A study of families' experiences of assisting a member into residential care : a thesis presented in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Arts in Nursing at Massey University
Traditionally the responsibility of caring for an aging relative has fallen upon the family of that person, usually the spouse or the daughter(s). An increase in the state recognised age of retirement, more women returning to or remaining in the workforce, and the tendency of families to be more mobile than in the past, means that the option of being cared for in the community by family members has diminished for some elderly people. Residential care - an umbrella term for retirement homes, hospitals and secure units - provides an alternative for families unable to care for their aged relative(s). Some research has been done on the phenomenon of relocation into residential care from the client's perspective, yet there is a paucity of information about the experience from the point of view of the families involved in this process. This piece of research sets out to address this issue and to hopefully influence the nursing practice of those who work in this area.