This article is taken from a larger longitudinal study that used caregiver interviews, caregiver surveys, and caregiver statistical information of one community. The interviews were conducted with six spousal caregivers to examine the narratives produced by spouses actively caring for their partners with dementia. The spousal caregivers were interviewed multiple times over approximately 12 to 18 months. The author was the caregiver counselor and had worked in the community in social services for fifteen years. The narratives were analyzed using a phenomenological approach that allowed the development of descriptions of uncertainty and sharing caregiver narratives with a specialized audience. The duality of caregiver uncertainty based on making decisions for and about cognitively impaired care recipients is evident in diagnosis, safety, end-of-life decisions, and the caregivers’ health. The choice of professional listeners as the audience when talking about uncertainty in illness relates to the importance of credible authority in reducing caregiver uncertainty.
Uncertainty, Credible Authority, Caregivers, Dementia, Narratives
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Recommended APA Citation
Sodowsky, K. (2012). Spousal Caregiver Narratives and Credible Authority: Uncertainty in Illness of Spousal Caregivers. The Qualitative Report, 17(18), 1-24. Retrieved from http://nsuworks.nova.edu/tqr/vol17/iss18/1