A Moral Career of Caring for Elderly Relatives Living with Dementia

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Elena Zdravomyslova
Arkadiia Savchenko


The article examines the practices of “dense care,” intensive long-term care for elderly relatives with dementia. Family care is conceptualized as a moral career of care, which makes it possible to detect changes in the status and identity of the relative during the care process. Drawing on in-depth interviews with relatives and materials of participant observation, we analyze main characteristics of daily care, problems faced by relatives, institutional interactions, drawbacks and positive aspects of this form of domestic work. Caregivers evaluate their work ambivalently, according to cultural models of proper care and moral duty. This study shows that family care remains a cultural norm in the Russian context. The practices of care are being modernized and the burden on caregivers is increasing, but this work does not receive sufficient institutional support. The moral career of care can become more humane with the development of a system of social care and support to relatives caring for elderly people in need of close care.

Article in Russian

DOI: 10.25285/2078-1938-2020-12-2-90-123


Family-Based Care, Care for the Elderly, Relatives of the Elderly with Dementia, Moral Career

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