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Standing guard - being a relative to a hospitalised, elderly person

  • Tove Lindhardt
  • Ingrid Bolmsjö
  • Ingalill Rahm Hallberg
Publishing year: 2006
Language: English
Pages: 133-149
Publication/Series: Journal of Aging Studies
Volume: 20
Issue: 2
Document type: Journal article
Publisher: Elsevier

Abstract english

Caregiving relatives continue to feel primarily responsible for the care and well-being of elderly persons, when they are admitted to hospital. Although involvement of relatives in decision-making is rare, and the hospitalisation therefore may be a frustrating experience, little is known of relatives, experience of the hospitalisation of elderly persons from a life-world perspective. In this phenomenological Study, hospital admission was a time of crisis and possible transition for the relatives, and the encounter with the professional system added to the relatives' emotional and physical burden. They felt responsible for protecting the elderly person and ensuring they received sufficient care. The history of the relationship and care was the frame of reference in which the hospital stay of the elderly person was reflected and understood. Feelings, roles and experiences were brought into the hospital setting and formed the basis for the relatives' expectations, values and conducts there. (c) 2005 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


  • Other Social Sciences not elsewhere specified
  • phenomenology
  • professional-family relations
  • collaboration
  • lived experience
  • decision making
  • aging parents
  • adult children
  • caregivers psychosocial factors
  • elderly
  • hospitalised
  • aged
  • family relations
  • relatives family attitudes
  • family role


  • ISSN: 0890-4065
Ingalill Rahm Hallberg
E-mail: ingalill [dot] rahm_hallberg [at] med [dot] lu [dot] se

Professor emerita

Health-promoting Complex Interventions