Document Type

Paper Series

Publication Date



10 (2003)


Caring is often a highly personalized and individual activity. Through in-depth and searching interviews with two older care-givers, this study explored the determinants that help to sustain cares in their long-term care role and proposes an explanatory model for sustaining care. Attempts were made to uncover those meanings held by Chinese care-givers in interpreting their roles in a positive way despite the enormous demands placed on them by care-giving or, if they interpreted their care giving negatively, the attitudes that sustained their giving of care. Narrative accounts were obtained through separate interviews (conducted by two experienced social workers) asking open-ended questions guided by prescribed themes (determinants). Content coverage included basic demographic variables: sex, income, education level, religion, age; family responsibility/reciprocity, doing what needs to be done, caring personality, satisfaction and gratification, friendship and company, improved relationship, personal growth and identifying specific rewards of care-giving for self (i.e. the care-giver). The respondents were asked to describe all the above in relation to providing the care as they themselves perceive these domains, then were encouraged to provide a detail explanation for how these domains were encouraging/ discouraging them to continue to care. Similar description and explanation given by the two care-givers were extracted as congruent to the prescribed themes- hence these consistent findings serve to inform the formation of a crude explanatory model for care givers’ commitment to long term care. The study also informs practice in identifying and sustaining good care-givers.

Paper Series No.

APIAS Working Paper Series No.10 (2003)

Recommended Citation

Chan, C. M. A., Ng, K. M. C., Chan, C. K. L., & Phillips, D. R. (2003). The meaning of care for older Chinese caregivers: An exploratory model of positive caring (APIAS Working Paper Series No.10). Retrieved from Lingnan University website:

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Gerontology Commons