Talking about Care: Two Sides to the Story

By Liz Forbat | Go to book overview

APPENDIX A
Biographical summaries
of participants

This appendix presents a précis of participants’ biographies. These are not intended as thorough summaries; rather they should be used to accompany the extracts quoted in the main body of the book. The dyads’ summaries are presented together.

The summaries have been written to reflect each carer’/caree’s childhood, previous relationship with the other member of the dyad and a summary of their construction of the current relationship. Ages and time frames reflect how they were constructed at the time of the interview (primarily conducted in 2000).


Dyad one

Pam, aged 62, framed her childhood to have been marred by her poor relationship with her mother. She described her father as a shadowy figure whom she never really knew. She married in her thirties, and had one daughter whom she spoke of in very positive terms. Her husband died some years ago, and was constructed to have been very supportive in the care of her mother.

Pam told me she has cared for her mother for 20 years, since the latter was bereaved and came to live in a purpose-built ‘granny flat’ attached to her home. She positions herself as her mother’s carer, but is aware that her mother does not construct their relationship in terms of care. There was no positive affect in her account of her mother, either in the past or the present day. She presented herself to be a very busy person, who tries to keep out of her mother’s way.

Betty, aged 89, told me of her happy childhood in the North of England, being one of nine children. She lived and worked in the North for most of her life, and described her time bringing Pam up as being very positive, asserting that Pam was a very good child. Betty told me that she moved to live with her daughter 20 years ago when her husband died, and Pam invited her to live in an annexe to her home.

Betty was explicit in stating that she does not need care, and that she has no physical disabilities; although she says she does have difficulties with her memory. She constructed her relationship with Pam to be one of mother/daughter, not carer/caree. She described her weekly schedule, which constructed an active and busy lifestyle. Both women are White-British.

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