Older adults influence in family care: How do daughters and aging parents navigate differences in care goals?

Allison R. Heid, Steven H. Zarit, Kimberly Van Haitsma

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Objective: This study seeks to address how older adults influence their daily care when their preferences conflict with those of their adult daughter caregivers.Method: Using a sample of 10 dyads (N = 20) of an older adult and adult daughter, we utilize content analysis strategies to analyze in-depth, semi-structured interview data with QSR NVIVO to investigate how older adults influence their care, how daughters respond to such efforts of influence, and how dyads navigate differences in care goals.Results: When there is agreement in goals, dyads report tasks going well and both individuals requests are honored. When there are differences in care goals, daughters most frequently reason with their older parents, while parents walk away or let go of their requests. Daughters report making decisions for their parents for health or safety-related needs. However, all dyads discuss differences in care goals, whereby parents are perceived as insisting, resisting, or persisting in care.Conclusion: Findings illustrate complex patterns of responses by families when navigating differences in daily care goals that carry important implications for research and the development of dyadic-based family interventions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)46-55
Number of pages10
JournalAging and Mental Health
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Phychiatric Mental Health
  • Gerontology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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