Caring and Grieving in the Context of Social and Structural Inequity: Experiences of Australian Carers With Social Welfare Needs

Kristin Bindley, Joanne Lewis, Joanne Travaglia, Michelle DiGiacomo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

Caring for and bereavement following the death of someone with a life-limiting illness may precipitate social welfare needs related to income support and housing. Nevertheless, carer experiences of welfare policy and institutions have not received significant attention. This qualitative study explored experiences of carers who navigated social welfare policy while caring for someone with a life-limiting illness, and in bereavement. In-depth interviews were conducted with 12 bereaved carers in an area associated with socioeconomic disadvantage. Carers differentially encountered precariousness, with some experiencing structural vulnerability. These positionalities appeared to be shaped by policy and process-related burdens, perceptions of the welfare state, and degrees of legitimisation or disenfranchisement of forms of capital and coping orientations. Recommendations that may improve carer experience were identified. Implications relate to the need for an expanded conceptualisation of vulnerability in health and welfare practice, policy that authentically validates caring and grieving, and upstream strategies that address inequity.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)64-79
Number of pages16
JournalQualitative Health Research
Volume32
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2022

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