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Elder-caregiver care negotiations as dances of dependency

Elder-caregiver care negotiations as dances of dependency

Scholarly Inquiry for Nursing Practice 13(4): 283

Well-developed metaphors function as heuristic devices for the communication of scientific ideas. When applied to common, typical situations, metaphorical conceptualization enables a richer and deeper understanding. In this article, the routinized and taken-for-granted situation of elder-caregiver care negotiations is examined through the use of a dance metaphor, the dance of dependency. Metaphorical models of theory are intended to be elaborated and developed in ways that good poetic metaphors are not. Therefore, we systematically describe the general aspects of the dance (rules, facilitators, performances, aesthetics) and relate the specific elements of a dance to the dance of dependency. The picture that emerges is one of elder-caregiver care negotiations as performances, with elders as agents who actively and creatively engage caregivers in their dances of dependency. Participants in these dances sustain a complex organization of behavior to meet the situational demands and maintain themselves as fully integrated participants, based on standards set forth by the jointly negotiated working consensus of the dyad. The resulting description extends what is currently understood about everyday care negotiations, allowing an appreciation of the processes and dynamics by which care negotiations and elder-caregiver relational cultures in multiple contexts unfold, change, and are challenged.

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Accession: 045932931

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PMID: 10731847

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