Life in a Crossroad: Lived Experiences of Spouses Caring with Cerebrovascular Accident Survivor
Cerebrovascular accident (CVA) may leave permanent and long-term disability placing a burden on the family. Disability following the CVA often required family, especially spouse to provide care. Spouses may struggle to adapt to a long-term caregiving role and relationships with CVA survivors. The study aims to describe the lived experiences of spouses of CVA survivors in order to gain a deep and thorough understanding of the phenomenon. The Husserlian descriptive phenomenology design was used to purposively identify the eight informants. The data were gathered through an interview, after which transcription was done and analyzed using Colaizzi's method. After the thematic analysis, four themes emerged: (1) Increased Domestic Workload (2) Exhaustion: (a) Physically Demanding (b) Psycho-emotional Distress (c) Financial Burden, (3) Bound for a Mission and Responsibility: (a) Being Obligated (b) Strength of Relationship (c) Spouse Welfare, (4) Sense of Loss: (a) Loss of Understanding (b) Loss of Hope (c) Loss of Control. Taking care of CVA survivor had contributed to the changes in the lives of these spouses. The physical, emotional, psychological and financial matters had to be considered that could affect the wellbeing of both the spouses and the CVA survivor. The support of spouses of CVA survivors and their families in achieving optimum long-term adjustment was essential.