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The social and economic burden on family caregivers for older adults in the Czech Republic

Background: In this paper, we analyse the economic burden of elder care in the Czech Republic by assessing how family members of senior citizens engage in caregiving. To do this, we examined the time and cost associated with caregiving as a function of age, gender, and income of the caregiver. Methods: A questionnaire comprising 17 items was used to gather data from 155 informal caregivers whose seniors are affiliated with 200 registered home care agencies. Spearman rank correlation was adopted to analyse how caregivers' income, age and gender influences the costs accrued and time spent in caring for elders. The expenses are divided into direct and indirect. Publicly available sources are used to establish expenses on treatment and medication, which cannot be determined by the questionnaire survey. Results: Results show that around-the-clock care is the most common. Spouses of care recipients make up the highest number of caregivers, and women represent the largest portion of this group. Additionally, the more the time spent caring for an elder, the higher the cost associated with such care. The total annual burden of informal caregivers is determined by the sum of annual average indirect costs, amounting to € 36,888, and annual direct costs, amounting to € 2775, resulting in a total of € 39,663 per year. Conclusion: Czech social policymakers should begin to consider better packages for caregivers in the form of incentives and other monetary benefits to improve living standards and care for ageing seniors. 

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Type of Reference
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Journal article
BioMed Central
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Journal Titles
BMC Geriatrics
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