Carescapes: Complexities and Configurations of Senior Care

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University of Guelph

This research provides an ethnographic snapshot into the everyday care experiences of older Canadian senior citizens who are not receiving formalized eldercare services and how their care experiences are complicated by their experiences of aging. Through the use of graphic elicitation, I received 10 participant drawings depicting care experiences from different perspectives. By looking at these drawings called “Carescapes” and pulling from semi-structured qualitative video interviews with senior citizens, this thesis seeks to begin addressing the relationship between care and aging by attending to the ways senior citizens have learned and are learning to care for their changing selves as they continue to age past 65 years old. This thesis will address the questions of how experiences of aging influence conceptualizations of good care and how practices of care influence seniors’ experiences of aging from a phenomenological perspective. The main finding of this research is that practices of multidirectional “good care” enable senior citizens to continue to age meaningfully and with dignity in their later life stages.

Anthropology, Care, Senior Citizens, Agency, Personhood