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vol.46 issue1An exploratory factor analysis into the applicability of the Spirituality Care-Giving Scale, the Spirituality and Spiritual Care Rating Scale and the Spirituality in Occupational Therapy Scale to the South African contextMixing-up research methods: A recipe for success or disaster? author indexsubject indexarticles search
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South African Journal of Occupational Therapy

On-line version ISSN 2310-3833
Print version ISSN 0038-2337


MTHEMBU, Thuli G. et al. Family caregivers' perceptions and experiences regarding caring for older adults with chronic diseases. S. Afr. j. occup. ther. [online]. 2016, vol.46, n.1, pp.83-88. ISSN 2310-3833.

Family caregivers of older adults with chronic diseases are faced with challenges and health risks regarding their occupational role which influences their health, well-being and quality of life. However, there is limited research about family caregivers regarding their caregiving occupation. This study, thus aimed to explore the perceptions and experiences of family caregivers regarding caring for older adults with chronic diseases in the Western Cape, South Africa. A qualitative exploratory-descriptive research design within an interpretive approach was used for the study. Family caregivers aged 21 - 79 years were purposively recruited for the study. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with six participants to gain understanding about caregiving and analysed using thematic analysis. Three themes emerged: "God gives his hardest battles to his strongest soldiers", "Keeping ones head above water", and "It's not what it seems". These findings highlighted the importance of occupational balance among family caregivers as they experienced difficulties while caring for older adults with chronic diseases. Therefore, this study contributes to the knowledge for occupational therapists who provide interventions to older adults and family to consider their health needs. Thus, occupational therapists may need to develop programmes that focus on family caregivers' strategies to enhance their occupational balance.

Keywords : family caregivers; perceptions; experiences; caring; older adults; chronic diseases.

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