This study aimed to identify and analyze the meaning of care for the hospitalized elderly from the perspective of caregivers.
Qualitative, exploratory and descriptive research. The study included 30 caregivers of hospitalized elderly. Individual interviews and systematic observation were adopted. For the data analysis, the software Alceste was used.
Results show the prevalence of female family caregivers. The meanings the caregivers attribute to elderly care rest on the care activities, relationship between caregiver-user and caregiver-nurse, institutional support and care guidelines.
The meanings of care are based on the needs and demands of caregivers to take better care of the elderly in need of their care and, therefore, health education by nurses is an important strategy to be implemented with elderly patients in hospital.
Aged; Hospitalization; Caregivers; Nursing