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Family caregivers’ experiences of providing care for hospitalized older people with a tracheostomy: a phenomenological study

Watchara Tabootwong (Department of Gerontological Nursing, Faculty of Nursing, Burapha University, Chonburi, Thailand)
Katri Vehviläinen-Julkunen (Department of Nursing Science, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Eastern Finland, Kuopio, Finland)
Pornchai Jullamate (Department of Gerontological Nursing, Faculty of Nursing, Burapha University, Chonburi, Thailand)
Edwin Rosenberg (Department of Sociology, Appalachian State University, Boone, North Carolina, USA)
Hannele Turunen (Department of Nursing Science, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Eastern Finland, Kuopio, Finland)

Working with Older People

ISSN: 1366-3666

Article publication date: 25 March 2022

Issue publication date: 28 November 2022

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to describe family caregivers’ experiences of providing care for older people with a tracheostomy during hospitalization.

Design/methodology/approach

A descriptive phenomenological approach was used in this study. A total of 40 family caregivers were interviewed face-to-face in medical-surgical wards. Data was analyzed using Giorgi’s phenomenological method.

Findings

Family caregivers described meanings of providing care, learning how to provide care, caring activities, impacts of caregiving, support needs and qualities of being a caregiver. Meanings included filial responsibility, spousal attachment and end of life care. Caring activities were varied. Impacts experienced were reported as physical, psychological, social and financial. Caregivers expressed the need for information from the nursing team and assistance from their relatives. Positive caregiver qualities that were described included loving to provide care for older people and confidence and sincerity in caregiving.

Practical implications

Although caring for older people with a tracheostomy was difficult and came with challenging impacts, family caregivers were willing to support their loved ones due to feelings of family responsibility.

Originality/value

The paper addresses family participation in providing care for people with a tracheostomy. They experience physical, psychological, social and financial consequences of caregiving. Therefore, health-care professionals should support family caregivers with education, training and awareness of supports and resources for dealing with problematic impacts and other expressed needs.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The authors would like to thank the Contact Nurses who helped the researcher find participants for this study. The authors greatly appreciate the informants who were willing to participate. Funding: The study was supported by the Human Resource Development Fund, Burapha University, Thailand (Grant number: 001/2559).

Citation

Tabootwong, W., Vehviläinen-Julkunen, K., Jullamate, P., Rosenberg, E. and Turunen, H. (2022), "Family caregivers’ experiences of providing care for hospitalized older people with a tracheostomy: a phenomenological study", Working with Older People, Vol. 26 No. 4, pp. 355-367. https://doi.org/10.1108/WWOP-08-2021-0043

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2020, Emerald Publishing Limited

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