Factors of high impacts on the life of caregivers of disabled elderly

Department of Medical Clinics, State University of Campinas (Unicamp), Campinas-SP, Brazil.
Archives of gerontology and geriatrics (Impact Factor: 1.85). 09/2009; 51(1):76-80. DOI: 10.1016/j.archger.2009.08.003
Source: PubMed


Elderly caregivers suffer physical and psychological consequences of the act of caring. The objective of this study was to characterize primary caregivers of elderly people in the community and identify the higher impacts of this activity on their life. We interviewed 127 caregivers about sociodemographic characteristics, presence of anxiety/depression (self-reporting questionnaire=SRQ), burden of care (caregiver burden scale=CBS); while their dependents were evaluated using sociodemographic questionnaires, health history, activities of daily living (ADL) scale and geriatric depression scale (GDS-15). The caregivers' mean age was 55.1+/-13.3 years; among them most were women and daughters with up to 4 years of education. The mean time as responsible for the elderly was 86.5+/-96.3 months; 56% divided the caring responsibility and 28.2% had another occupation; 32.3% presented psychoemotional illness. There was a positive correlation between the CBS and the caregiver factors: psychoemotional disorders, time as responsible for the elderly and education level; as well as between the CBS and the elderly: number of activities with dependence, presence of depression and incontinences. The correlation between the elderly's personal income and number of visits received was negative. The identification of high impacts on the caregivers' life would facilitate the professional approach.

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    • "For example research has demonstrated that the higher the functional and the cognitive impairment in the elder person, the higher the negative outcomes in caregivers and vice versa (Lai, 2009; Lin, et al., 2005; Schreiner et al., 2003). Research has also demonstrated that younger caregivers are more prone to be negatively impacted by caregiving than older caregivers (Mafullul, et al., 2000) and that there is a positive correlation between the time spent in caregiving and its negative impact and vice versa (Rezende, et al., 2010). So, based on the literature, the same variable (for example, caregiver's age, older adult cognitive and functional impairment, time of caregiving) can result in both a negative and a positive impact. "
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    ABSTRACT: Caregivers represent an important source of care for older adults. Many studies focused on the negative aspects of elder caregiving but few studies have analyzed also the positive effects. In addition, no studies have considered contemporarily the positive and the negative impact of caregiving to elderly people on the same people using a structural equation modeling. The purpose of this study was to examine the contribution of elder care recipient factors, caregiver factors and caregiving factors in determining the positive and negative impact of informal caregiving to older adults using a structural equation model. A cross-sectional design was used to study eighty caregivers of older people. Several instruments were used to measure elder care recipient factors (functionality, cognition, behavior); caregiver factors (socio-demographics, depression, stress, quality of life, and perceived health); caregiving factors (time from caregiving, time of care, social restriction, place of living, expenses, and living with the elder care recipient); and the positive and the negative impact of caregiving. Caregivers were 59.7 years old while elderly people were 84.0. Several factors were significantly correlated with the positive and negative impact of caregiving. However, when these factors were entered in a structural equation model, only female gender and social restriction predicted the negative impact, while caregiver's quality of life and caregiving expenses predicted both the positive and the negative impact. The results of this study suggest a new framework of caregiving to older adults where the outcomes depend more on caregiver and caregiving factors than on older person characteristics. More research is needed with a larger sample to test further the model outlined in this study.
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