux sphères à la fois (les « soignantes chargées d'une double tâche »). L'auteure avance que la distinction entre soins rémunérés et soins non rémunérés à la base de notre conception des soins aux personnes âgées pose problème, tout particulièrement pour les professionnelles de la santé. Selon les conclusions d'une étude qualitative menée auprès d'un groupe d'infirmières autorisées chargées de dispenser des soins à un proche âgé, ces dernières chevauchent les sphères publique et privée et, par conséquent, doivent sans cesse négocier la ligne de démarcation entre rôle professionnel et rôle familial. Ces résultats mettent en lumière la nécessité d'explorer l'interface entre vie de famille et vie au travail et de définir des politiques visant à protéger l'état de santé des intervenantes.

Keywords: ELDER CARE; FAMILY CAREGIVING; FEMINIST; HEALTH PROMOTION; INQUIRY; NARRATIVES; NURSING

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2004-03-01

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