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Caring for those who care for dependent older adults: for a necessary and urgent policy

The situation of caregivers and family caregivers of dependent older adults is presented and discussed, highlighting their dedication, problems, and possible recommendations to value them. The task of caring is known to be eminently feminine, invisible, unpaid, but affects society as a whole. Policies of some European countries, Canada, and the United States in favor of male and female caregivers are described. However, most existing support models have gaps. The laws and regulations enacted have been poorly comprehensive, inorganic, and the family remains responsible for long-lived relatives who have lost their autonomy. In many countries, besides other measures, the tendency is to integrate the family care as the first PHC level, universalizing support to caregivers. One must not be forgotten that the tendency to keep dependent older adults at home is acquiescence to their desire, but it also hides the delegation of responsibility from the State to families through dehospitalization and deinstitutionalization policies. In Brazil, the issue has not yet entered the public policy radar, although it is urgent because of the accelerated increase of the elderly population, particularly those aged 80 and over. 

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Ciencia & Saude Coletiva
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