End-of-life caregiver's perspectives on their role: Generative caregiving

Linda R. Phillips, Pamela G. Reed

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Purpose: To describe caregivers' constructions of their caregiving role in providing care to elders they knew were dying from life-limiting illnesses.Design and Methods: Study involved in-depth interviews with 27 family caregivers. Data were analyzed using constant comparative analysis.Results: Four categories were identified: centering life on the elder, maintaining a sense of normalcy, minimizing suffering, and gift giving. Generative caregiving was the term adopted to describe the end-of-life (EOL) caregiving role. Generative caregiving is situated in the present with a goal to enhance the elder's present quality of life, but also draws from the past and projects into the future with a goal to create a legacy that honors the elder and the elder-caregiver relationship.Implications: Results contribute to our knowledge about EOL caregiving by providing an explanatory framework and setting the caregiving experience in the context of life-span development.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)204-214
Number of pages11
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2010


  • Death and dying
  • End-of-life care
  • Informal caregiving

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gerontology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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