Document Type

Article - post-print

Publication Date



This study examines informal caregivers’ and LGB care recipients’ “best” and “worst” experiences of care within their relationship. Communal relationship theory guides the research. The work uses qualitative interview data from a sample of 36 care pairs (n=72), divided between committed partners and friends, to understand the similarities and differences in the care norms employed in varied relationship contexts. Findings from the study show that relationship context influences the experiences that caregivers and care recipients identify as “best” and “worst,” but often focus on the relationship and needs met at bests, and conflict and fear of worsening health as worsts.

Publisher Statement

This is an author-manuscript of an article accepted for publication in Journal of Gerontological Social Work. The published version of this record is available online at doi: 10.1080/01634372.2013.860652.

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