An ethic of care and sibling care in older age
BARNES, MARIAN (2012) An ethic of care and sibling care in older age Families, Relationships and Societies, 1 (1). pp. 7-23. ISSN 2046-7435
Feminist care ethics emphasises the relational nature of care. This suggests the importance of understanding the different dynamics of care in different relational contexts. This article applies such a perspective to exploratory interviews with carers looking after siblings in older age. While some attention has been given to sibling care following the death of parents of people with learning difficulties and, to a lesser extent, those with enduring mental health problems, older sibling care can take place when siblings become ill, or when they have had close contact over a lifetime. Motivations to care are strongly embedded in family responsibility, but the precise meaning and consequences of this vary. Such relationships may not be more egalitarian than other familial caring relationships, although caregiving can bring siblings closer together.
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