The PCH doors swing both ways: the experiences of older women whose husbands have moved to a personal care home

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Pancoe, Colette
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This qualitative exploratory research study examined the experiences of older women (over age 55) whose husbands had been admitted to a personal care home (PCH) in Winnipeg, Manitoba within the previous twelve (12) months. In-depth, semi-structured, one-on-one interviews were conducted with six (6) women. Socialist feminist and feminist caregiving theoretical frameworks along with narrative analysis were used gain insight into the participants’ needs surrounding their experiences of the admission. Findings include the fact that changes in women’s formal and informal supports began occurring years before their husbands’ admissions. The all-encompassing role as caregiver for their families continued to be central in their lives even after the admission. While women met their material and emotional needs through a range of formal and informal services, the participants were more likely to see needs met through informal means. Themes emerging from the research included those of guilt, entitlement, obligation, and reciprocity.
Aging, Personal Care Home, Elderly, Women, Wives, Nursing Home, Spouses, Transfer, Admission, Caregiving, Material needs, Emotional needs, Formal support, Informal support, Guilt, Entitlement, Obligation, Reciprocity, Feminist, Social Work