Self-Help Groups within Nursing Homes: The Experiences of Family Caregivers in Northeastern Italy
2. Materials and Methods
2.1. Qualitative Approach and Research Paradigm
2.2. Researcher Characteristics and Reflexivity
2.4. Sampling Strategy
2.5. Ethical Issues Pertaining to Human Subjects
2.6. Data Collection Methods
2.7. Data Collection Instruments and Technologies
2.8. Data Processing
2.9. Data Analysis
2.10. Techniques to Enhance Trustworthiness
3.1. Challenges in Constructing Experiences as Caregivers
“Let’s say, I experienced it (the placement) in a bad way. Even now I am still affected by it. The first period, I cried and she cried, because every time I visited her, it was like a stab because it hurt me to see her in that situation. I was already blaming myself for putting her in the facility”.
“It felt a little bit like parking her there, not being able to take care of her, because in our culture we were taught that you can’t leave them (older adults) in a nursing home”.
“I’ve never accepted my mother’s disease. It was too big, too big a thing, I said (to the Lord) ‘you could have spared her’. I have this anger inside; it just wasn’t right”.
“It was hard to accept, very hard. After work, I go to visit her, so I feel less guilty, more at peace”.
“I was constantly there for her. People have to love their parents but cannot completely negate themselves, because then they eventually come to hate them, I felt this way when I had her at home”.
“I started to feel guilty, I kept asking myself ‘did I do (the) right (thing), then she (Melania’s mother) would cry, she would despair... and I kept wondering ‘what should I do? Should I take her home?’”
“There is hardly any information about what a nursing home is like. It’s still somewhat dictated by the traditional idea that older adults go there to die. They are always portrayed negatively. Stories in the newspaper always describe the bad things. I changed my opinion about them”.
“At the beginning mom accepted it well, because she knew she had to stay in bed, but after 5 or 6 years she didn’t want to stay anymore, and it was hard for both of us... she often cried, it was hard... so I would put her in the car and take her for a ride, I was very present... I tried to make her understand that it was just temporary, then we would be together... but it was hard”.
“The anger, nervousness, lack of patience because I did not know what was happening. My mother felt sick and asked for help, ‘help me, help me’ she said, ‘Mom how can I help you?’ and I felt helpless. You don’t know who to turn to, how to do it. It feels like you are swimming in a sea, and you are going to drown”.
“I wondered why this was happening to me, “why me? why Mom and Dad”? She (Laura’s mother) was young and could have lived a good life. So, I felt this anger inside”.
“Something that was very difficult for me was to take care of my mom. I saw it as unnatural, I could never wash her or feed her because for me a mom is a mom, even if you are 60 years old. It was impossible to accept becoming my mother’s mother”.
“It’s like having found a small solution to our big problem. Even though you obviously feel responsible, and your conscience hounds you, at least you can say ‘now there’s someone to help me’; you breathe a sigh of relief”.
“My mom would have needed 24-hour care. I put her in the facility because I couldn’t take it anymore, I had 3–4 hernias and my mother needed help. We had to take her to the nursing home because I was exhausted. I couldn’t take it anymore”.
“I cried for a year. When my mom retired, she used to say ‘I’m going to a nursing home because my mind’s clear,’ and I used to tell her ‘I’ll never let you go to a nursing home’. Then, I made the decision for her to go. That explains my guilt because I told her she would not go and then I put her there”.
3.2. Shared Experiences as Stabilizing Tools
“I was so upset about putting my mother in a facility that I needed someone to help me process this transition. I come from a generation where children were expected to look after their parents forever, so I felt so guilty”.
“When I attended these groups, it helped me a lot to share the pain of separation from home to here (the nursing home). Because we all had the same problem, we all felt guilty, we all had this burden to share. And that’s also what helps us get through it, because if you share the burden, it becomes less of a weight”.
“Seeing yourself in others... also because people outside tell you ‘I understand’, but no... they don’t understand until they have experienced it. This is sharing things. Others certainly know what the disease is, but no, they haven’t experienced it”.
“You form bonds, and it feels like you can share it (your burden), it’s not just on your shoulders”.
Institutional Review Board Statement
Informed Consent Statement
Data Availability Statement
Conflicts of Interest
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De Vincenzo, C.; Marian, I.; Piol, S.; Keisari, S.; Testoni, I. Self-Help Groups within Nursing Homes: The Experiences of Family Caregivers in Northeastern Italy. Behav. Sci. 2023, 13, 485. https://doi.org/10.3390/bs13060485
De Vincenzo C, Marian I, Piol S, Keisari S, Testoni I. Self-Help Groups within Nursing Homes: The Experiences of Family Caregivers in Northeastern Italy. Behavioral Sciences. 2023; 13(6):485. https://doi.org/10.3390/bs13060485Chicago/Turabian Style
De Vincenzo, Ciro, Ilenia Marian, Silvia Piol, Shoshi Keisari, and Ines Testoni. 2023. "Self-Help Groups within Nursing Homes: The Experiences of Family Caregivers in Northeastern Italy" Behavioral Sciences 13, no. 6: 485. https://doi.org/10.3390/bs13060485