The highs and lows of caregiving for chronically ill lesbian, gay, and bisexual elders

J Gerontol Soc Work. 2014;57(2-4):251-72. doi: 10.1080/01634372.2013.860652. Epub 2014 May 5.


This study examines informal caregivers' and LGB care recipients' best and worst experiences of care within their relationship. Communal relationship theory guides the research. The work uses qualitative interview data from a sample of 36 care pairs (N = 72), divided between committed partners and friends, to understand the similarities and differences in the care norms employed in varied relationship contexts. Findings from the study show that relationship context influences the experiences that caregivers and care recipients identify as best and worst, but often focus on the relationship and needs met at bests, and conflict and fear of worsening health as worsts.

Keywords: GLBT issues; GLBT populations; caregiving; chronic illness; qualitative.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Bisexuality*
  • Caregivers / psychology*
  • Chronic Disease / psychology
  • Chronic Disease / therapy*
  • Female
  • Homosexuality, Female*
  • Homosexuality, Male*
  • Humans
  • Interviews as Topic
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Qualitative Research