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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