"We take care of the older person, who takes care of us?" Professionals working with older persons in a shared war reality

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Abstract

The aim of this article is to describe and analyze how professional gerontological workers (PGWs) from northern Israel experienced a shared reality during the Second Lebanon War: how they perceived clients' needs and their own needs, how they and their older clients functioned during this crisis, and what could be learned about the experience by exploring the PGWs' perspective. Data were based on materials collected from four PGW focus groups held simultaneously after the war, using a phenomenological perspective to analyze content expressed by individuals, not group dynamics. Findings presented three identified themes: being caught between personal life and professional obligations, acting out of resilience and growth versus vulnerability and despair, and integrating past and present experiences to learn for future events. The discussion uses a phenomenology perspective to reexamine the coexistence of vulnerability in the two populations that share mutual experiences. Further studies and intervention implications are suggested.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)772-792
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of Applied Gerontology
Volume29
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2010

Keywords

  • older persons
  • resiliency
  • shared war reality
  • vulnerability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gerontology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology

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