Title

Family Assistance and Autonomy in the Lives of Rural Elders

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

2013

Publication Title

Marriage and Family Review

DOI

10.1080/01494929.2013.771130

ISSN

1540-9635

Abstract

This research seeks to better understand how rural elders receive assistance from family members while still maintaining a sense of autonomy. In-depth interviews with rural elders explored both assistance and autonomy. Results indicate that rural elders are able to receive assistance from family members while maintaining autonomy through a range of strategies, including purposefully giving over control to others when needed and relinquishing control before it is taken away. Lessons learned here guide formal service providers to permit elders to direct their own care planning and implementation, thereby allowing them to maintain a level of autonomy.

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