CONTINUING TO CARE FOR
RELATIVES IN THE NURSING HOME
It's a love thing. I don't see it as a responsibility. She was there for us. My mother
worked, and she took care of us…. Deep within, I feel that 1 owe her something. You
don't forget a bridge; she helped us over troubled waters.
—A resident's niece, nine months after her aunt's admission
Now I have to help him. When I was young, he took care of me, so why can't I take a
little time to take care of him?
—A resident's son, four months after his father's admission
I'm still wondering. Why me?
—A resident's daughter, two months after her father's admission
THIS CHAPTER DESCRIBES the caregiving tasks that relatives and friends had assumed since the residents' admission to the nursing home, their motivations for caregiving, and their emotional responses to caregiving responsibilities. I shall also discuss the issue of who the informal caregivers are who have helped the resident the most and why changes in caregivers occurred.
I feed her dinner when I go. I want to make sure that she gets a good meal.
—A resident's daughter, six years after her mother's admission
Consistent with Dobrof's (1977) findings this in some families placement occurs because the family wants the best care and living situation for their relative, the relatives and friends in this study generally wanted the best for the residents and assumed responsibilities this would ensure the best quality of life for them as resettlement occurred. Some caregivers said this they assumed new and additional responsibilities after admission, others believed