From dawn to dusk: a temporal model of caregiving: adult carers of frail parents

Cavaye, Joyce E. (2008). From dawn to dusk: a temporal model of caregiving: adult carers of frail parents. In: CRFR Conference, Understanding Families and Relationships Over Time, 28 Oct 2008, University of Edinburgh.



Caregiving is not a short term commitment. Of the estimated 6 million carers in the UK, almost a third of co-resident carers have been caring for at least 10 years (Rowland and Parker 1998). Yet our understanding of how caregiving evolves over time is limited. Many of the existing temporal models of care are based on studies of service users who suffer from dementia and their carers. These models have a tendency to map the experiences of carers in line with the progress of this degenerative condition. This focus means that existing models overlook the care provided for non-users of services such as older people without dementia, whose progress towards frailty and dependence is uncertain.

The study on which this paper is based was a longitudinal, qualitative one which used a grounded theory methodology. Over a period of 28 months, it explored the experiences of unsupported carers of older people who were not known to service providers. This study provides a unique insight into the lives of ‘unsupported carers’ and reveals how caregiving evolves over time. The paper outlines a temporal model of care and argues that unsupported or hidden caring is simply one of many dynamic stages; that carers are more receptive to service intervention during particular stages of their caregiving trajectory; and that in order to be effective, service interventions need to be ‘stage specific’.

Viewing alternatives

Download history

Item Actions