Restructuring Life: Preparing for and Beginning a New Caregiving Role

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Abstract

Family caregivers of stroke survivors who are just beginning their role must learn new skills and incorporate new knowledge into their daily activities. This can be a time of increased anxiety and stress for them. Nurses and other health professionals need more knowledge about this transition from the perspective of the caregivers. The purpose of this grounded theory study was to describe the process associated with preparing for and beginning a new caregiving role following a family member's stroke. Caregivers who were new to the role were interviewed prior to the stroke survivor's discharge and 4 weeks after discharge. The grounded theory, Restructuring Life for Caregiving, was associated with five dimensions of participant' lives: daily life, managing multiple roles, relationship with the stroke survivor, future hopes and plans, and time for self. The process of waiting, rearranging, and stabilizing further explained the timing and elements of restructuring activities.

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