Caring and identity: the experience of spouses in stroke and other chronic neurological conditions

Caroline Ellis-Hill

in Chronic and Terminal Illness: new perspectives on caring and carers

Published in print May 2001 | ISBN: 9780192631671
Published online November 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191730191 | DOI:
Caring and identity: the experience of spouses in stroke and other chronic neurological conditions

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This chapter explores the issues of caring and identity in the area of acquired chronic neurological illness. With the advent of technological advances, many people are now living with patients with chronic illness. It is often recognized that after diagnosis, the repercussions do not only affect the person diagnosed with the illness but are extended to the lives of family and friends. Of the closest relatives, it is expected that spouses are the most affected as they share day-to-day life and have shared memories and shared plans for the future. The stories of spouses form the content and focus of this chapter. The main empirical evidence presented in this chapter was derived from a wider study of the life changes of individuals and their spouses after a stroke. This is supplemented by findings from studies of individuals experiencing other chronic neurological conditions. Aside from providing life stories of individuals that had coped with chronic illness, the present chapter also discusses the important factors that are related specifically to chronic neurological illness which greatly influence the caregiving situation. It also provides a critique on the present study of caring in chronic illness and introduces a new approach or framework based on the changes in identity. The chapter concludes with practical suggestions relating to this framework.

Keywords: caring; identity; chronic neurological illness; spouses; stroke; caregiving

Chapter.  10492 words. 

Subjects: Palliative Medicine

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