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Journal of Human Growth and Development

versão impressa ISSN 0104-1282versão On-line ISSN 2175-3598


MAZZA, Márcia Maria Porto Rossetto  e  LEFEVRE, Fernando. Caretaking within the family: Social representation analysis of the relationship between the caretaker and the elderly. Rev. bras. crescimento desenvolv. hum. [online]. 2005, vol.15, n.1, pp. 1-10. ISSN 0104-1282.

The study aimed at investigating the daily routine of family caretakers who attend on elderly individuals aged 70 and over that are functionally incapable. More specifically, the objective was to understand what caretaking means for the caretaker and how he depicts the elderly under his care. The population encompassed 17 elderly family caretakers within the catchment area of the Centro de Saúde Escola (Health Center and School) Geraldo Paula Souza, of the School of Public Health - University of São Paulo, who participate in the "Capacidade" (Capacity) Project (Elderly Home Care Program, grounded on a Functional Incapability and Dependence Surveillance System). A cohort methodology was used and the Collective Subject Discourse was the strategy used for interview analysis. Different social representations were drawn from the discourse of these family caretakers. It can be pointed out that the caretakers in the present study look after their elders with respect and dignity, although they frequently feel discouraged by the weariness and difficulties they have to face in their work on a daily basis, without the help or support needed. They also feel lonely and lacking attention.

Palavras-chave : Family caretakers; Elderly; Family; Aging.

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