Functional and Existential Tasks of Family Caregiving for End-of-Life, Hospitalized Older Adults

J Gerontol Nurs. 2016 Jul 1;42(7):55-64. doi: 10.3928/00989134-20160406-04. Epub 2016 Apr 11.


The current study examined how functional and existential coping factors are related to the sense of self-benefit among end-of-life (EOL) family caregivers caring for hospitalized older adults. A convenience sample of 92 family caregivers was interviewed in two Israeli hospitals using a structured questionnaire based on Pearlin's stress process model. Findings show that engagement in EOL existential tasks and motivations, such as life review, spirituality, multigenerational family relationships, and preparation for death, acted as a coping resource and was positively related with caregivers' sense of self-benefit. However, functional caregiving did not act as a significant stressor, as it was weakly related to care-givers' sense of self-benefit. Findings discuss the importance of training health professionals to recognize and discuss existential concerns with EOL family caregivers. [Journal of Gerontological Nursing, 42(7), 55-64.].

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Caregivers*
  • Female
  • Hospitalization
  • Humans
  • Israel
  • Male
  • Terminal Care*