Collective Care: Multiple Caregivers and Multiple Care Recipients in Mexican American Families

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Abstract

Purpose: Specific stressors associated with caregiving in Mexican American (MA) families are not well documented, yet caregiving issues are paramount because informal care for parents is central to their culture. Although MA families who band together to provide care for one member are not unique, the literature does not describe the phenomenon of collective caregiving, which may be widespread but unrecognized. This article describes these understudied families who are poorly served by contemporary health systems because their characteristics are unknown. Design: Descriptive, multisite, longitudinal mixed-methods study of MA caregiving families. Findings: We identified three types of collective caregivers: those providing care for multiple family members simultaneously, those providing care successively to several family members, and/or those needing care themselves during their caregiving of others. Discussion and Conclusions: Collective caregiving of MA elders warrants further investigation. Implications for Practice: Exploration of collective caregiving may provide a foundation for tailored family interventions.

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