Main Article Content
This phenomenological qualitative study aimed to describe the perceptions of elderly women living in Laplae District, Uttaradit Province on the concept of family care.Data collection was conducted via in-depth interviews between May and December 2017 with twelve female participants aged 60 years and over to understand focus related experiences.Colaizzi phenomenological data analysis method was employed.
Results revealed four key themes as follows: 1) Lightening the family's chore when they are at the early age, making sacrifices for family members, waiving personal happiness, caring for younger sisters and brothers, and sharing responsibility by supporting the family. 2) Being a wife involved a self-sacrificing personality, whereas the husband was seen as the leader and the head of the home. As per a wife’s roles, they had to provide care for family members with compromise, affection, understanding, and generosity - together with working to earn money for their family. 3) Mothers expected their children to be comfortable. Also, they had to care for their children by themselves, instruct children to be good children, and they went to the trouble of enhancing their children’s happiness. 4) Elderly women’s pride was found in helping care for grandchild thus allowing mothers to work; they could also be relied upon by children and family members. The conditions of family care consisted of belief and family values, affection and family relationships. Families comprising of more than two generations were encouraged to take care of and manage the family well. Family expectations for children were that they should be able to take care of themselves without over-dependence on their parents.
As per the results of this study, healthcare professionals, family nurses and researchers may apply these findings in supporting their family members, promoting women empowerment and preparing young children to be capable for their future role in taking care of the family on equality and quality basis.