A qualitative study of the impact of an educational intervention on older parents of adults with disabilities engaged in the phenomenon of future-care planning

Jean M Sherman, Florida International University

Abstract

This phenomenological study describes the impact of an educational intervention on the day-to-day experiences of older parent caregivers of adults with developmental disabilities who were engaged in the process of future-care planning. Qualitative strategies of individual and focus group interviewing were used with a purposive sample of older caregivers. Participants were members of an existing parent support group. Twenty-three caregivers representing 18 families were queried before and after the education program. The disabilities represented were mental retardation, cerebral palsy and autism. Parents whose children live at or away from home were included. The intervention was conducted on five Saturdays over a two month period; the duration of the study was five months. Findings used typical words of the respondents from their individual and focus group interviews to describe feelings, attitudes and experiences in making future-care plans. Data from verbatim transcriptions and researcher's field notes were coded, analyzed, sorted into themes, and subjected to interpretive analysis. Respondents showed a positive change in attitudes and actions after participating in the education program, regardless of their initial stage in care planning. Fears were replaced by hope and determination; hesitation and ineptitude by feelings of competence and confidence; and procrastination and delay by purposeful actions. Other key findings: use of a planning document greatly aided caregivers; barriers to planning were often intrinsic and amenable to education; residential plans were the most difficult aspect of planning; listening to the experiences of other parent caregivers was helpful; and making burial plans for their offspring was one aspect of planning parents wished to do themselves. ^

Subject Area

Gerontology|Education, Adult and Continuing|Sociology, Individual and Family Studies

Recommended Citation

Sherman, Jean M, "A qualitative study of the impact of an educational intervention on older parents of adults with disabilities engaged in the phenomenon of future-care planning" (1997). ProQuest ETD Collection for FIU. AAI9816378.
http://digitalcommons.fiu.edu/dissertations/AAI9816378

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