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Parental Caregiving to Adult Children with AIDS: A Qualitative Analysis of Circumstances and Consequences in Thailand

Publication Abstract

Download PDF versionSaengtienchai, Chanpen, and John E. Knodel. 2001. "Parental Caregiving to Adult Children with AIDS: A Qualitative Analysis of Circumstances and Consequences in Thailand." PSC Research Report No. 01-481. July 2001.

This study provides a qualitative analysis of the circumstances and consequences of parental caregiving to adult children with AIDS in Thailand based on open-ended interviews, primarily with parents of adult children who died of AIDS. The results reveal the circumstances that lead to parental caregiving, the tasks involved and the strains they created, how parents coped with these strains, and the consequences for their emotional, social, and economic well-being. The results make clear that routine caregiving tasks to persons with AIDS often requires extensive time from the main caregiver. Caregiving assistance is especially needed at the last stage of illness when the AIDS afflicted person often must depend on caregivers for assistance with even basic bodily needs and functions. Financial demands can also cumulate to a point where the adult child's and parents' own resources are exhausted. Such a situation can be overwhelming for any single individual and particularly an older aged one. One frequent response of Thai parents, that meets with varying degrees of success, is to solicit the help of others in the immediate family in the forms of assistance in caregiving tasks, paying expenses, and providing emotional support. In addition, viewing their role in terminal stage caregiving as part of the responsibility that parents have for their children regardless of age, refusing to view the child as a burden, and avoiding blaming the child for becoming infected are important ways that help Thai parents cope with the emotional strains of giving care to their terminally ill child.

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