Life experiences of family caregivers to elderly with Alzheimer's under Marleau-Ponty's philosophic perspective

The study describes the nature of care under the view of Merleau-Ponty´s philosophy, through research carried out among family members who take care of relatives with Alzheimer's and also integrate a Mutual Help Group. The main objective was to describe the moments in which these caregivers identified themselves as caregivers, making it possible for them to transcend in their lives´ perspectives. The methodology was based on Husserl's phenomenologic reduction, which allowed for the construction of the method designated as ambiguity analysis, used in empirical data analysis obtained through non-directive interviews with 10 carers, between July, 2005 and April, 2006. Seven categories emerged from the analysis, with two highlighted in the present text: intentional orientation in care giving, and the ambiguity of demands in the process of becoming a caregiver. The study has shown to be relevant for emphasizing the ambiguous character of the care giving experience and how this aspect contributes to a more optimistic glance and prospective before care as a subject.

Aged; Alzheimer Disease; Caregiver; Family


Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina, Programa de Pós Graduação em Enfermagem Campus Universitário Trindade, 88040-970 Florianópolis - Santa Catarina - Brasil, Tel.: (55 48) 3721-4915 / (55 48) 3721-9043 - Florianópolis - SC - Brazil
E-mail: textoecontexto@contato.ufsc.br