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This article looks at the reasons offered by elderly people in Quebec to explain the care they provide to their spouse. The care experiences explored here are considered through the lens of conjugality and the care of a spouse in need of daily support. Our analyses aim to develop a deeper understanding of the reasons for providing care by situating them in their particular contexts, including that of the marital relationship. This is all the more important to us since research on family caregiving is mainly focused on filial relationships.Based on the analysis of twenty-seven interviews conducted with people aged sixty-five and over who provide daily support to their spouse, the results show that the motivations of family caregivers are largely based on the logic of preserving marital and identity continuity. In addition, at the time of the interview, the participants presented different stances vis-à-vis their situation: some take full responsibility for their commitment, others show more resignation, and still others feel they are trapped in the situation with no way out. However, these stances cannot be understood without considering the determining role of contextual factors, such as the type and trajectory of the disease, the caregiver’s physical and psychological health, and the access, organization, and quality of formal services.

  • conjugality
  • elderly people
  • family caregivers
  • motivations
  • stances
Isabelle Van Pevenage
Chloé Dauphinais
Didier Dupont
Valérie Bourgeois-Guérin
This is the latest publication of the author on cairn.
This is the latest publication of the author on cairn.
This is the latest publication of the author on cairn.
This is the latest publication of the author on cairn.
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