The Influence of Values on Caregiving for Older Adults in Rural and Urban Areas

Masters Thesis

Melvin, Siobhan. 2022. The Influence of Values on Caregiving for Older Adults in Rural and Urban Areas. Masters Thesis Master of Psychology. University of Southern Queensland.

The Influence of Values on Caregiving for Older Adults in Rural and Urban Areas

TypeMasters Thesis
AuthorsMelvin, Siobhan
1. FirstProf Bob Knight
2. SecondDr Sonya Winterbotham
Institution of OriginUniversity of Southern Queensland
Qualification NameMaster of Psychology
Number of Pages62
PublisherUniversity of Southern Queensland
Place of PublicationAustralia
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

In rural areas there is often a perceived expectation that individuals should be self-sufficient, and self-reliant (Fuller et al., 2000; Vayro et al., 2020), whereas, in urban communities it is suggested that accessing support services is more convenient resulting in greater accessibility to services and more help-seeking behaviours (Orpin et al., 2014). There is relatively little empirical research about the influence of values on caregiving for older adults in rural and urban settings. Thus, it is important that this topic is further explored in the literature as rural communities have been identified as a vulnerable in having poorer access to health and support services for older adults (Shevchenko, 2018). The aim of the present study is to understand the influence of values on the experience of caregiving. In this study an older adult who requires caregiving, is seen as an adult over the age of 65 who suffers from a chronic long-term illness, physical impairment, or disease. Seventeen caregivers from both urban and rural Australia who lived in the states of Victoria, New South Wales, and the Australian Capital Territory participated in semi-structured interviews about their caregiving experience and the role of values in influencing the caregiving. Thematic analysis was applied to the interview transcripts and led to identification of themes of love, reciprocity, aged care stigma, obligation, appreciation, and community. The findings of this study are consistent with past research and literature across the rural/urban divide of caregivers. Moreover, this study has led to the identification of a novel theme regarding community. This a novel finding and has implications for future research regarding community support as it is in direct contrast to the view that those in rural communities are struggling and isolated from services. This has significant implications as future research, in how community as a value may help to identify specific targeted community supports to reduce isolation and disconnection for rural and urban caregivers.

Keywordscaregiving, values, older adults, urban and rural, community, aged-care avoidance
ANZSRC Field of Research 20205203. Clinical and health psychology
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Byline AffiliationsSchool of Psychology and Wellbeing
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