Skip to content

Toggle service links

You are here

  1. Home
  2. Type of care
  3. Caring for older people

Caring for older people

The following resources examine caring for older people, and the needs associated with ageing.

Click on the title of any resource to find out more about the source of the information such as the type of reference, ISBN/ISSN, publication year, keywords. A number of these fields can be used to find further resources i.e. with the same keywords, or by the same author using the links on the right-hand side and within the Key Information box.

You can also click on an author's name in the list below to find further resources by that author, and use the DOI and other links to access the original source material (note: some source materials require subscription or permission to access).
 

Using an Electronic App to Promote Home-Based Self-Care in Older Patients With Heart Failure: Qualitative Study on Patient and Informal Caregiver Challenges

Background: Heart failure (HF) affects many older individuals in North America, with recurrent hospitalizations despite postdischarge strategies to prevent readmission. Proper HF self-care can potentially lead to better clinical outcomes, yet many older patients find self-care challenging. Mobile health (mHealth) apps can provide support to patients with respect to HF self-care. However, many mHealth apps are not designed to consider potential patient barriers, such as literacy, numeracy, and cognitive impairment, leading to challenges for older patients. We previously demonstrated that a paper-based standardized diuretic decision support tool (SDDST) with daily weights and adjustment of diuretic dose led to improved self-care.; Objective: The aim of this study is to better understand the self-care challenges that older patients with HF and their informal care providers (CPs) face on a daily basis, leading to the conversion of the SDDST into a user-centered mHealth app.; Methods: We recruited 14 patients (male: 8/14, 57%) with a confirmed diagnosis of HF, aged ≥60 years, and 7 CPs from the HF clinic and the cardiology ward at the Hamilton General Hospital. Patients were categorized into 3 groups based on the self-care heart failure index: patients with adequate self-care, patients with inadequate self-care without a CP, or patients with inadequate self-care with a CP. We conducted semistructured interviews with patients and their CPs using persona-scenarios. Interviews were transcribed verbatim and analyzed for emerging themes using an inductive approach.; Results: Six themes were identified: usability of technology, communication, app customization, complexity of self-care, usefulness of HF-related information, and long-term use and cost. Many of the challenges patients and CPs reported involved their unfamiliarity with technology and the lack of incentive for its use. However, participants were supportive and more likely to actively use the HF app when informed of the intervention's inclusion of volunteer and nurse assistance.; Conclusions: Patients with varying self-care adequacy levels were willing to use an mHealth app if it was simple in its functionality and user interface. To promote the adoption and usability of these tools, patients confirmed the need for researchers to engage with end users before developing an app. Findings from this study can be used to help inform the design of an mHealth app to ensure that it is adapted for the needs of older individuals with HF. 

Access source material through DOI

Training Needs Among Family Caregivers Assisting During Home Health, as Identified by Home Health Clinicians

Objectives: To estimate the proportion of family caregivers assisting older adults during Medicare home health who have an identified need for activity-specific training and identify characteristics associated with caregiver training needs. Design: Nationally representative retrospective cohort study. Setting and Participants: 1758 (weighted n = 8,477,990) Medicare beneficiaries who participated in the National Health and Aging Trends Study (NHATS) and received Medicare-funded home health care between 2011 and 2016. Measures: Older adult and caregiving network characteristics before home health (sociodemographic factors, caregiver assistance, older adult health and function) were drawn from NHATS; characteristics during home health (family caregiver training needs, older adult health and function) were drawn from home health patient assessments. Weighted proportions of family caregivers with an identified need for activity-specific training were estimated. Weighted, multivariable logistic regressions modeled associations between older adult/caregiving network characteristics and family caregivers' identified activityspecific training needs during home health. Results: More than 1 in 3 (35.7%) family caregivers assisting older adults during Medicare home health had an identified training need with at least 1 caregiving activity. Rates of need for training varied widely, from 8.6% among caregivers helping with advocacy to 48.2% among caregivers helping with medical procedures. In weighted analyses that adjusted for older adults' health and function, family caregivers were less likely to have identified training needs when assisting older adults with ongoing disability or who received caregiver assistance before home health admission. Conclusions and Implications: Findings highlight the pervasiveness of family caregivers' training needs, particularly with medically oriented activities, and indicate that escalations in older adults' care needs are linked to caregiver training needs. Therefore, transitions of care may present critical opportunities to connect family caregivers with training resources. 

Access source material through DOI

Timing of Immigration Effects Asset Change Among Hispanic Caregivers of Older Family Members

Given the cultural value of family in Hispanic culture, older Hispanic immigrants are likely to have family caregivers. This study examined the economic implications of caring for older Hispanic adults regarding non-housing financial wealth over time. Using the 2008, 2010, and 2012 waves of the Health and Retirement Study (HRS) and RAND HRS data files, this study compares changes in the non-housing financial wealth between 2008 and 2012 by caregiving and immigration status among Hispanics. This study examined differences in assets between Hispanic caregivers and non-caregivers and more specifically examined the subpopulation of Hispanic caregivers who immigrated prior to and after 1968 as compared to U.S.-born caregivers to better understand the effect of the Immigration and Nationality Amendment Act of 1965 on asset change. Results indicate that caregiving itself did not have a statistically significant association with wealth, but the timing of immigration to the US had a statistically significant correlation (p < .05) with changes in the financial wealth. The findings of this study have implications for policy and program development targeting older adults and caregiving for this population.

Access source material through DOI

Sustainable Care in a Familialist Regime: Coping with Elderly Care in Slovenia

In countries with prevalent family care and less developed care services, it is important to understand the ways families cope with the care needs of their frail family members as part of policy learning to make care systems more sustainable. Filial care is a vital element of family care, yet is significantly restrained by the involvement of carers in the labour market; unequal gender distribution of the care burden; and insufficient recognition of, and policy support, for family care. This article considered the issue of the sustainability of elderly care in a familialist country, Slovenia, by identifying the coping strategies families adopt for the provision of care. To this end, in-depth qualitative data based on a purposeful sample of 55 community-resident users of social home care services and their 55 family carers were used. We identified five external coping strategies: use of formal care services, use of extended family network, use of wider community network, cohabitation, and home adjustments. Among internal strategies, we detected work-related adjustments; abandoning leisure activities; abandoning vacations; establishing new routines; accepting and finding satisfaction in care; increased psychological distress, such as worries and overburdening; and some unmet care recipient needs. Very few strategies may be described as supported by policy actions, despite such support being essential for increasing the sustainability of the family-based care model.

Access source material through DOI

Stories from people living with frailty

We describe the findings of a qualitative longitudinal interview study of a group of initially community-dwelling frail older people, and their informal and formal carers. We used a narrative approach to explore the role that narrative may have for people living with frailty. This has been less explored comparative to the experiences of those living with chronic illness. The frail older people told stories of their experiences that revealed three distinct shapes or typologies. These were either stable, unbalancing or overwhelmed, and related to how the person managed to adapt to increasing challenges and losses, and to reintegrate their sense of self into a cohesive narrative. Each is illustrated by an individual case story. Frailty is described as both biographically anticipated yet potentially biographically disruptive as older people may struggle to make sense of their circumstances without a clear single causative factor. Findings are discussed in relation to biographical disruption and reconstruction in chronic illness and the rhetoric around 'successful ageing'. We conclude by drawing attention to the complex individual and social factors that contribute to the experience of living with frailty in later life.

Access source material through DOI

Sharing is caring: The potential of the sharing economy to support aging in place

This article explores innovative applications of sharing economy services that have the potential to support a population aging in place, especially the "oldest old," aged 85 and older, and their caregivers. A mixed-methods study conducted by the MIT AgeLab examined perceptions of and experiences with sharing economy services, ultimately finding opportunities and barriers to use. Thus, although sharing economy services have potential to support aging in place, to do so successfully will require reconstructing how older adults, family caregivers, aging service professionals, gerontology educators, and gerontology students conceptualize and deliver care to an aging population. We suggest examples for gerontology educators to integrate into their classrooms to further cultivate an appreciation among students of multiple approaches to intervention, including those that leverage sharing economy and technology-enabled platforms to support older adults and their caregivers. 

Access source material through DOI

Remote Monitoring Technologies in Dementia Care: An Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis of Family Caregivers' Experiences

The desire to maintain an independent lifestyle is one shared by an increasing number of older adults. Adult children, spouses, siblings, and other relatives, also known as family caregivers, play an integral role in helping their loved ones maintain independence. Remote monitoring technologies (RMTs) such as wearable sensors, mobile emergency devices, smartphone apps, and webcams can be used to monitor, sense, record, and communicate a person's daily activities. However, understanding is limited of the family caregiver's needs and perceptions of RMTs used in a home-based setting. The purpose was to explore how family caregivers perceive RMTs and their use for monitoring and supporting their care recipients who choose to live independently. We used a survey to capture some basic characteristics of family caregivers, what they know about RMTs, and to recruit interview participants. We conducted semi-structured interviews with four participants who shared the commonality of caring for a relative with dementia. We reported the survey data using descriptive statistics and we applied interpretative phenomenological analysis (IPA) to analyze and report results from the interviews. Four themes emerged including the unique relationships that exist in family care, the risk-benefit conundrum that accompanies benefits and tradeoffs of RMT use, human-technology interaction and usability, and the importance of creating tailored solutions to facilitate RMT adoption and use. Our findings provide insight into factors impacting adoption and use.

Original source (some source materials require subscription or permission to access)

The relationship between the burden on caregivers in caring for older people and their quality of life

Older people have decreased functions, which lead to increased dependence on others, especially their families. This dependence can impose a burden on the caregivers who help with the daily needs of older people, and any resulting inability to provide care has an impact on their quality of life. This study aims to identify relationship between the burden on caregivers in caring for older people and their quality of life. The research method is a cross-sectional design based on 135 respondents; the inclusion criteria for the study are families and the older people who live in the same house. The results of the statistical tests, there is a relationship between the burden on caregivers in caring for older people and the quality of life of the latter (p<0.05). The analysis also obtained the result OR=2.382 (95% CI=1.193; 4.757). Based on the results of the study, various efforts are needed to reduce the burden on caregivers, in order to increase their ability to care for older people and improve the quality of those in need. 

Access source material through DOI

Psychological Well-Being Among Informal Caregivers in the Canadian Longitudinal Study on Aging: Why the Location of Care Matters

Objectives A caregiving stress perspective suggests that caregiving harms psychological well-being in informal caregivers, whereas a caregiving rewards perspective suggests that provision of care benefits psychological well-being. This research examines whether both perspectives apply to caregiving experiences, but differently by the primary location of caregiving (i.e. in-home, other residence, and institution), as well as by gender. Methods We analyzed depression and life satisfaction in the nationally representative Canadian Longitudinal Study on Aging (N = 48,648), first comparing noncaregivers (N = 27,699) to a combined caregiver group (N = 20,949) and then stratifying caregivers by the primary location of care. Results When considered as a single group, caregivers suffered relative to noncaregivers in terms of life satisfaction and depression. When stratified by the location of care, only in-home caregivers reported both greater depression and lower life satisfaction. Nonresidential caregivers did not differ significantly in levels of depression from noncaregivers and reported higher life satisfaction. Institutional caregivers reported greater depression than noncaregivers, but did not differ significantly in life satisfaction. These patterns were stronger among women than men. Discussion Both the caregiving stress and caregiving rewards perspectives are applicable to the caregiving experience, with the stress perspective more applicable to in-home caregivers and the rewards perspective more relevant to nonresidential caregivers. Recommendations include targeted practice focused on the location of care as well as the gender of the caregiver. Given that nonresidential caregivers actually benefit from providing care, interventions need to focus on identifying and bolstering positive aspects of the caregiving experience.

Access source material through DOI

Prevalence of Informal Caregiving in States Participating in the US Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act Balancing Incentive Program, 2011-2018

Importance: The Balancing Incentives Program (BIP), established under the 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act provided federal funding for states to shift long-term care out of institutional settings and into the home. However, the association of its implementation with informal caregiving is not known.; Objective: To evaluate the association between BIP participation and the prevalence and frequency of informal caregiving and socioeconomic disparities among caregivers.; Design, Setting, and Participants: The cohort study included respondents to the 2011-2018 American Time Use Survey in BIP-adopting states and non-BIP-adopting states.; Exposure: Living in a state that had implemented the BIP after program implementation had begun (April 2012 to April 2018).; Main Outcomes and Measures: Prevalence of caregiving among all respondents, frequency of caregiving, and minutes of daily sleep, a marker of well-being. Differences-in-differences (DID) regression analysis was used to compare these outcomes between BIP-adopting states and non-BIP-adopting states.; Results: The study included 38 343 respondents in BIP-adopting states (median age, 47 years [interquartile range (IQR), 31-61 years]; 51.9% women), of whom 7428 were caregivers (median age, 51 years [IQR, 37-61 years]; 55.6% women), and 26 437 respondents in non-BIP-adopting states (median age, 48 years [IQR, 32-62 years]; 52.7% women), of whom 5527 were caregivers (median age, 52 years [IQR, 38-62 years]; 57.9% women). There was no change in the prevalence of caregiving between BIP-adopting and non-BIP-adopting states after program implementation (DID, 0.00%; 95% CI, -0.01% to 0.01%). Caregivers in BIP-adopting states were more likely to provide daily care after implementation (DID, 3.2%; 95% CI, 0.3%-6.0%; P = .03) and report increased time sleeping (DID, 15.6 minutes; 95% CI, 4.9-26.2 minutes; P = .005) compared with caregivers in non-BIP-adopting states. This association was more pronounced among caregivers with more education (DID, 25.1 minutes; 95% CI, 6.5-43.8 minutes; P = .01) and higher annual family income (DID, 16.9 minutes; 95% CI, 5.9-27.9 minutes; P = .004) compared with caregivers in non-BIP-adopting states who had the same education and income levels, respectively.; Conclusions and Relevance: In this cohort study, the BIP was associated with increased daily caregiving and improved caregiver well-being. However, it may have disproportionately benefited caregivers of higher socioeconomic status, potentially exacerbating disparities in caregiver stress. Future policies should aim to mitigate this unintended consequence.

Access source material through DOI

Post-discharge medicines management: the experiences, perceptions and roles of older people and their family carers

Background Multiple changes are made to older patients' medicines during hospital admission, which can sometimes cause confusion and anxiety. This results in problems with post-discharge medicines management, for example medicines taken incorrectly, which can lead to harm, hospital readmission and reduced quality of life. Aim To explore the experiences of older patients and their family carers as they enacted post-discharge medicines management. Design Semi-structured interviews took place in participants' homes, approximately two weeks after hospital discharge. Data analysis used the Framework method. Setting and participants Recruitment took place during admission to one of two large teaching hospitals in North England. Twenty-seven participants aged 75 plus who lived with long-term conditions and polypharmacy, and nine family carers, were interviewed. Findings Three core themes emerged: impact of the transition, safety strategies and medicines management role. Conversations between participants and health-care professionals about medicines changes often lacked detail, which disrupted some participants' knowledge and medicines management capabilities. Participants used multiple strategies to support post-discharge medicines management, such as creating administration checklists, seeking advice or supporting primary care through prompts to ensure medicines were supplied on time. The level to which they engaged with these activities varied. Discussion and conclusion Participants experienced gaps in their post-discharge medicines management, which they had to bridge through implementing their own strategies or by enlisting support from others. Areas for improvement were identified, mainly through better communication about medicines changes and wider involvement of patients and family carers in their medicines-related care during the hospital-to-home transition.

Access source material through DOI

Care, Dignity and Respect - The Aged Care Royal Commission Final Report

The Final Report of the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety was tabled in Parliament on 1 March 2021. In their Report, titled Care, Dignity and Respect, Royal Commissioners Tony Pagone QC and Lynelle Briggs AO call for fundamental reform of the aged care system.  The report is issued in 5 volumes.

Original source (some source materials require subscription or permission to access)

Management of home care by family caregivers to elderly after hospital discharge

Objective: To understand the management of home care by family caregivers of dependent elderly people after hospital discharge.; Methods: Qualitative research guided by hermeneutics-dialectic, anchored in the theory of communicative action. Data collection took place using a semi-structured interview with 11 participants.; Results: Two categories were constructed: Management of the many types of care by the caregiver and the relationship between family caregiver and health care network. Care and management actions carried out routinely cause major changes in the family caregiver's life. He/she does not recognize planning, home care periodicity or support in required procedures.; Final Considerations: The management of home care for dependent elderly people after hospital discharge is complex, involving physical and emotional overloads, as well as difficulties in getting support from health services. The planning shared between the health team and the family since the discharge is required, and the better visibility of the role of primary care when the patient is assisted by a home care service.

Access source material through DOI

Caring as a social determinant of health: review of evidence

Unpaid carers provide critical support for people with health and social care needs. The majority of recipients of unpaid care are older parents or spouses and partners, and changes in the make-up of our population indicate that the number of dependent older people in the UK will increase by 113% by 2051.

Supporting those who provide unpaid care to older people is therefore hugely important, and evidence is needed on how best to do this. The support provided by carers is often physically and emotionally demanding, with consequences for carers’ own health and wellbeing.

In this work, PHE commissioned Newcastle University to:

  • explore the consequences of being an unpaid carer of older people
  • identify evidence about how best to support this group of carers

To address these aims, a rapid review of existing evidence reviews (an ‘umbrella review’) was conducted, alongside analysis of data on carers (for any population) from the NHS England GP Patient Survey. The main findings are:

  • mounting evidence that unpaid caring should be considered a social determinant of health
  • carers experience poor physical and mental health but also have unmet care needs themselves
  • different groups of carers may have different support needs
  • a lack of clear and robust evidence about how best to support people caring for older populations, and gaps in evidence on key outcomes

Tools

This report proposes a logic model as a tool for evaluating the impact of carer interventions.

It also includes ‘access enablers’ as important in ensuring that carers are connected with relevant services and interventions on offer. Social prescribing is one of these enablers.

Knowledge and Behaviors Toward Health Care for Elderly Patients with Hypertension, and Quality of Life Among Informal Caregivers in Northern Thailand

Background: Informal caregivers play an important role in caring for patients with chronic conditions. Little is known about the quality of life among caregivers of patients with chronic illnesses in Thailand. The purpose of this study was to investigate the relationships among knowledge and behaviors toward health care for elderly patients with hypertension, and the quality of life among informal caregivers. Methods: A total of 402 informal caregivers for their elderly co-habitants suffering from hypertension were randomly selected to participate in this cross-sectional study. Data collection was performed in rural areas of Phayao province, located in the northern part of Thailand. Self-administered questionnaires were employed, which covered knowledge and behaviors toward health care for elderly patients with hypertension, and the Thai version of the World Health Organization Quality of Life Brief Version (WHOQOL-BREF) questionnaire. Results: The scores of knowledge and behaviors toward health care for elderly patients with hypertension, and the quality of life were at low and fair levels. In the multivariable linear regression model, the results showed that four variables - age, caregiver's relationship to the patient, knowledge, and behaviors toward health care for elderly patients with hypertension - were significantly related to quality of life among caregivers (p < 0.05). Conclusion: Knowledge and behaviors toward health care for hypertensive patients influence the quality of life among informal caregivers. The caregivers in rural communities should be encouraged to become educated on the stages of hypertension, preparation for taking care of the elderly with high blood pressure, and effective behavioral care for patients, in order to improve the quality of life of both caregiver and patient. In addition, health care providers should have clear guidelines for development of the health care system to enhance the potential care and quality of life among informal caregivers.

Access source material through DOI

Is health literacy of family carers associated with carer burden, quality of life, and time spent on informal care for older persons living with dementia?

Introduction Family carers are cornerstones in the care of older people living with dementia. Family carers report extensive carer burden, reduced health-related quality of life (HRQoL), and extensive time spent on informal care (Time). Health literacy (HL) is a concept associated with people's ability to access health services, and navigate the healthcare system. This study's aim was to investigate HL among family carers, and investigate the associations between HL and carer burden, HRQoL, and Time spent on informal care. Method We designed a self-administered survey comprising validated instruments, including the Health Literacy Scale (HLS-N-Q12) to measure HL, Relative Stress Scale (RSS) to measure carer burden, the EQ-5D-5L instrument to measure HRQoL, and some modified questions from the Resource Utilization in Dementia (RUD) questionnaire to measure time spent on informal care (Time). Descriptive analysis in addition to bivariate and multiple linear regressions were undertaken. In multiple linear regression analysis, we used HL as the independent variable to predict the outcomes (carer burden, HRQoL, Time). Analyses were adjusted for the effects of explanatory independent variables: age, gender, education levels, urban residency, having worked as health personnel, caring for someone with severe/mild dementia, and being born abroad. Findings In a non-probability sample of 188 family carers from across Norway, most of them female and over the age of 60, we found high levels of HL. In the bivariate analysis, carer burden and HRQoL (EQvalue) showed significant associations with HL. In the multiple regression analyses, HL was statistically significantly associated with carer burden (B = -0.18 CI:-0.33,-0.02 p = 0.02), HRQoL (EQvalue: B = 0.003 with 95% CI: 0.001, 0.006 p = 0.04), and Time (B = -0.03 with 95% CI: -0.06, 0.000, p = 0.046), after adjusting for the effect of independent variables. Conclusion This is one of the first studies to investigate the associations between HL and different outcomes for family carers of older people living with dementia. Additional research into the associations identified here is needed to further develop our understanding of how to support family carers in their roles. Targeted support that increases family carers' HL may have potential to enhance their ability to provide sustainable care over time.

Access source material through DOI

Investigating the psychometric properties of the Carers' Fall Concern instrument to measure carers' concern for older people at risk of falling at home: A cross‐sectional study

Aims: This study aimed to investigate the psychometric properties of the Carers' Fall Concern Instrument (CFC‐I) for measuring carers' concern for older people (care recipients) at risk of falling. Background: Family carers are crucial in preventing older people from falling at home. Their concerns for older people at risk of falling have severe implications on carers' psychological well‐being and ability to prevent falls. However, there is no validated instrument measuring this concern. Methods: A cross‐sectional study was used to examine the validity and reliability of the CFC‐I. Carers looking after older people living at home completed the 17‐item CFC‐I and provided information about their care arrangements and the older people's fall history. Construct validity was tested using exploratory factor analysis and hypothesis testing. Internal consistency was determined by calculating Cronbach's alpha coefficient. Results: 143 carers completed the survey either by face‐to‐face or by online. After deleting one item with an item‐total correlation of below 0.3, the remaining 16‐item CFC‐I reported a Cronbach alpha of 0.93. Construct validity was supported by strong item‐total correlations (0.51–0.76), mean inter‐item correlations (0.47) and factor loadings (0.557–0.809). Factor analysis revealed three factors that include concerns about care recipients' health and function, living environment and carers' perception of fall and fall risk. The 16‐item CFC‐I can discriminate between carers of older people with and without recurrent (fallen 3/ more times) falls. Conclusion: The 16‐item CFC‐I is a valid and reliable scale for measuring carers' concern for the older people's risk of falling. Future analysis of test–retest and inter‐rater reliability of the instrument will further support its clinical use for carers. Implications for practice: The newly developed multi‐item CFC‐I can be used to quantify the carers' level of fall concern and inform targeted interventions for carers when caring for older people who are at risk of falling.

Access source material through DOI

Integration of family caregivers in delirium prevention care for hospitalized older adults: A case study analysis

Aim To understand how family caregivers of older adults hospitalized for orthopaedic surgery are integrated by nurses in delirium prevention care. Design Multiple case study. Methods The sample consisted of eight cases. Each case comprised an older adult, a family caregiver, and a nurse. Data were collected from September 2017 - April 2018 through various instruments, including semi-structured interviews and family caregiver logs. Within- and across-case analyses were conducted, based on the model of The Care Partner Engagement developed by Hill, Yevchak, Gilmore-Bykovskyi, & Kolanowski (Geriatric Nursing, 35, 2014, 272). Results Two themes emerged: (a) family caregivers were engaged in caring for the older adults during their hospital stay, though they had differences in terms of views and needs; and (b) family caregivers communicated with nurses but nurses did not recognize their role and did not integrate them much in care. Conclusion The presence and availability of family caregivers, their sense of responsibility towards the hospitalized older adults, and their positive effects on them suggest that family caregivers could be integrated more systematically in a care partnership with nurses. Poor integration of family caregivers in delirium prevention care shows that nurse delirium prevention competencies and their relational skills for communicating effectively with family caregivers need to be developed further. Impact Integrating family caregivers in delirium prevention care for older adults is a challenge for nurses. Family caregivers are engaged during the hospitalization of older adults, though differences and problems exist between the two groups. While there is communication between patients, family caregivers, and nurses, nurses do not recognize the role of family caregivers and hardly integrated them in the delirium prevention care of hospitalized older adults. Nurses must adopt a patient- and family-centred approach. Care and training facilities must make resources available to implement this approach in nursing practice.

Access source material through DOI

Informal Caregiving, Poor Mental Health, and Subjective Cognitive Decline: Results From a Population-Based Sample

The current study examined potential gender differences in the associations between informal caregiving, poor mental health, and subjective cognitive decline (SCD). Data were obtained from the U.S. Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (N = 16,042; 9,410 women, 6,632 men). Multivariate linear and logistic regression models were used to obtain adjusted beta s and odds ratios (ORs), and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) depicting the association between informal caregiving, poor mental health, and SCD overall and by gender. Caregiving was positively associated with poor mental health among men (adjusted beta = 2.60; 95% CI [2.59, 2.62]) and women (adjusted beta = 0.40; 95% CI [0.23, 0.57]). Poor mental health was positively associated with SCD among men (adjusted OR = 1.05; 95% CI [1.02, 1.08]) and women (adjusted OR = 1.07; 95% CI [1.04, 1.10]). Poor mental health may be associated with SCD, irrespective of gender, and additional studies are needed that will identify key variables influencing SCD among male and female informal caregivers.

Access source material through DOI

Family caregiver's burden and the social support for older patients undergoing peritoneal dialysis

SUMMARY: Background: Most elderly people undergoing peritoneal dialysis (PD) treatment have a high incidence of frailty, cognitive impairment and emotional disturbance leading to a significant impact on families. The burden experienced by the family caregivers could affect their physical and emotion health. The objective of this study was to examine the level of burden on family caregivers of elderly adults receiving PD and to identify any contributing factors. Materials and Methods: This was a cross‐sectional study employing convenience sampling. Patient–caregiver dyads were recruited from the outpatient clinic of a university hospital in China in 2019. Caregivers provided information on their perceived burden and health‐related quality of life. The elderly patients reported their functional dependence and depressive symptoms in the same interview. Linear regression analyses were used to determine the factors contributing to caregivers' burden. Results: Sixty patient–caregiver dyads were recruited. The patients had a mean age of 70.7 ± 7.4 years. The caregivers reported moderate levels of burden having ZBI score of 30.5 ± 15.9. Multivariate analyses showed that being female, perceiving one's financial status as insufficient, a low level of social support for the caregiver, depressive symptoms in the patients and disability in carrying out the instrumental activities of daily life were statistically significant predictors of caregiver burden (adjusted R2 = 0.46, p < 0.001). Conclusion: Elderly adults receiving PD who experience physical dependence and depressive symptoms are a burden for caregivers. In response to this challenge, interventions designed with the goal of supporting the emotional and mental wellbeing of caregivers are warranted.

Access source material through DOI

Families' Experiences of End-of-Life Care at Home for Iranian Older Adults: A Qualitative Study

Aim: While the care of dying elderly patients at home is very complex and ambiguous, it has not been studied in Iran so far. Hence, this study aimed to explore the experience of a representative sample of the Iranian family caregivers from the end-of-life (EOL) care for their elderly relatives. Methods: The present study was conducted using a qualitative content analysis method. Twelve family caregivers caring for the chronically ill dying elderly were selected using purposeful sampling. The purposive sampling method was applied with an extreme variation in sampling, and data gathering was pursued until data saturation was achieved. Semi-structured interviews were utilized for data collection. Interviews were recorded and instantly transcribed verbatim. Inductive content analysis was used to analyze the data. Results: Four core themes and 13 subthemes emerged from the experiences of family's caregiver as fallow: (1) Committed to care: This is related to encounter with the end of stage disease of the relative, accepting the care role and priority of care, (2) challenges of Care: Caregivers, despite their efforts, provided ineffective care, so they sought to empower themselves and at the same time provide compassionate care, (3) the crisis of care including the complexity of care, fear, and wandering, helplessness, devastating tension, and vacuum of supporting, and (4) conditions after death that family members involved with a sense of loss and Tension control. Conclusion: When families had to take care of their elderly patients at home, although their wish to give the best care, they are completely powerless to provide care, and in an atmosphere of the vacuum of supporting, they encounter severe challenges and crisis. It is vital that palliative care centers in the society are arranged to care for EOL elderly with comprehensive insurance services.

Access source material through DOI

Exploring perceptions toward home-care robots for older people in Finland, Ireland, and Japan: A comparative questionnaire study

Purpose: To clarify potential users' perceptions toward the development and social implementation of home-care robots in Japan, Ireland, and Finland. Methods: Unsigned, self-administered questionnaires were distributed to adults aged 65 or older, family caregivers, and home-care/health and social care professionals (HSCPs). A total of 1004 responses were collected. Results: In Japan, many people were already familiar with robots in their daily lives. The most notable finding about their perspectives on home-care robots was related to safety. Moreover, 93.7 % of the Japanese respondents said, "If the user cannot decide whether to use a home-care robot, family members who know the user well should decide," followed by 76.4 % in Ireland and 83.1 % in Finland (p < .001). In Ireland, 81.8 % of the respondents said, "I want to help other people and society by participating in the research and development of home-care robots" (Japan: 69.9 %; Finland: 67.5 %) (p = .006). In Finland, many people had a negative impression of robots compared to the other two countries. Finland had the highest percentage (75.4 %) of respondents who said, "Health care professionals should be allowed to use secondary information collected by a home-care robot" (Japan and Ireland: 64 %) (p = .024). Moreover, Ireland and Finland emphasized the need to guarantee the entitlement to receive human care. Conclusions: Devising optimal strategies for the development and social implementation of home-care robots by incorporating various perspectives while valuing human dignity will require examination of each country's characteristics with respect to history, culture, policies, and values related to robots.

Access source material through DOI

The essential needs for home-care robots in Japan

Purpose This study aims to compare the level of needs for home-care robots amongst older adults, family caregivers and home-care staff and clarify the factors constituting these needs. Design/methodology/approach A cross-sectional, anonymous questionnaire survey was administered. It included 52 items related to needs for home-care robots rated on a four-point Likert scale. Means and standard deviations were calculated, and the Kruskal-Wallis test was performed for each item. Factor analysis was conducted on the needs of home-care staff. Findings Responses from 79 older adults, 54 family caregivers and 427 home-care staff were analysed. For all three groups, the level of agreement was high for the following needs: to inform family and support personnel immediately when older adults fall, about their location in case of natural disasters and about mismanagement of fire by older adults with dementia. For family caregivers and home-care staff, the level of need concerning monitoring was higher than for older adults. Extracted using factor analysis, the six factors representing the essential needs for home-care robots were risk minimisation, daily monitoring of the physical condition, supporting activities of daily living (ADL) and instrumental ADL, pre-empting problems, communication and miscellaneous support. Originality/value The results showed that the education of caregivers and the co-design process of robot development should involve home-care staff, older adults and family caregivers, which are important for making decisions about the use of home-care robots for older adults.

Access source material through DOI

Elder Abuse Assessment Tools and Interventions for use in the Home Environment: a Scoping Review

Background and Aim: Caregivers in the home environment have an important role in timely detecting and responding to abuse. The aim of this review was to provide insight into both the existing tools for the assessment of and interventions for elder abuse by formal and informal caregivers in the home environment, and to categorize them according to a public health perspective, into primary, secondary, tertiary or quaternary prevention. Methods: We selected the assessment tools and interventions that can be used by caregivers in the home environment included in previous reviews by Gallione et al (2017) and Fearing et al (2017). To identify published studies after these reviews, a search was performed using PubMed, Cochrane Database, CINAHL and Web of Science. Results: In total, fifteen assessment tools and twelve interventions were included. The number of assessment tools for elder abuse for use in the home environment is increasing; however, tools must be validated over different cultures and risk groups. In addition, the tools lack attention for the needs of vulnerable older persons such as persons with dementia. Existing interventions for caregivers in the home environment lack evidence for addressing elder abuse and do not address potential adverse effects (quaternary prevention). Conclusion: Assessment tools for elder abuse need further testing for validity and reliability for use by caregivers in the home environment. For interventions, meaningful outcome measures are needed. Important to note is that quaternary prevention requires more attention. This argues for taking into account perspectives of (abused) older persons and caregivers in the development of assessment tools and interventions protocols.

Access source material through DOI

Division of Parent Care Among Adult Children

Objectives Many older adults rely on their children's support to sustain community residence. Although filial norms encourage adult children to help their parents, not every child provides parent care in times of need. The majority of prior studies have adopted an individualistic perspective to examine factors associated with individual children's caregiving behavior. This study complements previous work by using the family systems perspective to understand how caregiving responsibilities are allocated among children in the family and how the pattern of care division evolves over time. Method Data came from seven rounds of the National Health and Aging Trends Study (2011–2017), in which community-dwelling respondents were asked about all of their children and which children provided them with care. Multilevel models were estimated to examine how caregiving responsibilities were distributed among children and how the children's caregiving efforts responded to changes in their parents' frailty. Results About three quarters of older adults reported receiving help from only one child, and the average of monthly care hours was about 50 at baseline. As parents' frailty increased, the proportion of children providing parents rose and the allocation of parent-care hours became more equal. Discussion This study underscores the importance of using the family systems perspective to better understand adult children's caregiving behavior. Although just one adult child providing care is the most common caregiving arrangement initially, adult children tend to work with their siblings to support parents' aging in place as parents' need for care increases.

Access source material through DOI

Disability Severity and Home-Based Care Quality in Older Adults: The Mediating Effects of Social Support and Caregiver Competence

Background The lack of adequate medical care, healthcare, and older adult care in remote, low-income, rural Kazakh areas of China is a particular concern that should be prioritized for improvement. Purpose This study was designed to explore the relationship between the variables of disability severity, social support, and caregiver competence and the quality of home-based care in a population of Kazakh older adults with disabilities and to analyze the path between severity of disability and quality of home-based care in this population. Methods A cross-sectional survey was conducted on 335 Kazakh older adults with disabilities living in Xinjiang, China, and their primary informal caregivers. Disability severity was assessed using the Activities of Daily Living Scale, caregiver competence was assessed using the Family Caregiver Task Inventory, social support was assessed using the Social Support Rating Scale, and home-based care quality was assessed using the Family Caregiving Consequences Inventory Scale. Path analysis was used to check the effects of other variables on the quality of home-based care. Results Significant correlations were found among disability severity, caregiver competence, social support, and home-based care quality. Disability severity was shown to have a 29.28% direct effect on home-based care quality and a 70.72% indirect effect through social support and caregiver competence. Conclusions The results of this study confirm that better social support and caregiver competence improves the quality of home-based care available to older adults with disabilities. Policymakers should give priority to improving the quality of care provided to community-dwelling older adults with severe disabilities. Furthermore, health management departments should provide informal caregiver training that teaches care and rehabilitation knowledge and skills to improve the competencies of caregivers.

Access source material through DOI

Conflicts Experienced by Caregivers of Older Adults With the Health-Care System

Background: Family caregivers of older adults frequently navigate the health system for their loved ones. As older adults experience more medical issues, the interactions between caregivers and the health system can be fraught with conflicts. Objective: To characterize the conflicts that caregivers of older adults experience with the health-care system. Methods: A cross-sectional national online survey with open-ended questions was conducted among family caregivers ascertaining experiences with the health-care system. Qualitative thematic analysis was completed using constant comparative analysis and review by a third author. Results: Over a 2-month period, 97 caregivers completed the survey. Common themes where caregivers experienced conflicts were Difficulty With Accessing/Communicating With Providers, Delivery of Emergency Care, Disjointed Transitional Care, Unaddressed Clinical Concerns, and Financial. Caregivers reported needing to act as patient advocates in the conflicts with the health-care system. Conclusion: Understanding the conflicts that family caregivers encounter with the health system provides potential targets for future interventions to combat the challenges faced by caregivers of older adults and ultimately improve delivery of geriatric care.

Access source material through DOI

Co-Design to Support the Development of Inclusive eHealth Tools for Caregivers of Functionally Dependent Older Persons: Social Justice Design

Background: eHealth can help reduce social health inequalities (SHIs) as much as it can exacerbate them. Taking a co-design approach to the development of eHealth tools has the potential to ensure that these tools are inclusive. Although the importance of involving future users in the development of eHealth tools to reduce SHIs is highlighted in the scientific literature, the challenges associated with their participation question the benefits of this involvement as co-designers in a real-world context. Objective: On the basis of Amartya Sen's theoretical framework of social justice, the aim of this study is to explore how co-design can support the development of an inclusive eHealth tool for caregivers of functionally dependent older persons. Methods: This study is based on a social justice design and participant observation as part of a large-scale research project funded by the Ministry of Families as part of the Age-Friendly Quebec Program (Quebec Ami des Aines). The analysis was based on the method developed by Miles and Huberman and on Paille's analytical questioning method. Results: A total of 78 people participated in 11 co-design sessions in 11 Quebec regions. A total of 24 preparatory meetings and 11 debriefing sessions were required to complete this process. Co-designers participated in the creation of a prototype to support the search for formal services for caregivers. The majority of participants (except for 2) significantly contributed to the tool's designing. They also incorporated conversion factors to ensure the inclusiveness of the eHealth tool, such as an adequate level of digital literacy and respect for the caregiver's help-seeking process. In the course of the experiment, the research team's position regarding its role in co-design evolved from a neutral posture and promoting co-designer participation to one that was more pragmatic. Conclusions: The use of co-design involving participants at risk of SHIs does not guarantee innovation, but it does guarantee that the tool developed will comply with their process of help-seeking and their literacy level. Time issues interfere with efforts to carry out a democratic process in its ideal form. It would be useful to single out some key issues to guide researchers on what should be addressed in co-design discussions and what can be left out to make optimal use of this approach in a real-world context.

Access source material through DOI

Caring for older persons in rural and urban communities: perspectives of Ghanaian informal caregivers on their coping mechanisms

Objective Studies on informal caregiving for older persons in Ghana have only reported the challenges of the caregivers without providing their coping mechanisms. Considering the myriad of challenges facing informal caregivers in Ghana, we sought to explore the coping mechanisms utilised by informal caregivers in rural and urban settings of Ghana to overcome their caregiving challenges. Methods In-depth interviews were conducted with 20 purposively selected caregivers from the Ejisu-Juaben Municipality and Kumasi Metropolis in the Ashanti Region of Ghana. The data were thematically analysed and common themes were reported as findings. Results Six key coping mechanisms were found; faith in God, support from friends and family, borrowing from friends, acceptance and encouragement, reducing expenditure on other activities, and taking time off. Conclusion The findings provide key strategies to policy-makers in the health sector to prevent the burnout of informal caregivers. Considerations from the coping mechanisms enumerated in the current study could guide the design and implementation of policies towards improving the informal healthcare sector in Ghana, which is crucial to the realisation of the United Nations' health-related Sustainable Development Goals.

Access source material through DOI

Caring for Older Adults With Vision Impairment and Dementia

Background and Objectives: Dementia and vision impairment (VI) are common among older adults but little is known about caregiving in this context. Research Design and Methods: We used data from the 2011 National Health and Aging Trends Study, a nationally representative survey of Medicare beneficiaries, linked to their family/unpaid helpers from the National Study of Caregiving. Vision impairment was defined as self-reported blindness or difficulty with distance/near vision. Probable dementia was based on survey report, interviews, and cognitive tests. Our outcomes included hours of care provided, and number of valued activities (scored 0-4) affected by caregiving, per month. Results: Among 1,776 caregivers, 898 (55.1%, weighted) assisted older adults without dementia or VI, 450 (21.9%) with dementia only, 224 (13.0%) with VI only, and 204 (10.0%) with dementia and VI. In fully adjusted negative binomial regression analyses, caregivers of individuals with dementia and VI spent 1.7 times as many hours (95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.4-2.2) providing care than caregivers of those without either impairment; however, caregivers of individuals with dementia only (95% CI = 1.1-1.6) and VI only (95% CI = 1.1-1.6) spent 1.3 times more hours. Additionally, caregivers of individuals with dementia and VI had 3.2 times as many valued activities affected (95% CI = 2.2-4.6), while caregivers of dementia only and VI only reported 1.9 times (95% CI = 1.4-2.6) and 1.3 times (95% CI = 0.9-1.8) more activities affected, respectively. Discussion and Implications: Our results suggest that caring for older adults with VI involves similar time demands as caring for older adults with dementia, but that participation impacts are greater when caring for older adults with both dementia and VI. Translational Significance: When compared with caring for older adults with either dementia or vision impairment, caring for older adults with both dementia and vision impairment involves more hours of caregiving per month and further limits caregivers' ability to participate in social activities. Low-vision rehabilitation and integration of low-vision services into the care of older adults with dementia and vision impairment may reduce caregiver burden.

Access source material through DOI

Application of treatment fidelity in tailored caregiver interventions

Demonstrations of the effectiveness of interventions requires evidence that the model can be implemented with fidelity. Caregiving interventions that are tailored to the individual or family require flexibility, which adds some challenges to the assessment of fidelity. This paper outlines the components necessary for examining treatment fidelity and common barriers to implementing fidelity studies, offers considerations for designing fidelity studies with tailored caregiver interventions, and aims to provide a set of procedures that can be used to guide future fidelity studies. Case study methods are used to illustrate the processes and findings, drawing on two research studies of fidelity in tailored caregiver interventions. Fidelity studies consist of core components (i.e. training on intervention delivery, adherence to the intervention, therapist competence, acceptability and outcomes) that should be maintained and monitored throughout the study to elucidate the relationship between the intervention and outcomes. These components are applicable to tailored caregiver interventions and can be implemented with the consideration of some key issues that are addressed prior to the evaluation. The two cases presented utilized similar methods to evaluate fidelity of two different tailored caregiver interventions. Treatment fidelity can be assessed for tailored caregiving interventions, which increases confidence about the potency of the active ingredients in the interventions. Standard fidelity guidelines can be implemented with minor additional considerations.

Access source material through DOI

Ambient assisted living technology-mediated interventions for older people and their informal carers in the context of healthy ageing: A scoping review

Background and Aims: There is a growing demand for health and social care services to provide technology-mediated interventions that promote the health and well-being of older people with health or care needs and of their informal carers. The objectives of this study were to scope and review the nature and extent of prior intervention studies involving ambient assisted living technology-mediated interventions for older people and their informal carers, and how and in what ways (if any) the goals and aims of these interventions reflected the domains of the World Health Organization framework for healthy ageing.; Methods: We conducted a scoping review. Data were collected between June and October 2018 with an updated search in October 2020. A total of 85 articles were eligible for inclusion.; Results: Nine categories described the aims and content of the included studies. The healthy ageing domain "Ability to meet basic needs" was mirrored in four categories, whereas "Ability to contribute to society" was not addressed at all.; Conclusion: The ways in which domains of healthy ageing are mirrored suggest that there is an emphasis on individual factors and individual responsibility, and a lack of attention given to broader, environmental factors affecting healthy ageing. Only a few of the studies used a dyadic approach when assessing health outcomes concerning older people and their informal carers. 

Access source material through DOI

The importance of family members caregiving for older adults during COVID-19

Presents an argument that one of the ways that we can more properly value family caregivers is by understanding that employment policies have implications for families’ and older adults’ well-being, and that policies targeted at families of all forms can affect the health, employment, and general well-being of the nation.

Original source (some source materials require subscription or permission to access)

Why Older Adults and Their Children Disagree About In-Home Surveillance Technology, Sensors, and Tracking

Background and Objectives Despite the surveilling nature of technologies that allow caregivers to remotely monitor location, movements, or activities, the potential differences in comfort with remote monitoring between caregivers and care recipients have not been examined in depth. On the dyad and aggregate level, we compare preferences of older adult women and their adult children for three remote monitoring technologies. Their assessments of each technology's impact on privacy, safety, independence, freedom, relationship with family member, social life, and identity are also compared. Research Design and Methods This dyadic study used cognitive-based interview probing and value-centered design methods. Twenty-eight individual, in-depth, structured interviews were conducted with 18 women who are Meals on Wheels clients and 10 of their adult children. Results Meals on Wheels participants reported multiple chronic conditions and an average of 1.7 ADL and 3.3 IADL difficulties; two thirds were enrolled in Medicaid. Adult children preferred each technology more than their mothers did and underestimated both their mothers' ability to comprehend the functions of the technologies and the importance of engaging them fully in decision making. Most were confident that they could persuade their mothers to adopt. For both groups, privacy was the most-cited concern, and participants perceived significant overlap between values of privacy, independence, identity, and freedom. Discussion and Implications Studying privacy in isolation overlooks privacy's instrumental role in enabling other values. Shared decision-making tools are needed to promote remote monitoring use consistent with older adults' values and to prevent conflict and caregiver overreach.

Access source material through DOI

Who Cares? An Existential Perspective of Caregiving for Individuals With a Left Ventricular Assist Device

The goal of a LVAD is to extend life expectancy, improve physical strength and quality of life, and allow individuals to be discharged home. When making decisions for a family member to receive a LVAD, caregivers are asked to confront a sophisticated technology with not only the potential to extend life expectancy and improve quality of life but also risks for complications and burdens. The caregiver may place different values on the quality of life (e.g., symptoms, physical function, social interactions) and burdens of therapy (e.g., lifestyle adjustment, independency, direct and indirect costs, caregiver burden) than the values of The Other. 

Access source material through DOI

Weiqu, structural injustice and caring for sick older people in rural Chinese families: An empirical ethical study

This paper examines caregiving for sick older family members in the context of socio‐economic transformations in rural China, combining empirical investigation with normative inquiry. The empirical part of this paper is based on a case study, taken from fieldwork in a rural Chinese hospital, of a son who took care of his hospitalized mother. This empirical study highlighted family members' weiqu (sense of unfairness)—a mental status from experiencing mistreatment and oppression in family care, yet with constrained power to explicitly protest or make care‐related choices. Underpinning people's weiqu and constrained choice, as informed by the conception of structural injustice, is the impact of unjust social structures, organized by unfavourable norms, discriminatory social policies and institutions targeting rural populations. By restraining individual choices and capacities in supporting health care for aging populations, these unjust structures create additional difficulties for and discriminations against rural families and their older members. Some policy recommendations are proposed to mitigate structural injustice so as to empower families and promote care for older people in rural settings.

Access source material through DOI

Validation of a Comprehensive Measure of the Family Caregiver Experience: The Caregiver Reaction Scale

Objectives: The Caregiver Reaction Scale (CRS) is a multi-dimensional measure of the family caregiving experience that assesses role conflict, challenges, and positive aspects of caregiving. The CRS has been validated in a sample of older adult caregivers who sought counseling, but its validity and reliability in a broader population of caregivers had not been established. This study aimed to explore how well the CRS assesses the multiple dimensions of the caregiving experience in a sample of family caregivers who match the national profile of caregivers and to confirm the validity and structure of the subscales.; Methods: Family caregivers ( N = 452), age 18-89 ( M   = 48.56, SD  = 17.15) were recruited online and completed the CRS and questionnaires of burden and positive aspects of caregiving. A confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) was conducted to confirm the underlying factor structure of the CRS, and convergent and discriminant validity was examined.; Results: CFA supported the existing structure of the CRS; all subscales demonstrated very good internal consistency reliability (α ≤.88), convergent validity ( r ≥.39), and discriminant validity ( r ≤.12).; Conclusions: The CRS offers a valid and reliable assessment of the caregiving experience as evidenced by the convergent and discriminant validity of CRS subscales with well-validated measures of burden and positive aspects of caregiving.; Clinical Implications: The CRS assesses multiple dimensions of caregiving that can be used to better understand the caregiver's experience, guide clinical interventions and referrals, and identify caregiver strengths.

Access source material through DOI

Unmet needs of informal carers of the oldest old in Portugal

Oldest‐old individuals are a growing segment of the population that faces several challenges in terms of care demands. Informal caregivers experience more or less challenges, namely depending on the support they can access. The present study explores the unmet needs of a sample of informal caregivers of community‐dwelling older adults aged 80+ and analyses the association of such needs with sociodemographic information, care‐giving context (e.g., length of care),and health characteristics of the caregivers and care receivers (e.g., cognitive status and functionality). We recruited 175 care‐giving dyads from the North of Portugal. Descriptive statistics summarised the sample's characteristics. Informal caregivers were mainly women with a mean age of 60.6 years (SD = 9.8). Care receivers' mean age was 88.7 years (SD = 5.6) and were functionally dependent (9.3 points [SD = 7.0] and 27.0 points [SD = 3.5] for Basic and Instrumental Activities of Daily Living, respectively). A thematic analysis of an open‐ended question on unmet needs was performed, revealing the presence of unmet needs. The most relevant ones (financial support, caregiver support, primary care/medical specialities, and labour regulation) were further analysed, concerning the care‐giving dyad's using Independent Student's t test or Mann–Whitney U Tests, and Chi‐squared test or Fisher's Exact test depending on the variable. The most frequent unmet needs were associated with the caregiver's age, care receivers' kinship, number of care‐giving hours, the caregiver's gender, professional status, the caregiver strain and medicines intake. Findings suggest the need for establishing policies that ensure adequate sustainability of the provision of informal care that takes into account the needs of care‐giving dyads in the planning process.

Access source material through DOI

Transitional palliative care interventions for older adults with advanced non-malignant diseases and frailty: a systematic review: Managing Community Care

Purpose To identify transitional palliative care (TPC) interventions for older adults with non-malignant chronic diseases and complex conditions. Design/methodology/approach A systematic review of the literature was conducted. CINAHL, Cochrane Library, Embase and Pubmed databases were searched for studies reporting TPC interventions for older adults, published between 2002 and 2019. The Crowe Critical Appraisal Tool was used for quality appraisal. Findings A total of six studies were included. Outcomes related to TPC interventions were grouped into three categories: healthcare system-related outcomes (rehospitalisation, length of stay [LOS] and emergency department [ED] visits), patient-related outcomes and family/carer important outcomes. Overall, TPC interventions were associated with lower readmission rates and LOS, improved quality of life and better decision-making concerning hospice care among families. Outcomes for ED visits were unclear. Research limitations/implications Positive outcomes related to healthcare services (including readmissions and LOS), patients (quality of life) and families (decision-making) were reported. However, the number of studies supporting the evidence were limited. Originality/value Studies examining the effectiveness of existing care models to support transitions for those in need of palliative care are limited. This systematic literature review identified and appraised interventions aimed at improving transitions to palliative care in older adults with advanced non-malignant diseases or frailty.

Access source material through DOI

Time for care: exploring time use by carers of older people

The paper focuses on temporal aspects of informal caring for older people. Limitations of large-scale surveys in capturing such data are noted and time-use methodology, despite its own limitations, is proposed as a promising alternative. Adopting a critical perspective on time that includes carers' own conceptualisations, we report the findings of a qualitative study of carers' time use. Sixty-two interviews with carers, male/female, co-resident/not co-resident, employed/not employed, and located across Great Britain were conducted. Analysis considered people's own diverse and ambiguous views of their care activities. Carers' accounts of their time revealed non-linear experiences and a sense of being permanently on call. Interviewees often travelled distances to engage in support activities with or for older people. Changes over time were pervasive, increasing or reducing care requirements. Unanticipated events could precipitate radical changes in time use. Managing time, exercising temporal agency, was particularly apparent in accounts of care, employment, other family responsibilities and choices about friendship. Measurement of carers' time use which draws on the conceptual foundation of carers' own perspectives on time may provide more effective quantitative understanding of the temporal aspects of caring. It should not pre-define time, must grasp a variety of tasks, take account of intermittent activity, incorporate the 24–7 experience of many carers and demonstrate how caring time interacts with other time. 

Access source material through DOI

Supporting In-Home Caregivers in Symptom Assessment of Frail Older Adults with Serious Illness: A Pilot Study (RP411)

Objectives Describe the use of a Symptom Assessment (SA) Toolkit designed to support in-home caregivers of homebound older adults with serious illness. Explore next steps in evaluation and dissemination of the Toolkit. Importance. Many older adults with serious illness who depend on others for care have symptoms that are difficult to manage. Supporting in-home caregivers in symptom assessment (SA) may improve suffering among older adults. Objective(s). To test the feasibility of a SA-Toolkit for caregivers to assess and track older adults' symptoms. Method(s). With multi-stakeholder input, we created a SA-Toolkit consisting of illustrations depicting symptoms, a validated 5-faces severity scale, and an easy-touse tracking system with phone numbers of family/ friends/clinicians to contact if symptoms worsened. We recruited English-speaking patients $65 years old and their caregivers from a home-based geriatrics program in San Francisco. Using validated questionnaires at baseline and 1-week, we assessed patients' symptoms, patients' and clients' self-efficacy with SA (5- point Likert scale), and acceptability (i.e., recommend to others). We used Wilcoxon signed-rank tests. Results. Eleven patient-caregiver dyads participated. Patients were 84.7 years old (SD 5.7), 81.8% women, and 27.3% non-white. From baseline to 1-week, the mean number of symptoms decreased (3.7 (1.5) at baseline to 2.6 (1.8) at follow-up, p¼0.03). Specifically, the number of patients with pain decreased from 63.6% to 36.4%, anxiety 54.6% to 18.2%, depression 45.5% to 27.3%, and loneliness 36.4% to 18.2%. Caregiver self-efficacy increased (4.6 (0.3) to 4.8 (0.3), p¼0.09). Patients found the symptom illustrations easy-to-use (8.7 on 10-point scale), but the faces scale less so (7.3/10) because it provided ''too many choices.'' Caregivers liked the SA-Toolkit because it was ''easy to use''; nearly all (10/11, 90%) would recommend it to others. Suggested improvements included personalizing materials according to patients' symptoms. Conclusion(s). The SA-Toolkit resulted in decreased symptom burden among patients and higher caregiver self-efficacy in symptom assessment. Acceptability of the Toolkit was high among both patients and caregivers. Impact. A SA-Toolkit is feasible and may help reduce suffering in frail, older patients.

Access source material through DOI

Self‐Administered Acupressure for Caregivers of Older Family Members: A Randomized Controlled Trial

OBJECTIVE To test whether self‐administered acupressure reduces stress and stress‐related symptoms in caregivers of older family members. DESIGN In this randomized, assessor‐blind, controlled trial, 207 participants were randomized (1:1) to an acupressure intervention or a wait‐list control group. SETTING Community centers in Hong Kong, China. PARTICIPANTS Primary caregivers of an older family member who screened positive for caregiver stress with symptoms of fatigue, insomnia, or depression. INTERVENTION The 8‐week intervention comprised four training sessions on self‐administered acupressure, two follow‐up sessions for learning reinforcement, and daily self‐practice of self‐administered acupressure. MEASUREMENTS The primary outcome was caregiver stress (Caregiver Burden Inventory). Secondary outcomes included fatigue (Piper Fatigue Scale), insomnia (Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index), depression (Patient Health Questionnaire), and health‐related quality of life (QoL) (12‐item Short‐Form Health Survey version 2). An intention‐to‐treat analysis was adopted. RESULTS: Of 207 participants, 201 completed the study. Caregiver stress in the intervention group was significantly lower than that in the control group after 8 weeks (difference = −8.12; 95% confidence interval [CI] = −13.20 to −3.04; P =.002) and at 12‐week follow‐up (difference = −8.52; 95% CI = −13.91 to −3.12; P =.002). The intervention group, relative to the control group, also had significantly improved secondary outcomes of fatigue (difference = −0.84; 95% CI = −1.59 to −0.08; P =.031), insomnia (difference = −1.34; 95% CI = −2.40 to −0.27; P =.014), depression (difference = −1.76; 95% CI = −3.30 to −0.23; P =.025), and physical health‐related QoL (difference = 3.08; 95% CI = 0.28‐5.88; P =.032) after 8 weeks. CONCLUSION: Self‐administered acupressure intervention significantly relieves self‐reported caregiver stress and co‐occurring symptoms in those caring for older family members. Further studies are needed to measure the symptoms objectively and to examine the clinical importance of the observed improvement in caregiver stress. 

Access source material through DOI

Role of the Infusion Nurse: Caring for the Family/Lay Caregiver of Older Adults

Approximately 43 500 000 family caregivers provide unpaid care to an adult or child. Most caregivers provide care to older adults, most often parents. Caregivers are often ill-prepared to assist their loved ones, creating or increasing caregiving burden and/or risk of compassion fatigue, potentially leading to critical "caregiving tipping points." Identifying families who are experiencing increased burden or risk of compassion fatigue is a skill that nurses, including infusion nurses, who have unique entree into the caregiving situation, should develop. The purpose of this article is to describe "impending" tipping points before they occur and to offer solutions for how nurses can help caregiving families identify them and access additional supportive services.

Access source material through DOI

Rituals of Care: Karmic Politics in an Aging Thailand

End-of-life issues are increasingly central to discussions within medical anthropology, the anthropology of political action, and the study of Buddhist philosophy and practice. Felicity Aulino's Rituals of Care speaks directly to these important anthropological and existential conversations. Against the backdrop of global population aging and increased attention to care for the elderly, both personal and professional, Aulino challenges common presumptions about the universal nature of "caring." The way she examines particular sets of emotional and practical ways of being with people, and their specific historical lineages, allows Aulino to show an inseparable link between forms of social organization and forms of care. Unlike most accounts of the quotidian concerns of providing care in a rapidly aging society, Rituals of Care brings attention to corporeal processes. Moving from vivid descriptions of the embodied routines at the heart of home caregiving to depictions of care practices in more general ways-care for one's group, care of the polity-it develops the argument that religious, social, and political structures are embodied, through habituated action, in practices of providing for others. Under the watchful treatment of Aulino, care becomes a powerful foil for understanding recent political turmoil and structural change in Thailand, proving embodied practice to be a vital vantage point for phenomenological and political analyses alike.

Original source (some source materials require subscription or permission to access)

Review and Selection of Online Resources for Carers of Frail Adults or Older People in Five European Countries: Mixed-Methods Study

Background: Informal carers have a crucial role in the care of older people, but they are at risk of social isolation and psychological exhaustion. Web-based services like apps and websites are increasingly used to support informal carers in addressing some of their needs and tasks, such as health monitoring of their loved ones, information and communication, and stress management. Despite the growing number of available solutions, the lack of knowledge or skills of carers about the solutions often prevent their usage.; Objective: This study aimed to review and select apps and websites offering functionalities useful for informal carers of frail adults or older people in 5 European countries (Cyprus, Greece, Italy, Portugal, and Sweden).; Methods: A systematic online search was conducted from January 2017 to mid-March 2017 using selected keywords, followed by an assessment based on a set of commonly agreed criteria and standardized tools. Selected resources were rated and classified in terms of scope. Focus groups with informal carers were conducted to validate the list and the classification of resources. The activities were conducted in parallel in the participating countries using common protocols and guidelines, a standardization process, and scheduled group discussions.; Results: From a total of 406 eligible resources retrieved, 138 apps and 86 websites met the inclusion criteria. Half of the selected resources (109/224, 48.7%) were disease-specific, and the remaining resources included information and utilities on a variety of themes. Only 38 resources (38/224, 17.0%) were devoted specifically to carers, addressing the management of health disturbances and diseases of the care recipient and focusing primarily on neurodegenerative diseases. Focus groups with the carers showed that almost all participants had no previous knowledge of any resource specifically targeting carers, even if interest was expressed towards carer-focused resources. The main barriers for using the resources were low digital skills of the carers and reliability of health-related apps and websites. Results of the focus groups led to a new taxonomy of the resources, comprising 4 categories: carer's wellbeing, managing health and diseases of the care recipient, useful contacts, and technologies for eldercare.; Conclusions: The review process allowed the identification of online resources of good quality. However, these resources are still scarce due to a lack of reliability and usability that prevent users from properly benefiting from most of the resources. The involvement of end users provided added value to the resource classification and highlighted the gap between the potential benefits from using information and communication technologies and the real use of online resources by carers.

Access source material through DOI

Race Differences in Characteristics and Experiences of Black and White Caregivers of Older Americans

Background and Objectives Racial disparities in health and socioeconomic characteristics of older adults have implications for the experiences of their family and unpaid caregivers, but knowledge to date has primarily drawn from convenience samples. Using a population-based sample, we examine associations between caregiver race and caregiving-related effects. Research Design and Methods Study participants include white (n = 992) and black (n = 556) respondents to the 2015 National Study of Caregiving who assisted community-dwelling older adults with disabilities who participated in the National Health and Aging Trends Study. Guided by Pearlin's Stress Process Model, hierarchical logistic regression models were constructed to examine race differences in caregiving-related effects after adjusting for caregiving context, stressors, and resources. Results Relative to white caregivers, blacks more often provided in excess of 40 hr of care per week (54.3% vs 38.6%) and more often cared for an older adult with dementia (27.1% vs 20.7%) who was living below the federal poverty line (31.7% vs 11.9%) or was Medicaid-eligible (42.2% vs 11.8%). Black caregivers more often used supportive services (32.9% vs 24.8%). In fully adjusted regression models, black caregivers were more likely to report gains and less likely to report emotional difficulty than whites. Service utilization did not attenuate caregiving-related emotional difficulty or participation restrictions, regardless of race. Discussion and Implications Findings highlight caregiving disparities and counterintuitive differences in experiences and indicate the importance of identifying supports such as paid family leave and faith and community-based programming to better support community-dwelling low-income older adults and their family and unpaid caregivers. 

Access source material through DOI

Quality of Care Perceived by Older Patients and Caregivers in Integrated Care Pathways With Interviewing Assistance From a Social Robot: Noninferiority Randomized Controlled Trial

Background: Society is facing a global shortage of 17 million health care workers, along with increasing health care demands from a growing number of older adults. Social robots are being considered as solutions to part of this problem.Objective: Our objective is to evaluate the quality of care perceived by patients and caregivers for an integrated care pathway in an outpatient clinic using a social robot for patient-reported outcome measure (PROM) interviews versus the currently used professional interviews. Methods: A multicenter, two-parallel-group, nonblinded, randomized controlled trial was used to test for noninferiority of the quality of care delivered through robot-assisted care. The randomization was performed using a computer-generated table. The setting consisted of two outpatient clinics, and the study took place from July to December 2019. Of 419 patients who visited the participating outpatient clinics, 110 older patients met the criteria for recruitment. Inclusion criteria were the ability to speak and read Dutch and being assisted by a participating health care professional. Exclusion criteria were serious hearing or vision problems, serious cognitive problems, and paranoia or similar psychiatric problems. The intervention consisted of a social robot conducting a 36-item PROM. As the main outcome measure, the customized Consumer Quality Index (CQI) was used, as reported by patients and caregivers for the outpatient pathway of care. Results: In total, 75 intermediately frail older patients were included in the study, randomly assigned to the intervention and control groups, and processed: 36 female (48%) and 39 male (52%); mean age 77.4 years (SD 7.3), range 60-91 years. There was no significant difference in the total patient CQI scores between the patients included in the robot-assisted care pathway (mean 9.27, SD 0.65, n=37) and those in the control group (mean 9.00, SD 0.70, n=38): P=.08, 95% CI -0.04 to 0.58. There was no significant difference in the total CQI scores between caregivers in the intervention group (mean 9.21, SD 0.76, n=30) and those in the control group (mean 9.09, SD 0.60, n=35): P=.47, 95% CI -0.21 to 0.46. No harm or unintended effects occurred. Conclusions: Geriatric patients and their informal caregivers valued robot-assisted and nonrobot-assisted care pathways equally.Trial Registration: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT03857789; https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT03857789.

Access source material through DOI

Psychological interventions for depression among informal caregivers of older adult populations: protocol of a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials

Introduction: Increased life expectancy has led to an increased demand for family members to provide informal care for their older relatives in the home. Many studies suggest informal caregivers are at greater risk of experiencing symptoms of depression. However, there is a lack of research examining the effectiveness of psychological interventions targeting these symptoms alongside clinical and methodological moderators potentially associated with intervention effectiveness. This review aims to address this gap and will inform the development of a psychological intervention targeting depression among adult-child caregivers of older parents, given many studies show that among informal caregivers of older adults, adult children experience specific difficulties and needs for psychological support. Further, the lack of studies targeting adult children specifically necessitates conducting this review targeting caregivers of older adults in general.; Methods and Analysis: Randomised controlled trials of psychological interventions targeting symptoms of depression among informal caregivers will be identified via a systematic search of electronic databases (PubMed, Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature, Excerpta Medica DataBase, PsycINFO, Cochrane Library and Web of Science) and supplemented by handsearching of previous systematic reviews, reference and forward citation checking, and expert contact. If possible, a meta-analysis will be conducted to examine the: (1) effectiveness of psychological interventions for depression among informal caregivers of older adults, (2) effectiveness of psychological interventions for secondary outcomes such as anxiety, stress, caregiver burden, psychological distress, quality of life, well-being and self-efficacy and (3) moderating effects of clinical and methodological factors on effectiveness.; Ethics and Dissemination: Ethical approval will not be necessary for this study given primary data will not be collected. Results will inform the development of a psychological intervention for adult-child caregivers of older parents and will be disseminated through publication in peer-reviewed journals and conference presentations.; Prospero Registration Number: CRD42020157763. 

Access source material through DOI

Preparation, Reliability, and Validity of a Japanese Version of the "Satisfaction of Treatment among Caregivers of Dependent Type 2 Diabetic Patients" Questionnaire

The aim of this study was to prepare a Japanese version of the "Satisfaction of Treatment among Caregivers of Dependent Type 2 Diabetic Patients" (STCD2-J) questionnaire, which is used to assess the satisfaction of family caregivers with respect to the treatment for elderly patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus who require support. In addition, the reliability and validity of the STCD2-J questionnaire were analyzed. A Japanese version of the original STCD2 questionnaire was prepared, revised, and back-translated; the back-translated version was sent to the authors of the original version for confirmation. Family caregivers of patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus aged ≥65 years who regularly underwent medical examinations at the diabetes mellitus outpatient clinic of Ise Red Cross Hospital were included. Cronbach's α coefficient was calculated to assess internal consistency. Exploratory factor analyses were performed to assess construct validity, and Pearson's correlation coefficients between STCD2-J score and HbA1c as well as the degree of satisfaction with patients' blood glucose levels, depression, and negative self-assessment of nursing care were calculated to assess criterion-related validity. This study included 208 individuals (55 males and 153 females). Cronbach's α coefficient was 0.88. Factor analyses showed a single-factor structure both with and without rotation. The STCD2-J scores were significantly inversely correlated with HbA1c (r = − 0.27 , P < 0.001). Significant correlations were observed between the STCD2-J scores and degree of satisfaction with patients' blood glucose levels (r = 0.43 , P < 0.001), depression (r = − 0.20 , P = 0.003), and negative self-assessment of nursing care (r = − 0.19 , P = 0.004). The reliability and validity of the STCD2-J questionnaire were confirmed. The STCD2-J questionnaire can be used in Japan as a tool to assess the satisfaction of family caregivers with the treatment of elderly patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus requiring support. 

Access source material through DOI

Predicting Caregiver Burden in Informal Caregivers for the Elderly in Ecuador

Informal caregivers are the main providers of care for the elderly. The aim of this study is to examine the predictive value of different variables regarding caregivers and their elderly patients with respect to the caregiver's burden. A convenience sample of 688 informal caregivers and 688 elderly people from Ecuador was surveyed. Only households with one caregiver and one elderly person were considered for the study. For informal caregivers, the following standardized measures were obtained: burden (Zarit Burden Interview), neuroticism (Eysenck Personality Questionnaire Revised-Abbreviated, EPQR-A), caregiver's general health (GHQ-12), and social support (modified Duke-UNC Functional Social Support Questionnaire, FSSQ11). For the elderly, we employed standardized measures of cognitive function (short portable mental status questionnaire, SPMSQ), Pfeiffer's test, and functional dependency (Barthel scale/Index, BI). Females were over-represented in caregiving and reported significantly higher burden levels than those of males. In both male and female caregivers, the burden was best predicted by the time of caring, neuroticism, and elderly cognitive impairment. However, some predictors of burden were weighted differently in males and females. The functional independence of the elderly was a significant predictor of burden for male caregivers but not females, while caregiver competence was a significant predictor for females but not males. These variables accounted for more than 88% of the variability in informal caregivers.

Access source material through DOI

The positive effects of caring for family carers of older adults: a scoping review

The negative effects of caring are well documented; however, positive effects have received less attention. A scoping review of 22 studies published between 2000 and 2018 was conducted regarding the positive effects of family caring for older adults. Our analysis revealed that positive effects are embedded in relationships, summarised in three themes: in relationship with one's self (the carer), for example, personal growth; in relationship with the care recipient, for example, a deepened dyadic relationship; and in relationship with others, for example, new care-related relationships. Seeing the positive effects of caring relationally may shape environmental factors, such as assistive device, social policy or health services development.

Access source material through DOI

Positive and Negative Impacts of Caring among Adolescents Caring for Grandparents. Results from an Online Survey in Six European Countries and Implications for Future Research, Policy and Practice

Although up to 8% of European youngsters carry out high-intensity care for a family member, adolescent young carers (AYCs), especially those caring for their grandparents (GrPs), remain an under-researched group. This study aimed at addressing the current knowledge gap by carrying out an online survey in Italy, the Netherlands, Slovenia, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom. The analysis included a final sample of 817 AYCs aged 15-17 years old. AYCs of grandparents (GrPs) were compared to AYCs of other care recipients (OCRs), in order to identify any difference in positive and negative caregiving outcomes and exposure factors between the two groups. Linear or logistic regression models were built, and multivariate analyses were repeated, including a fixed effect on the country variable. AYCs of GrPs experienced more positive caregiving outcomes than AYCs of OCRs across all six countries. Being female or non-binary, and having a migration background, were associated with more negative outcomes, regardless of the relationship with the care recipient. Further research on intergenerational caregiving outcomes is recommended for shaping measures and policies, which preserve the intergenerational emotional bonds, whilst protecting AYCs from inappropriate responsibilities, undermining their mental health and well-being.

Access source material through DOI

Positive and negative experiences and life satisfaction among spousal caregivers for frail older adults in urban China: a parallel process model

Objectives Previous literature has suggested that negative and positive aspects of spousal caregiving co-exist. However, positive and negative experiences were often examined independently. This study aimed to empirically test a parallel process model of spousal caregiving. Methods This cross-sectional survey of family caregiving involved 269 frail older adults living in Shanghai, China, in 2016. Quota sampling was conducted to find community-dwelling frail older adults with a primary caregiver. Path analysis was used to identify the relationship between negative and positive caregiving experiences and life satisfaction. Results We found two independent paths towards life satisfaction: (i) activities of daily living were negatively associated with burden, and burden was associated with lower life satisfaction; and (ii) spousal caregivers' self-reported health and financial state were positively associated with positive appraisal, and positive appraisal was associated with higher life satisfaction. Caregiving time contributed to both aspects of caregiving experiences. The covariance between caregiving burden and positive appraisals was not statistically significant. Conclusion Spousal caregiving involves a parallel process. Negative and positive experiences are separate constructs and their associations with life satisfaction vary. We advocate for policy and interventions that promote positive views of caregiving that encourage caregivers to develop a high level of overall life satisfaction despite the hardships of their caregiving tasks. 

Access source material through DOI

Place4Carers: a mixed-method study protocol for engaging family caregivers in meaningful actions for successful ageing in place

Introduction: Engaging family caregivers could be a critical asset to make the 'ageing-in-place' imperative a reality. This is particularly evident in rural and remote areas, where caregivers can fill the gaps that exist due to the fragmentation of the welfare system. However, there is little knowledge about the expectations that family caregivers have from healthcare services in rural and remote areas.Place4Carers (P4C) project aims to co-produce an innovative organisational model of social and healthcare services for family caregivers of older citizens living in Vallecamonica (Italy). The project is expected to facilitate ageing-in-place for older citizens, thus helping caregivers in their daily care activities.; Methods and Analysis: P4C is a community-based participatory research project featuring five work packages (WPs). WP1 consists of a survey of unmet needs of caregivers and older people receiving services in Vallecamonica. WP2 consists of a scoping literature review to map services that provide interventions of support to caregivers living in remote areas and promote engagement. WP3 organises co-creation workshops with caregivers to co-design, co-manage, and co-assess ideas and proposals for shaping caregiver-oriented services and organisational models. WP3 enriches the results of WP1 (survey) and WP2 (scoping literature review), and aims to co-create new ideas for intervention support with and for caregivers in relation to the objectives, features and characteristics of a new service able to address the caregivers' needs and expectations. WP4 tests the service ideas co-created in WP3 through piloting an intervention based on ideas co-created with caregivers. Finally, WP5 assesses the transferability of the intervention to other similar contexts.; Ethics and Dissemination: The study has been approved by the Ethics Committees of the Department of Psychology of Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore and Politecnico of Milan. Results will be disseminated through peer-reviewed journals, scientific meetings and meetings with the general population.

Access source material through DOI

Pilot study of a telehealth perioperative physical activity intervention for older adults with cancer and their caregivers

Background: Older adults undergoing cancer surgery are at greater risk for poor postoperative outcomes. Caregivers also endure significant burden. Participation in perioperative physical activity may improve physical functioning and enhance overall well-being for both patients and caregivers. In this study, we assessed the feasibility of a personalized telehealth intervention to enhance physical activity for older (≥ 65 years) gastrointestinal (GI) and lung cancer surgery patients/caregivers. Methods: Participants completed four telehealth sessions with physical therapy/occupational therapy (PT/OT) before surgery and up to 2 weeks post-discharge. Outcomes included preop geriatric assessment, functional measures, and validated measures for symptoms and psychological distress. Pre/post-intervention trends/trajectories for outcomes were explored. Results: Thirty-four patient/caregiver dyads (16, GI; 18, lung) were included. Accrual rate was 76% over 8 months; retention rate was 88% over 2 months. Median for postop of a 6-min walk test, timed up and go, and short physical performance battery test scores improved from baseline to postop. Participant satisfaction scores were high. Conclusion: Our conceptually based, personalized, multimodal, telehealth perioperative physical activity intervention for older patient/caregiver dyads is feasible and acceptable. It offers an opportunity to improve postoperative outcomes by promoting functional recovery through telehealth, behavior change, and self-monitoring approaches. Trial Registration: ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT03267524.

Access source material through DOI

Perceptions of health and well-being among older adult caregivers: Comparisons of current caregivers with former and never caregivers

• Current caregivers had less health satisfaction than never caregivers. • Former caregivers experienced better well-being than current caregivers. • There were no differences in depression scores amongst caregiver types. • Income is an important contributor to health outcomes across caregiver types. Older adults with physical and/or cognitive limitations frequently rely on informal caregivers who are often other older adults. This study compared health and well-being outcomes of self-identified, current older adult caregivers with those of former older adult caregivers and older adults who were never caregivers. The study was observational, using cross-sectional survey data. The sample consisted of 186 adults age 65 and older. Survey questions measured perceptions of depression, health satisfaction, and well-being. Regressions compared the outcomes of respondents in the three groups. Controlling for demographic factors, never-caregivers reported greater odds of health satisfaction compared to current caregivers. Former caregivers reported greater well-being compared to current caregivers. Findings suggest that older adulthood caregiving has impacts on health and well-being, both positive and negative. Because older adults are increasingly relied upon to provide informal caregiving, community and provider-based resources, policies, and interventional research addressing unique needs of older caregivers are needed.

Access source material through DOI

Perceived Need and Acceptability of an App to Support Activities of Daily Living in People With Cognitive Impairment and Their Carers: Pilot Survey Study

Background: Modern technologies, including smartphone apps, have the potential to assist people with cognitive impairment with activities of daily living, allowing them to maintain their independence and reduce carer burden. However, such tools have seen a slow rate of uptake in this population, and data on the acceptability of assistive technologies in this population are limited.; Objective: This pilot study included older adults with cognitive impairment and their carers, and explored the perceived needs for and acceptability of an app that was designed to be a simple assistive tool for activities of daily living. In particular, this study aimed to assess the acceptability of common app functions such as communication, reminder, navigation, and emergency tools in this population, and to compare patients' and carers' responses to them.; Methods: A total of 24 German participants with mild cognitive impairment or dementia and their family carers separately completed two short questionnaires. The first questionnaire asked the participants with cognitive impairment and their carers to self-rate the patients' cognitive impairment levels and affinity to technology. Following a demonstration of the app, participants rated the usability and acceptability of the app and its functions in a second questionnaire.; Results: Participants rated themselves as much less cognitively impaired than their carers did (P=.01), and insight into the level of support they received was low. The majority of the participants (19/24, 79%) and their carers (20/24, 83%) had low affinity to technology, and even after the demonstration, 63% (15/24) of the participants had low interest in using the app. A breakdown of acceptability responses by app function revealed that participants were more amenable to the reminder function, the emergency feature, and a wearable form of the app. Features that centered around carers monitoring participants' movements were reported to be less acceptable to participants.; Conclusions: This study highlights the importance of focusing on acceptability and the consumer's perceptions in the development of assistive technology for older adults with cognitive impairment. Participants showed an aversion to functions they perceived as eroding their independence, while functions that more closely aligned with independence and autonomy were perceived as more acceptable.

Access source material through DOI

Patient and caregiver perspectives on early identification for advance care planning in primary healthcare settings

Background: As part of a broader study to improve the capacity for advance care planning (ACP) in primary healthcare settings, the research team set out to develop and validate a computerized algorithm to help primary care physicians identify individuals at risk of death, and also carried out focus groups and interviews with relevant stakeholder groups. Interviews with patients and family caregivers were carried out in parallel to algorithm development and validation to examine (1) views on early identification of individuals at risk of deteriorating health or dying; (2) views on the use of a computerized algorithm for early identification; and (3) preferences and challenges for ACP. Methods: Fourteen participants were recruited from two Canadian provinces. Participants included individuals aged 65 and older with declining health and self-identified caregivers of individuals aged 65 and older with declining health. Semi-structured interviews were conducted via telephone. A qualitative descriptive analytic approach was employed, which focused on summarizing and describing the informational contents of the data. Results: Participants supported the early identification of patients at risk of deteriorating health or dying. Early identification was viewed as conducive to planning not only for death, but for the remainder of life. Participants were also supportive of the use of a computerized algorithm to assist with early identification, although limitations were recognized. While participants felt that having family physicians assume responsibility for early identification and ACP was appropriate, questions arose around feasibility, including whether family physicians have sufficient time for ACP. Preferences related to the content of and approach to ACP discussions were highly individualized. Required supports during ACP include informational and emotional supports. Conclusions: This work supports the role of primary care providers in the early identification of individuals at risk of deteriorating health or death and the process of ACP. To improve ACP capacity in primary healthcare settings, compensation systems for primary care providers should be adjusted to ensure appropriate compensation and to accommodate longer ACP appointments. Additional resources and more established links to community organizations and services will also be required to facilitate referrals to relevant community services as part of the ACP process.

Access source material through DOI

Patient and Caregiver Perceptions of Nursing Home Physicians: Insight from Yelp Reviews, 2009–2018

OBJECTIVES To describe the content of reviews submitted on Yelp that pertain to nursing home (NH) physicians. DESIGN Retrospective qualitative study. SETTING NHs in the United States reviewed on Yelp from 2009 to 2018 with reviews that discussed NH physicians. PARTICIPANTS Physicians in 375 NHs in 31 states. MEASUREMENTS Content analysis was performed to detect recurrent themes and divergent ideas about NH physicians perceived by reviewers. RESULTS: Average rating among NHs with physician reviews was 2.0 (standard deviation = 1.5; range = 1–5). The major themes from content analysis of reviews that discussed physicians were perceived attitudes of clinicians toward patients and caregivers, physician communication with patients or caregivers, and perceived clinical expertise of the physicians. CONCLUSION: Unsolicited online reviews of NHs that comment on patient and caregiver perceptions of physician care represent a small but growing number of online comments about NHs. These reviews contain important information about aspects of physician care valued by NH patients and caregivers. However, the sample of comments about physicians represents a small proportion of online reviews and is not representative of all NHs. As online reviews grow in number and become more representative, these data could be used by physicians to improve perceptions of their care by NH patients and their families, and by NHs to inform expectations of their medical director and attending physicians.

Access source material through DOI

Overburdened and Underprepared: Medical/Nursing Task Performance Among Informal Caregivers in the United States

Informal caregivers are increasingly performing medical/nursing tasks in the home for adult care recipients, often without adequate support. In the current study, using data from the Caregiving in the U.S. 2015 survey (N = 1,248), we examined associations between performing medical/nursing tasks and caregiver well-being (e.g., physical strain, emotional stress, burden of care). Overall, 58% of caregivers performed medical/nursing tasks. Compared to those who did not, those performing tasks had higher risk of emotional stress, physical strain, and high burden of care. Among task performers, difficulty performing tasks was associated with higher risk of all outcomes; having no choice in caregiving was independently associated with higher risk of emotional stress and physical strain. Caregivers performing medical/nursing tasks, particularly those who find tasks difficult, are at risk for adverse outcomes. New clinical approaches are needed to ensure meaningful conversations about caregivers' willingness, availability, and ability to perform medical/nursing tasks and to provide support for this part of the caregiving role. 

Access source material through DOI

One size fits all? Contextualizing family-supportive supervision to help employees with eldercare responsibilities

Eldercare can pose significant challenges for both employees and organizations wherein supervisors serve as critical linchpins. To better inform practitioners on how to assist employees with eldercare responsibilities, we investigated important work outcomes of eldercare-supportive supervision (ESS), a specific form of family-supportive supervision. Drawing on the job demands-resources model and social information processing theory, we framed ESS as a critical informational cue and an important job resource in employees' immediate work environment that shapes employee work attitudes and behaviors. For this important segment of the workforce, we hypothesized that ESS could relate to employees' job performance and time banditry through work engagement, and that caregiver burden would moderate these relationships such that the beneficial effects of ESS would be stronger for employees with high caregiver burden. Using a vignette-based experimental (between-person) design, Study 1 (N = 70) found that employees reported significantly higher work engagement in the high (vs. low) ESS condition. Study 2 supported the indirect effects of ESS on employee job performance and time banditry via work engagement in a field sample (N = 162) of nurses with eldercare responsibilities. In Study 3 (N = 257), using a 3-wave time-lagged design, we replicated our findings and further demonstrated the incremental validity of ESS above and beyond other relevant supports. Finally, we demonstrated that the effect of ESS on work engagement and the indirect effects of ESS on job performance and time banditry were stronger for employees with high (vs. low) caregiver burden. Theoretical and practical implications were discussed. 

Access source material through DOI

Measurement Properties of the CAPACITY Instrument to Assess Perceived Communication With the Health Care Team Among Care Partners of Patients With Cognitive Impairment

Background: The CAregiver Perceptions About CommunIcaTion with Clinical Team members (CAPACITY) instrument measures how care partners perceive themselves to be supported by the patient's health care team and their experiences communicating with the team. Objectives: The objective of this study was to assess the measurement properties (ie, structural validity of the construct and internal consistency) of the CAPACITY instrument in care partners of patients with cognitive impairment, and to examine whether care partner health literacy and patient cognitive impairment are associated with a higher or lower CAPACITY score. Research Design: This was a retrospective cohort study. Subjects: A total of 1746 dyads of community-dwelling care partners and older adults in the United States with cognitive impairment who obtained an amyloid positron emission tomography scan. Measures: The CAPACITY instrument comprises 12 items that can be combined as a total score or examined as subdomain scores about communication with the team and care partner capacity-assessment by the team. The 2 covariates of primary interest in the regression model are health literacy and level of cognitive impairment of the patient (Modified Telephone Interview Cognitive Status). Results: Confirmatory factor analysis showed the CAPACITY items fit the expected 2-factor structure (communication and capacity). Higher cognitive functioning of patients and higher health literacy among care partners was associated with lower communication domain scores, lower capacity domain scores, and lower overall CAPACITY scores. Conclusions: The strong psychometric validity of the CAPACITY measure indicates it could have utility in other family caregivers or care partner studies assessing the quality of interactions with clinical teams. Knowing that CAPACITY differs by care partner health literacy and patient impairment level may help health care teams employ tailored strategies to achieve high-quality care partner interactions.

Access source material through DOI

Living with Alzheimer Disease and Other Types of Dementia: Stories from Caregivers

This symposium includes twelve personal narratives from people who have provided care to a spouse, parent, another relative, or friend with Alzheimer disease or related dementias (ADRD). People with ADRDs often face years of cognitive decline with memory and thinking that eventually require help from others to assist with their daily activities. Most people caring for older adults in the US are unpaid family members, friends, or other informal caregivers. People providing care often experience emotional and physical stress, or financial burdens. This symposium also includes three commentaries by experts in the fields of bioethics and philosophy, justice in healthcare, family caregiving, and end of life choices. These narratives provide a forum for exploring caregiver needs, suffering, benefits, and joys, as well as opportunities to improve the way we support caregivers and people with dementia and Alzheimer disease. 

Access source material through DOI

Job Demands and the Effects on Quality of Life of Employed Family Caregivers of Older Adults With Dementia: A Cross-Sectional Study

Background: Employed family caregivers are affected by job demands, which can affect quality of care provided to recipients. However, it is important to understand how job demands and the ability to reconcile employment and caregiving influence family caregivers' quality of life. Purpose: The aim of this study was to examine the extent to which job demands influenced quality of life for employed family caregivers of older adults with dementia in Taiwan. Methods: This cross-sectional study analyzed secondary data from self-completed questionnaires collected from December 2010 to December 2011. Participants were 214 employed family caregivers of older adults with dementia in Taiwan. How job demands and caregiving influence quality of life was determined with hierarchical multiple regression analysis. Job demands included working hours, workplace inflexibility, work inefficiency, and difficulty in reconciling work and family caregiving. Results: After controlling for demographics, caregiving resources, and caregiving role demands, employed family caregivers of older adults with dementia with fewer working hours and greater work efficiency reported significantly better quality of life (β = −.130, p =.049; β = −.263, p <.001) than those with more working hours and less work efficiency. Conclusions/Implications for Practice: Employed family caregivers of older adults with dementia who had more working hours and less work efficiency had a greater likelihood of poorer quality of life than other employed family caregivers. Clinicians could use these findings to identify groups at high risk for poor quality of life. We suggest developing policies and interventions to help employed family caregivers of older adults with dementia to reduce working hours and improve work efficiency in order to improve quality of life, which could also improve quality of care for recipients.

Access source material through DOI

Informal Elderly Caregiving and Time Spent on Leisure: Evidence from Time Use Survey

This paper examines the risk of time poverty defined as leisure participation among informal caregivers of adults and older people. We draw on the most recent time use survey conducted in Poland, which incorporated more than 28,000 households in 2013. We assess the extent to which caregivers are more likely to experience shortages of time spent on physical activity, hobbies, and social life. Additional information about respondents' time preferences allows us to examine not only the objective and relative time deficits of caregivers, but also the subjective and expressed ones. We distinguish between co-resident caregivers and those living outside the household of care recipients, simultaneously accounting for the differences between male and female caregivers, as well as care provided during working days (Monday-Friday), and that provided on weekends (Saturday-Sunday). Our results indicate that caregivers for adults are in general more likely to allocate less time to physical activity, hobbies, and their social lives. This effect, however, is observed primarily among co-resident caregivers, both male and female. The leisure time of caregivers is more noticeably affected during weekends than on working days. Concurrently, caregivers are more likely to admit that they wish to spend more time on different forms of leisure activity. This confirms the hypothesis of a trade-off between time allocated to elderly care and that allocated to self-care, which can be detrimental to the health, life satisfaction, and wellbeing of informal caregivers.

Access source material through DOI

Informal caregivers’ views on the quality of healthcare services provided to older patients aged 80 or more in the hospital and 30 days after discharge

BACKGROUND: In the European Union (EU), informal caregivers provide 60 per cent of all care. Informal caregiving ranges from assistance with daily activities and provision of direct care to helping care recipients to navigate within complex healthcare and social services systems. While recent caregiver surveys document the impact of informal caregivers, systematic reviews show that they have unmet needs. Because of the political desire to reduce the length of hospital stays, older patients are discharged from the hospital 'quicker and sicker' than before. The transition between different levels of the healthcare system and the period after hospital discharge is critical for elderly patients. Caregivers' perspectives on the quality of older patients' care journeys between levels of the healthcare system may provide valuable information for healthcare providers and policymakers. This study aims to explore older patient's informal caregivers' views on healthcare quality in the hospital and in the first 30days after hospitalisation. METHOD: We conducted semi-structured individual interviews with 12 participants to explore and describe informal caregivers' subjective experiences of providing care to older relatives. The interviews were then transcribed and analysed thematically. RESULTS: The analysis yielded the overarching theme 'Informal caregivers - a health service alliance - quality contributor', which was divided into four main themes: 'Fast in, fast out', 'Scant information', 'Disclaimer of responsibility' and 'A struggle to secure professional care'. The healthcare system seemed to pay little attention to ensuring mutual understandings between those involved in discharge, treatment and coordination. The participants experienced that the healthcare providers' main focus was on the patients' diseases, although the health services are supposed to view patients holistically. CONCLUSION: Based on the information given by informal caregivers, health services must take into account each person's needs and preferences. To deliver quality healthcare, better coordination between inter-professional care teams and the persons they serve is necessary. Health professionals must strengthen the involvement of caregivers in transitions between care and healthcare. Future work should evaluate targeted strategies for formal caregivers to cooperate, support and empower family members as informal caregivers. 

Access source material through DOI

Informal And Formal Home Care For Older Adults With Disabilities Increased, 2004-16

Rates of informal home care use among older adults with disabilities increased from 2004 to 2016, such that in 2016 almost three-quarters of these adults received informal home care. Informal care remains the most common source of home care, even though formal home care use grew at almost twice the rate, with a 6-percentage-point increase to 36.9 percent in 2016.

The article discusses the 36.9 percent increase in rates of informal and formal home care use of older adults with disabilities in the U.S from 2004 to 2016. Topics covered include the engagement of caregivers in the absence of a national system to pay for long-term services, estimates of home care received by cohorts of these adults, and race and regional variations in formal versus informal home care. Also noted is the importance of health care differences in policy making.

Access source material through DOI

I'm Here, You're There: In-Absentia Caregiver Stress & Transnational Support of Elderly Mothers by Adult Children

Providing support between generations in a transnational family context is understudied in the aging literature. Specifically, this study investigated the stress experiences and stressors experienced by adult children in the United States when providing transnational support to their elderly mothers in India. Information gathered from two focus groups was supplemented by an online survey of 131 adult children. Participants expressed sentiments of worry, sadness, guilt, and especially helplessness at their limited capacity to care for their mothers from a distance. Results indicate that transnational family aged care is an important dimension of aging that requires further research. In particular, "in absentia caregiver stress" is experienced remotely, and has implications for the immigrant adult's health and well-being. 

Access source material through DOI

Home First: Exploring the Impact of Community-based Home Care for Older Adults and Their Family Caregivers

Given the rapidly expanding older adult population, finding health care approaches that support older adults to age in their choice of place, with an accompanying philosophical re-orientation of health services, is becoming more urgent. We studied the Home Care Home First – Quick Response Project to understand how clients over age 75 and their family caregivers perceived the enhanced community-based services delivered through Home First. Using interpretive description as the methodological design, we explored the experiences of eight older adults and 11 family caregivers; all older adults were enrolled in Home First due to a significant change in their health status. We identified four themes: growing older in chosen places with support, philosophy of care, processes of Home First, and the significance of Home First for clients. Overall, clients and family caregivers responded positively to the Home First services. Clients valued their independence and growing older in places they had specifically chosen.

Access source material through DOI

The heterogeneous effect of retirement on informal care behavior

It is often argued that the increased labor market participation of seniors threatens family support provided to dependent elderly people. The purpose of this paper is to assess the causal effect of retirement on the frequency of care provided by individuals aged 55-69 years to their elderly parent. Using data from the Survey of Health, Aging and Retirement in Europe (SHARE), we estimate an endogenous switching model that allows the retirement effect to be heterogeneous with respect to observed and unobserved characteristics. To tackle the possible endogeneity of selection into retirement, we use the heterogeneity of retirement rules between and within European countries. On average, being retired does not significantly impact the probability of providing care but significantly increases the frequency of care conditional on being caregiver. The same pattern is observed regardless of the individual observed characteristics, even if the provision of informal care appears to be less sensitive to the retirement status when the child cannot rely on the other parent to provide care or when both parents are in poor health. These results suggest that pension system reforms should not affect the number of caregivers. Some adverse effects on the intensity of involvement among caregivers are nevertheless expected.

Access source material through DOI

Health-care Workforce Training to Effectively Support Family Caregivers of Seniors in Care

Introduction Family caregivers (FCGs) play an integral, yet often invisible, role in the Canadian health-care system. As the population ages, their presence will become even more essential as they help balance demands on the system and enable communitydwelling seniors to remain so for as long as possible. To preserve their own well-being and capacity to provide ongoing care, FCGs require support to the meet the challenges of their daily caregiving responsibilities. Supporting FCGs results in better care provision to community-dwelling seniors receiving health-care services, as well as enhancing the quality of life for FCGs. Although FCGs rely upon health-care professionals (HCPs) to provide them with support and services, there is a paucity of research pertaining to the type of health workforce training (HWFT) that HCPs should receive to address FCG needs. Programs that train HCPs to engage with, empower, and support FCGs are required. Objective To describe and discuss key findings of a caregiver symposium focused on determining components of HWFT that might better enable HCPs to support FCGs. Methods A one-day symposium was held on February 22, 2018 in Edmonton, Alberta, to gather the perspectives of FCGs, HCPs, and stakeholders. Attendees participated in a series of working groups to discuss barriers, facilitators, and recommendations related to HWFT. Proceedings and working group discussions were transcribed, and a qualitative thematic analysis was conducted to identify key themes. Results Participants identified the following topic areas as being essential to training HCPs in the provision of support for FCGs: understanding the FCG role, communicating with FCGs, partnering with FCGs, fostering FCG resilience, navigating healthcare systems and accessing resources, and enhancing the culture and context of care. Conclusions FCGs require more support than is currently being provided by HCPs. Training programs need to specifically address topics identified by participants. These findings will be used to develop HWFT for HCPs.

Access source material through DOI

The pains and reliefs of the transitions into and out of spousal caregiving. A cross-national comparison of the health consequences of caregiving by gender

Spousal caregiving offers a unique opportunity to investigate how gender shapes the influence of care responsibilities on health at older ages. However, empirical evidence supporting a causal link between the transitions into and out of caregiving and health is mixed. This study investigates the influence of spousal care transitions on the health of older men and women living in 17 European countries. We use five waves of the Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe (SHARE) between the years 2004 and 2015 for a total of 43,435 individuals and 117,831 observations. Health is defined as a Frailty Index calculated from 40 items. Caregiving is defined as intensive help with personal care provided to spouses. Results from asymmetric fixed-effects linear regression models show that the transitions into caregiving have a detrimental effect on health. On the contrary, the transitions out of caregiving have in most cases no beneficial consequences on health. Most importantly, we found evidence supporting differential effects of caregiving transitions by gender and welfare arrangement: the transitions out of caregiving are associated with better health conditions only for Southern and Eastern European women. Our study highlights the asymmetric and gendered nature of care transitions and suggests that the impact of caregiving is somewhat permanent and has long lasting effects for the caregiver. Policies should account for this asymmetry when assessing the impact and consequences of caregiving.

Access source material through DOI

Female Pakistani carers' views on future formal and informal care for their older relatives in Norway

Background: The aging of Pakistani immigrants in Norway raises questions related to their increased need for care and help from relatives, as well as those concerning what future formal and informal care and healthcare accessibility for older immigrants may look like. The hidden nature of family caregiving means that the circumstances of carers, their views and their dilemmas related to future care are largely invisible. In this study, we explored female Pakistani carers' views of future care and healthcare accessibility for their older relatives in Norway. Methods: Our data included interviews with family carers between the ages of 23 and 40 years old, living in Oslo, Norway. We recruited ten family carers, out of which eight were daughters and two were daughters-in-law. Interviews were conducted by the first author in Urdu or English and were recorded and transcribed verbatim. Results: Our findings revealed several factors that influenced participants' perceptions about formal and informal caregiving, which can be organised into the following themes: 1) caring for family in Norway as in Pakistan, 2) worries about being 'dropped off' at a care home, 3) concerns about being cared for by outsiders, 4) questions about what other people might say and 5) adhering to society's expectations of a 'good' carer. Conclusion: Family carers' traditional views of filial piety do not entirely determine the use of or access to healthcare services of their older relatives. There is a need to develop culturally sensitive healthcare systems so that immigrant families and their carers have more options in choosing care in old age, which in turn will ease their families' care burden. Healthcare professionals and policymakers should not assume that immigrant families will take care of their own older members but should instead secure adequate support for older immigrants and their family carers. 

Access source material through DOI

Feasibility-Usability Study of a Tablet App Adapted Specifically for Persons with Cognitive Impairment-SMART4MD (Support Monitoring and Reminder Technology for Mild Dementia)

Population ageing within Europe has major social and economic consequences. One of the most devastating conditions that predominantly affects older people is dementia. The SMART4MD (Support Monitoring and Reminder Technology for Mild Dementia) project aims to develop and test a health application specifically designed for people with mild dementia. The aim of this feasibility study was to evaluate the design of the SMART4MD protocol, including recruitment, screening, baseline examination and data management, and to test the SMART4MD application for functionality and usability before utilization in a full-scale study. The feasibility study tested the protocol and the app in Spain and Sweden. A total of nineteen persons with cognitive impairment, and their informal caregivers, individually performed a task-based usability test of the SMART4MD app model in a clinical environment, followed by four-week testing of the app in the home environment. By employing a user-centered design approach, the SMART4MD application proved to be an adequate and feasible interface for an eHealth intervention. In the final usability test, a score of 81% satisfied users was obtained. The possibility to test the application in all the procedures included in the study generated important information on how to present the technology to the users and how to improve these procedures.

Access source material through DOI

Fear of older adult falling questionnaire for caregivers (FOAFQ‐CG): Evidence from content validity and item‐response theory graded‐response modelling

Aims: (1) Determine the content validity of the Fear of Older Adult Falling Questionnaire‐Caregivers using a panel of gerontological experts and a target sample of family caregivers (Stage 1) and (2) Examine the response patterns of the Fear of Older Adult Falling Questionnaire‐Caregivers and compare it with older adult version of Fear of Falling Questionnaire Revised using graded‐response modelling (Stage 2). Design: Cross‐sectional mixed‐method design. Methods: Five content experts and 10 family caregivers were involved in the Stage 1 study and 53 family caregiver–older adult dyads (N = 106) were included in the Stage 2 study. The content‐validity index and graded‐response modelling were used to analyse data. Results: Among experts, the Fear of Older Adult Falling Questionnaire‐Caregivers content‐validity index for relevancy, importance, and clarity of individual items and total scale ranged from 0.60–1.00 and from 0.77–0.87, respectively. Among family caregivers, the ratings of the item and scale level content‐validity index for relevancy, importance, and clarity ranged from 0.90–1.00 and from 0.95–0.97, respectively. Combining feedback from both groups, we revised one item. Subsequently, the graded‐response modelling revealed that a 1‐factor, 3‐item version of the Fear of Older Adult Falling Questionnaire‐Caregivers had acceptable psychometric properties. Conclusions: The brief 3‐item version of the Fear of Older Adult Falling Questionnaire‐Caregivers is promising for assessing caregivers' fear of their older adult care recipient falling. Impact: A significant concern for family caregivers is fearing that older adult care recipients will fall, but a lack of validated measures limits the study of this phenomena. A 3‐item version of the Fear of Older Adult Falling Questionnaire‐Caregivers has the potential to identify family caregivers with high fear of older adult falling so that fall risk can be appropriately assessed and addressed.

Access source material through DOI

Family Burden in Caregivers of Elderly with Cognitive Impairment residing in Rural and Tribal Population of a District in Western India -- A Baseline Study

Study Objectives: The objective was to assess cognitive impairment (CI) in adults older than 59 years, residing in rural and tribal population and to assess family burden of those who had significant CI. Materials and Methods: This cross-sectional study was conducted among adults residing in the rural population of a block in a district located in Western India in 2015. A total of 240 households from 12 villages of the block were selected by multistage and random sampling method. Mini-mental state examination and Zarit Burden Interview tools were used to assess CI and burden. Data were entered in MS Excel 2007 and analyzed with descriptive statistics and Chi-squared test. Results: A total of 212 adults aged over 59 years were studied. The overall prevalence of CI was 42.92%. There was a statistically significant difference seen in CI among females as compared to males. Interview of primary care taker showed that 32 (35.16%) caregivers had little or no burden, 53 (58.24%) had mild-to-moderate burden, and 6 (6.59%) had moderate-to-severe burden, while none had a severe burden. Conclusions: Enabling caregivers to provide at home care for longer periods before hospitalization would decrease the burden of CI.

Access source material through DOI

Factors associated with the burden of family caregivers of elderly patients with femoral neck fracture: a cross-sectional study

Background: This study aimed to study the factors associated with caregiver burden among caregivers of elderly patients with femoral neck fracture. Methods: This cross-sectional study was based on a non-probabilistic sampling of 183 elderly postoperative patients (aged 65 years or older) with femoral neck fracture who were hospitalized in the orthopedic center in our hospital and their family caregivers. Data were collected from January 2016 to June 2019. Patients and family caregivers completed the sociodemographic questionnaire. The Social Support Rating Scale (SSRS), the General Self-Efficacy Scale (GSE), and the Chinese version of the Zarit Burden Interview (ZBI) were used to evaluate social support, self-efficacy, and caregiver burden, respectively. By analyzing the clinical data of patients and family caregivers and combining the factors that affect the caregiver burden in parallel studies, we selected the factors that affected the caregiver burden in this study and conducted a multivariate analysis of these factors. P < 0.05 was considered statistically significant. Results: We observed 176 caregivers aged 69.28 ± 7.19 years old, among whom 52.3% were male, 58.0% lived in the city, 84.0% were spouses of the patients, and 67.0% had a primary school educational background. The ZBI score of the family caregivers was 37.8 ± 8.9, and 82.7% of the caregivers were under a moderate to severe burden. The patient's functional status, Harris score, and pain score and the caregiver's SSRS scores, GSE scores, and the ratio of medical expenses to monthly income per capita were factors that affected the caregiver burden. Conclusions: Most family caregivers of elderly patients with femoral neck fracture are subject to a considerable care burden, and social support and self-efficacy intervention are conducive to reducing the caregiver burden. 

Access source material through DOI

Factors associated with caregiver burden among adult (19–64 years) informal caregivers – An analysis from Dutch Municipal Health Service data

Due to the ageing population and the rising prevalence of chronic diseases, it is expected that the demand on informal caregivers will increase. Many informal caregivers experience burden, which can have negative consequences for their own health and that of the care recipient. To prevent caregiver burden, it is important to investigate factors associated with this burden. We aimed to identify factors associated with caregiver burden in adult informal caregivers. Among a sample of adult informal caregivers (n = 1,100) of the Dutch region of Zaanstreek‐Waterland, perceived caregiver burden, demographic factors, caregiving situation, health‐related factors and socio‐financial factors were measured as part of the national Health Survey in 2016. Using univariate and multivariate logistic regression analysis, for which a backward selection method was applied, associations with caregiver burden were studied. In the multivariate model, time spent providing informal care was significantly associated with perceived caregiver burden, with an odds ratio (OR) [95% confidence interval] of 7.52 [3.93–14.39] for those spending >16 hr compared to 1–2 hr on informal care. Also providing care to their child(ren) (OR: 2.55 [1.51–4.31]), poor perceived health (OR: 1.80 [1.20–2.68]) and loneliness of the caregiver (OR: 2.05 [1.41–2.99]) were significantly associated with caregiver burden. To possibly prevent and reduce informal caregiver burden, factors associated with such burden should be intervened on. As such, special attention should be paid to caregivers who provide many hours of care or provide care to their child(ren), as well as those who have a poor perceived health themselves and/or experience feelings of loneliness.

Access source material through DOI

Expanding Perspectives on Family Caregiving

We hope you enjoy the creative perspectives on family caregiving presented by our authors, and that they serve as a catalyst for expanding research and interventions for family caregiving in new and interesting directions.

Access source material through DOI

Examining the support needs of older male spousal caregivers of people with a long‐term condition: A systematic review of the literature

Aim The aim of this review was to identify and synthesise literature reporting on support needs of older male caregivers, who are providing care for a chronically ill spouse/partner at home. Background Traditionally, informal caregiving has been perceived as a feminised activity. Consequently, caregiving research has been dominated by female samples, and male caregivers are grossly under‐represented. Given the growing recognition of caregiving as a gendered concept, and the rise in number of male caregivers, particularly in later life, the need for better understanding of the needs of male caregivers is important in order to plan effective support for this population. Design A systematic literature review. Methods Four electronic databases and grey literature were systematically searched. Results The systematic search resulted in 3,646 papers, eligibility criteria were applied to the full texts of 104 papers, and 11 papers met the inclusion criteria. Two core themes were identified: the need to maintain masculinity and the provision of social support. Conclusion Findings suggest that men may have a gendered approach to caregiving based on dominant masculine norms. This can be manifested in a reluctance to ask for or accept help and a desire to retain control over caregiving. Findings also revealed isolation and loneliness experienced by older male caregivers, along with a preference for support to address this within a male‐specific context. It is suggested that healthcare professionals should be cognisant of the male caregiver approach and should have an increased awareness of male caregivers support preferences, and of their own gendered assumptions, in order to provide effective support for this population. Implications for practice Nurses have a key role in providing family support. Findings from this review suggest that nurses should be aware of the specific needs of older male spousal caregivers if they are to provide effective care and support to this population group.

Access source material through DOI

Engaging Caregivers in Health-Related Housing Decisions for Older Adults With Cognitive Impairment: A Cluster Randomized Trial

Background and Objectives Informal caregivers are rarely as involved as they want to be in the housing decisions of cognitively impaired older adults. Lack of awareness of available options and their benefits and risks may lead to decisions that do not reflect older adults' preferences, and to guilt and regret. We assessed the effect of training home care teams in interprofessional shared decision-making (SDM) on the proportion of caregivers who report being active in this decision. Research Design and Methods In a two-arm pragmatic cluster randomized trial with home care teams working in health centers in the Province of Quebec, we randomized health centers to receive training in interprofessional SDM (intervention) or not (control). Eligible caregivers had made a housing decision for a cognitively impaired adult aged 65 years or older who was receiving services from a home care team. The primary outcome was the proportion of caregivers reporting an active role in decision making. We performed intention-to-treat multilevel analysis. Results We consecutively enrolled a random group of 16 health centers and recruited 309 caregivers, among whom 296 were included in the analysis. In the intervention arm, the proportion of caregivers reporting an active role in decision making increased by 12% (95% CI −2% to 27%; p =.10). After removal of an influential cluster outlier, the proportion increased to 18% (95% CI: 7%–29%; p <.01). Discussion and Implications Training home care teams in interprofessional SDM increased caregiver involvement in health-related housing decisions for cognitively impaired older adults.

Access source material through DOI

Emotion Recognition and Reactivity in Persons With Neurodegenerative Disease Are Differentially Associated With Caregiver Health

Background and Objectives Motivated by the high rates of health problems found among caregivers of persons with neurodegenerative disease, we examined associations between deficits in two aspects of care recipients' socioemotional functioning and their caregivers' health. Research Design and Methods In 2 studies with independent samples (N = 171 and 73 dyads), caregivers reported on care recipients' emotion recognition and emotional reactivity. Caregiver health was assessed using both self-report measures (Studies 1 and 2) and autonomic nervous system indices (Study 2). Results Lower emotion recognition in care recipients was linearly associated with worse self-reported health, faster resting heart rate, and greater physiological reactivity to an acoustic startle stimulus in caregivers. These effects held after accounting for a variety of risk factors for poor caregiver health, including care recipients' neuropsychiatric symptoms. Emotional reactivity showed a quadratic association with health, such that the lowest and highest levels of emotional reactivity in care recipients were associated with lower self-reported health in caregivers. Discussion and Implications Results shed light on the unique associations between two aspects of care recipients' emotional functioning and caregivers' health. Findings suggest potential ways to identify and help caregivers at heightened risk for adverse health outcomes. 

Access source material through DOI

The effects of offering flexible work practices to employees with unpaid caregiving responsibilities for elderly or disabled family members

Approximately one in 10 employees in Australia, the United States, and Europe have unpaid caregiving responsibilities for elderly or disabled family members. This combination of employment and caregiving roles is problematic when there is conflict between their simultaneous demands. Flexible work practices can be an important mechanism for assisting these employees. However, limited attention has been given to determining the benefits of flexible work practices for these employees, or the process by which these effects arise. We address these gaps via a survey of employees with unpaid caregiving responsibilities for family who are elderly or disabled. Results indicate that greater availability of flexible work practices improves perceptions of workplace support for combining caregiving and employment. This effect was partially and sequentially mediated by disclosure, practice utilization, and practice helpfulness. Additionally, practice availability had a direct positive effect on practice utilization, while disclosure had a direct positive effect on perceived support. Overall, the findings demonstrate the benefits of flexible work practices for employees with caregiving responsibilities. The study also points the way to interventions that can improve the effectiveness of flexible work practices by demonstrating how the potential benefits of these practices are translated into actual improvements in perceived support.

Access source material through DOI

Effects of a Death Education Intervention for Older People with Chronic Disease and Family Caregivers: A Quasi-Experimental Study

To investigate the effectiveness of a structured death education program for older adults with chronic illness and their family caregivers. This study adopted two-group, nonrandomized quasi-experimental design. Patient–caregiver dyads in the intervention group (N = 40 dyads) engaged in the death education program at the bedside once a week for 5 weeks, and were compared with participants (N = 40 dyads) in the control group who received usual health education. The program consisted of five sessions based on the Interaction Model of Client Health Behavior. Death attitude, death competence, well-being, family function, and satisfaction were measured at baseline (T0), immediately after the intervention (T1), and 1 month later (T2). Data collection was conducted from July 30, 2019, to December 30, 2019. The intention-to-treat analysis The intention-to-treat analysis of between groups at 1-month follow-up revealed that the intervention group had greater decreases in the fear of death (p =.002, 95% CI -2.53, -0.47; p <.001, 95% CI -3.61, -1.65) and death avoidance (p <.001, 95% CI -3.46, -1.84; p <.001, 95% CI -3.89, -2.43), had greater increases in the neutral acceptance (p =.032, 95% CI 0.05, 1.38; p <.001, 95% CI 0.99, 2.56) and death competence (p <.001, 95% CI 4.10, 8.01; p <.001, 95% CI 7.80, 12.11) in patients and caregivers, respectively. There were significant intergroup differences over time for patient well-being of (p <.001, 95% CI 3.06, 9.74) and satisfaction of (p <.001, 95% CI 2.01, 4.59). Results were consistent with the results from the sensitivity analysis. This study demonstrated the feasibility and benefits of death education in hospitals and provided an implementation plan for nursing professionals. Nurses should consider providing death education for older adults with chronic diseases and their families to promote the development of palliative care and the quality of end-of-life.

Access source material through DOI

The effect of a purpose-built memory support unit on the transition to high level dementia care; Perspectives of multiple participants

Australia faces the challenge of an ageing population. The incidence of people with dementia unable to live in the community is expected to rise leading to demands on care facilities to provide specialised care. This paper reports on the effect a purpose-built Memory Support Unit has on multiple participants during the transition from home, or an aged care residence, to high level dementia care. The aim of this research was to understand the effect of a purpose-built Memory Support Unit on the experiences of those with dementia who are transitioning into this environment, their family or carers and staff. A qualitative descriptive methodology was adopted to frame the research. Face-to-face interviews were conducted with nine family members, two residents and three Registered Nurses. A purpose-built Memory Support Unit may have a positive effect on the older person, their families, carers and staff, thus improving the experience of all participants as the older person transitions into dementia care. Optimising design of the physical environment may foster a more person-centered orientation to care and positive outcomes for residents, family members or carers and staff. Purpose built environments may have a meaningful subjective effect on the wellbeing of older people during the transition from their residence to permanent dementia care, their family, carers and staff. It is recommended that architects, funding agencies and aged care providers engage with the growing body of evidence that purpose-built environments, such as the Memory Support Unit, to enhance the quality of the experience of those transitioning to high level dementia care, their family or carers and staff.

Access source material through DOI

Evaluation of a Collaborative Advance Care Planning Intervention among Older Adult Home Health Patients and Their Caregivers

Background: Caregivers are decision stakeholders; yet, few interventions have been developed to help patients and caregivers collaborate on advance care planning (ACP). Objective: To evaluate a theory-based ACP pilot intervention, Deciding Together, to improve decisional quality, readiness, collaboration, and concordance in ACP decisions for older adult home health (HH) patients and caregivers. Design: A one-group, pre- and posttest study using matched questionnaires was conducted. The intervention consisted of a clinical vignette, theoretically guided conversation prompts, and a shared decision-making activity. Setting/Subjects:N = 36 participants (n = 18 HH patients; n = 18 family and nonfamily caregivers) were purposively recruited from a HH agency to participate in the intervention at patients' homes. Measurements: Demographic and baseline measures were collected for relationship quality, health status, and previous ACP engagement. Outcome measures included perceptions of collaboration, readiness for ACP, concordance in life-sustaining treatment preferences (cardiopulmonary resuscitation, antibiotics, artificial nutrition and hydration, and mechanical ventilation), and decisional conflict. Descriptive statistics, Cohen's κ coefficients, paired t tests, McNemar's tests, and Wilcoxon signed-rank tests (and effect size estimates, r = z/√N) were calculated using R-3.5.1 (p < 0.05). Single value imputation was used for missing values. Results: While no significant differences were found for perceptions of collaboration, and readiness for ACP, patients (r = 0.38, p = 0.02) and caregivers (r = 0.38, p = 0.02) had reduced decisional conflict at posttest. Patients' and caregivers' agreement increased by 27.7% for an item assessing patients' preference for artificial nutrition and hydration (p = 0.03). Conclusions: This study suggests that collaborative ACP decision making may improve decisional conflict for older adult HH patients and their caregivers.

Access source material through DOI

Evaluation of 1-Year in-Home Monitoring Technology by Home-Dwelling Older Adults, Family Caregivers, and Nurses

Introduction: Population aging is increasing the needs and costs of healthcare. Both frailty and the chronic diseases affecting older people reduce their ability to live independently. However, most older people prefer to age in their own homes. New development of in-home monitoring can play a role in staying independent, active, and healthy for older people. This 12-month observational study aimed to evaluate a new in-home monitoring system among home-dwelling older adults (OA), their family caregivers (FC), and nurses for the support of home care. Methods: The in-home monitoring system evaluated in this study continuously monitored OA's daily activities (e.g., mobility, sleep habits, fridge visits, door events) by ambient sensor system (DomoCare (R)) and health-related events by wearable sensors (Activity tracker, ECG). In the case of deviations in daily activities, alerts were transmitted to nurses via email. Using specific questionnaires, the opinions of 13 OA, 13 FC, and 20 nurses were collected at the end of 12-months follow-up focusing on user experience and the impact of in-home monitoring on home care services. Results: The majority of OA, FC, and nurses considered that in-home sensors can help with staying at home, improving home care and quality of life, preventing domestic accidents, and reducing family stress. The opinion tended to be more frequently favorable toward ambient sensors (76%; 95% CI: 61-87%) than toward wearable sensors (Activity tracker: 65%; 95% CI: 50-79%); ECG: 60%; 95% CI: 45-75%). On average, OA (74%; 95% CI: 46-95%) and FC (70%; 95% CI: 39-91%) tended to be more enthusiastic than nurses (60%; 95% CI: 36-81%). Some barriers reported by nurses were a fear of weakening of the relationship with OA and lack of time. Discussion/Conclusion: Overall, the opinions of OA, FC, and nurses were positively related to in-home sensors, with nurses being less enthusiastic about their use in clinical practice.

Access source material through DOI

Development and validation a nursing care protocol with educational interventions for family caregivers of elderly people after stroke

Objective: development and validation the content of a nursing care protocol with educational interventions for family caregivers of elderly people after stroke. Methods: a methodological study conducted in three stages: (1) protocol development through literature review; (2) pretest with multidisciplinary team, analyzed with literature articulation; (3) protocol validation by the Delphi Technique. Results: the protocol was structured in the following areas: Disease Guidelines; Emotional Support; Using the Health Care Network; Diet; Airways; Medications; Hygiene; Skin Care; Disposal; Dressing/Undressing; Positioning and Transfer; Fall Prevention. In the pretest, eight experts assessed protocol clarity and content. In validation, there were two rounds by the Delphi Technique. The validated protocol consisted of 12 domains, containing 42 items and 240 care guidelines. Conclusion: the protocol qualifies the transition of care after hospital discharge assisting nurses in home care practice.

Access source material through DOI

Development and Field Testing of a Long-Term Care Decision Aid Website for Older Adults: Engaging Patients and Caregivers in User-Centered Design

Background and Objectives Decisions about long-term care and financing can be difficult to comprehend, consider, and communicate. In a previous needs assessment, families in rural areas requested a patient-facing website; however, questions arose about the acceptability of an online tool for older adults. This study engaged older adults and family caregivers in (a) designing and refining an interactive, tailored decision aid website, and (b) field testing its utility, feasibility, and acceptability. Research Design and Methods Based on formative work, the research team engaged families in designing and iteratively revising paper drafts, then programmed a tailored website. The field test used the ThinkAloud approach and pre-/postquestionnaires to assess participants' knowledge, decisional conflict, usage, and acceptability ratings. Results Forty-five older adults, family members, and stakeholders codesigned and tested the decision aid, yielding four decision-making steps: Get the Facts , What Matters Most, Consider Your Resources, and Make an Action Plan. User-based design and iterative storyboarding enhanced the content, personal decision-making activities, and user-generated resources. Field-testing participants scored 83.3% correct on knowledge items and reported moderate/low decisional conflict. All (100%) were able to use the website, spent an average of 26.3 min, and provided an average 87.5% acceptability rating. Discussion and Implications A decision aid website can educate and support older adults and their family members in beginning a long-term care plan. Codesign and in-depth interviews improved usability, and lessons learned may guide the development of other aging decision aid websites. 

Access source material through DOI

Development and Evaluation of a Post-Hip Fracture Instructional Workshop for Caregivers

Background and Purpose: A hip fracture is an unexpected traumatic event. Caregivers of patients with an acute hip fracture have only short time to learn the new skills of postoperative care and handling of the patient. This sudden responsibility changes the life of the caregivers who perceive a higher level of preoccupation about the care of their family member/friend. The objective of this study was to develop and test feasibility for a post-hip fracture inpatient instructional workshop for caregivers of older adults with hip fracture and to establish their knowledge of hip fracture recovery and perceptions of the utility and satisfaction with the workshop. Methods: This 2-part study was conducted at the University Hospital of Granada, Spain, from September 2016 to April 2017. We invited caregivers of patients (60 years of age or older) hospitalized for a surgically treated fall-related hip fracture to attend an informational and skill development hospital-based workshop (60-90 minutes in duration) on post-discharge management strategies. Following the workshop, we invited caregivers to complete a questionnaire to obtain their knowledge about care after hip fracture and their perceived concerns. Furthermore, we requested that they provide feedback on workshop utility and satisfaction (0-10 points) and suggestions for improving the workshop. Results and Discussion: We delivered 42 workshops over an 8 month period. One hundred three caregivers attended the sessions and enrolled in the study, mean (SD) age: 52.1 (12.8) years. Sixty-nine percent of the caregivers were women. Caregivers' main concern was apprehension for delivering physical care to their family member/friend (75%), followed by lack of time (42%). Caregivers who were employed were 3.16 times as likely to be concerned about time availability to provide care for their family member/friend. The median (Q1, Q3) of both workshop utility and satisfaction was 10 (10, 10), minimum-maximum: 7 to 10. Conclusions: Caregivers in this study stated that the workshop was useful and satisfactory. Because caregivers play such a vital role in recovery after hip fracture, providing knowledge and skill development as part of health care delivery may support more person-centered care.

Access source material through DOI

Determinants of overburdening among informal carers: a systematic review

Background: The world's population is ageing, resulting in rising care demands and healthcare costs, which in turn lead to a shift from formal to informal care. However, not only is the number of potential informal carers fast decreasing, but also informal caregivers are experiencing a higher caregiver burden. This literature review aims to synthesize the literature on the common determinants of caregiver burden in Western countries, to help ensure future continuation of informal care in the home context, and to improve or sustain the quality of life of caregivers and patients alike. Method: A systematic review of peer-reviewed articles included in PubMed, Scopus, and/or PsychInfo was conducted. Results: Seventeen articles were included. The most important predictors were the duration of caregiving and the patient's dependency level, in terms of both physical and mental dependency stemming from decreased cognitive capacity or behavioural problems. Some specific illnesses and role conflicts or captivity also increased caregiver burden, whereas social support lowered it. Being a female caregiver or having an adult-child relationship led to a higher burden. Conclusions: The most important predictors of caregiver burden are the duration of caregiving and the patient's dependency level. In addition, the patient's behavioural problems and cognitive capacity determine dependency level, and thus care burden. Interventions to relieve burden need to be adapted to the illness trajectory of specific diseases and corresponding needs for social support for both the recipient and the caregiver. Changing role expectations, leading to men being more involved, could reduce the disproportionately high burden for women.

Access source material through DOI

Dementia Caregiving Research: Expanding and Reframing the Lens of Diversity, Inclusivity, and Intersectionality

This forum expands and reframes the lens of dementia caregiving research among diverse racial and ethnic groups to better understand the unique needs, stressors, and strengths of multicultural and racial-ethnic family caregivers in the United States. By providing more diverse and inclusive knowledge on caregiving to older adults in the United States, we can create a new path forward with regards to caregiving research. Throughout the article, major questions and answers are supported by critiquing some of the caregiving literature. Discussions are provided to help create inclusive ways of conceptualizing caregiving research and using methodological approaches to reflect the diversity of caregivers and care recipients in the United States. Expanding and reframing the conceptual and methodological lens of diversity, inclusivity and intersectionality can provide evidence to support effective policy, practice, and care in addressing the needs of diverse groups of caregivers and older adults living with dementia. 

Access source material through DOI

Consumer expectations of self‐managing aged home care packages in Australia

This study investigated the expectations of older people who chose to participate in a self‐management trial of home aged care packages conducted by COTA Australia. Empowerment theory is used to interpret the findings. All Australian home aged care support packages are delivered using a consumer directed care (CDC) model, and most are managed by an aged care provider. The COTA Australia trial gave older people the opportunity to self‐manage their package and have more control over spending and less constraints on its use. This study examined three questions: (a) what motivated the older person, or an informal carer acting on their behalf, to participate in the self‐managing trial; (b) what outcomes they expected (c) and what was their attitude towards risk. The trial was conducted over 9 months in 2018–2019. Seven registered home aged care providers from six Australian states and territories recruited 103 consumers to the trial, with having an informal carer act on their behalf. Online questionnaires with consumers (n = 103) and informal carers (n = 66), and 18 semi‐structured interviews showed that older consumers and their informal carers had high expectations that self‐management would result in: increased choice and control and more flexible use of funds; lower administration fees and more money to spend on services and supports; improved relations with service providers and the opportunity to select support staff. Participants wanted clear information and guidelines and support from their provider. While wanting to have more control and be empowered, few respondents noted concerns about possible risks. This finding raises questions about consumers' awareness of risks that are documented in the literature, and it challenges providers to balance risk management with facilitating independence and autonomy. 

Access source material through DOI

Comparing Changes and Transitions of Home Care Clients in Retirement Homes and Private Homes

Long-stay home care clients mostly reside in private homes or retirement homes, and the type of residence may influence risk factors for long-term care placement. This multi-state analytic study uses RAI-Home Care and administrative data from the Hamilton Niagara Haldimand Brant Local Health Integration Network to model conceptualized states of risk at baseline through a 13-month follow-up period. Modifiable risk factors in these states were client loneliness or depressive symptoms, and caregiver distress. A higher adjusted likelihood of being discharged deceased was found for the lowest-risk clients in retirement homes. Adjusting for client, service, and caregiver characteristics, retirement home residency was associated with higher likelihood of placement in a long-term care home; reduced caregiver distress; and increased client loneliness/depression. As an alternative to private home settings as the location for aging in place among these long-stay home care clients, retirement home residency represents some trade-offs between client and informal caregiver.

Access source material through DOI

Communication neglect, caregiver anger and hostility, and perceptions of older care receivers' cognitive status and problem behaviors in explaining elder abuse

The goal of the current study was to examine the roles of communication neglect and caregiver traits (i.e., anger and hostility) in explaining caregivers' tendency to engage in abusive behaviors – specifically, whether such tendency is likely to occur in situations where caregivers perceive older care receivers displaying cognitive impairment or problem behaviors. Two hundred fifty-five informal caregivers completed an online questionnaire via Qualtrics. Treating communication neglect as the mediator, and caregiver anger and hostility as moderators, the results suggested that caregivers who perceived their older care receivers displaying problem behaviors were more likely to engage in communication neglect, which then led to psychological abuse. Moreover, the joint effects of communication neglect and caregiver anger and hostility intensified caregivers' likelihood to commit psychological abuse. These findings provide initial evidence to further investigate the importance of communication neglect and dysfunctional behaviors such as anger and hostility in explaining psychological abuse in informal caregiving for older adults. 

Access source material through DOI

Characteristics of the skills of caregivers of people with dementia: observational study

Background: Due to demographic change within an aging population as announced by the WHO, the involvement of caregivers is essential. Caregivers are required to change their roles within the family unit. Such life transitions experienced by caregivers to people confronted with dementia-type pathologies are sometimes difficult, necessitating the acquisition and development of certain skills. Few studies have shown that caregivers develop specific and essential skills to promote quality care and safety. To characterize their skills, there is a need to identify the abilities, knowledge, resources, obstacles and constraints that contribute to caregivers' transitions. The research question for this study was: What skills do caregivers use to care for their loved one with dementia? Methods: Qualitative observational research based on the epistemological paradigm of socioconstructivist knowledge was conducted. The study was carried out in the canton of Geneva and recruitment was carried out through the participation of the Alzheimer's association and the association for the support and assistance of elderly people in medical and social institutions and their families (APAF). Observations and semi-structured interviews were conducted in the homes of 14 family carers caring for their loved one with dementia. The observations were transcribed on observation grids and the interviews were recorded. Subsequently, according to the classic distinction of Denzin (Interpretive interractionism, 2001), we analysed the observation notes and verbatims, then as recommended by Miles et al. (Qualitative data analysis: a methods sourcebook, 2014), two researchers triangulated the results. Results: The results identified five types of situations regularly experienced by caregivers. The study characterized 11 skills that caregivers use to cope with their daily lives. The learning process and maladaptive behaviours in caring for their loved ones with dementia were also highlighted. Conclusion: This study was able to point out that today's caregivers have developed more competency than their predecessors. This evolution can be explained by new paradigms of care requiring caregivers to be more involved. Although some caregivers need training, others through their experiences can act upon and provide knowledge. To improve the quality and safety of care for people with dementia, this expertise can be the subject of partnerships between caregivers and health care staff. 

Access source material through DOI

Change Over Time in Caregiving Networks for Older Adults With and Without Dementia

Objectives We provide national estimates of caregiving networks for older adults with and without dementia and examine how these networks develop over time. Most prior research has focused on primary caregivers and rarely on change over time. Method We identify a cohort of older adults continuously followed in the National Health and Aging Trends Study between 2011 and 2015 and receiving help from family members or unpaid caregivers in 2015 (n = 1,288). We examine differences by dementia status in network size, types of assistance and task sharing, and composition—differentiating between "specialist" and "generalist" caregivers helping in one versus multiple activity domains. Multinomial regression is used to estimate change over time in network task sharing and composition. Results In 2015, older adults with dementia had larger caregiving networks involving more task sharing than those without dementia and more often relied on generalist caregivers, especially the subset assisting with medical, household, and mobility or self-care activities. Uniformly greater reliance over time on these more intensely engaged generalist caregivers chiefly accounts for larger dementia networks. Discussion Findings lend support to the need for caregiver training on managing multiple task domains and—for dementia caregivers in particular—task-sharing skills. More generally, the design of new approaches to better support older adults and their caregivers should consider the complexity, heterogeneity, and change over time in caregiving networks. 

Access source material through DOI

Caring for the caregiver: a systematic review characterising the experience of caregivers of older adults with advanced cancers

The steady advances in oncology bring a host of therapeutic options for older adults (≤65 years old) with cancer. As these patients experience this proliferation of anticancer therapies, their caregivers too have witnessed their role rapidly expanding and evolving as they care for these individuals. To better understand the caregiver experience, a review of the current literature on informal caregiving and cancer caregiving was conducted. These informal caregivers are often individuals with a strong personal connection to the person with advanced cancer, such as a close relative, spouse/partner or friend. Caregivers provide a broad range of assistance with most aspects of day-to-day life. However, we have limited knowledge of the impact of this role on the caregivers themselves, particularly in the context of an older adult patient and their unique needs. Here, we explore the data on caregiver experience when caring for a person with advanced cancers-specifically, we characterise the symptom burden and effects on the caregiver well-being with emphasis on the care of older adults with cancer. 

Access source material through DOI

Caring for elderly parents: Perceived filial obligations among Maghrebine immigrants in Italy

The migrant population in Southern European countries is aging. In the next future, long-term care needs of immigrant individuals will be a major issue in the evolution of social policies in these countries. In this context, it becomes important to examine what are the norms of filial obligations that govern the exchange of social support within migrant families. The study focuses on solidarity norms and support expectations among Mahgrebine immigrants living in Italy. It is shown that: i. intergenerational co-residence is seen as the best strategy to cope with the care need of elderly parents; ii. only a minority of respondents, especially those born in Italy or arrived before age 6, think that providing economic support or hiring a professional carer is a good solution. The importance of cultural and religious motivations at the basis of norms of filial obligations was explicitly, particularly as far as cohabitation is concerned. The majority of respondents held a gender-neutral view with respect to the sharing of responsibilities, although some gendered divisions emerged. Respondents who either were born in Italy or migrated before age six are considerably more likely to hold gender-neutral views on the division of informal care work.

Access source material through DOI

Carer burden and dyadic attachment orientations in adult children-older parent dyads

• Anxious-avoidant attachment pairings predict increased burden in adult-child carers. • Similar attachment insecurity in parent-child dyads do not predict burden. • Taking a dyadic approach to examining attachment in ageing families is critical.

This study takes an interpersonal approach to the study of carer burden in families where adult children care for older parents. The aim of the study was to determine whether different pairings of attachment insecurity in older parent-adult child dyads are predictive of carer burden. Seventy dyads whereby adult children provided weekly care to their older parents completed self-report measures of attachment. Adult children also completed a measure of carer burden. Anxious-avoidant attachment insecurity pairings in parent-child dyads were associated with increases in carer burden. However, anxious-anxious and avoidant-avoidant attachment insecurity pairings were not associated with burden. The attachment insecurity of the care-recipient was found to moderate the association between a carer's attachment insecurity and burden, but only when the care-recipient's attachment insecurity differed to that of the carer's. These findings have implications for research, policy, and practice in aged care. The findings highlight the importance of focusing on attachment insecurity in aging families as well as taking a dyadic perspective when studying caregiving outcomes such as carer burden. The findings suggest that carers who may require the greatest support are those whose parents demonstrate contrasting orientations of attachment insecurity. 

Access source material through DOI

Caregiving Attitudes and Needs of Later-generation Chinese-American Family Caregivers of Older Adults

Due to linguistic and cultural adjustments to a new country, first-generation immigrant's caregiving challenges have been well-documented. However, little is known of U.S.-born, U.S.-educated, English-speaking later-generation caregivers' (2nd, 2.5, and 3rd-generation) attitudes and needs regarding caregiving. Given this context, we interviewed 40 later-generation Chinese-American caregivers in Seattle and Houston. Caregivers had a mean age of 59 years, were married, college-educated, and working females with children. The later the caregiver's generation, the higher their acculturation, but their sense of filial responsibility remained high across generations. While Seattle caregivers wish to live in a high-quality, long-term care facility, Houston caregivers prefer to live with their adult children for their future care. Findings emphasize the importance of understanding the caregivers' ethnically and generationally specific caregiving attitudes and preferences for geographically specific services. Collaborating with existing local organizations, it is critical to ensure that the provision of services meets local Chinese-American caregivers' needs and preferences.

Access source material through DOI

Caregivers' Experiences Regarding Training and Support in the Post-Acute Home Health-Care Setting

Background: Post-acute home health-care (HHC) services provide a unique opportunity to train and support family caregivers of older adults returning home after a hospitalization. To enhance family-focused training and support strategies, we must first understand caregivers' experiences.; Objective: To explore caregivers' experiences regarding training and support for managing older adults' physical functioning (PF) needs in the post-acute HHC setting.; Method: We conducted a qualitative descriptive study using semi-structured telephone interviews of 20 family caregivers. Interviews were recorded, transcribed, and analyzed using conventional content analysis.; Results: We identified the following primary categories: facilitators to learning (eg, past experience, learning methods), barriers to learning (eg, learning on their own, communication, timing/logistics, preferred information and timing of information delivery), and interactions with HHC providers (eg, positive/negative interactions, provider training and knowledge).; Conclusion: Caregivers were responsive to learning strategies to manage older adults' PF needs and, importantly, voiced ideas to improve family-focused training and support. HHC providers can use these findings to tailor training and support of family caregivers in the post-acute HHC setting. 

Access source material through DOI

Caregiver Needs Assessment in Primary Care: Views of Clinicians, Staff, Patients, and Caregivers

OBJECTIVES To understand current practices, challenges, and opportunities for a systematic assessment of family caregiversʼ needs and risks in primary care. DESIGN Qualitative study consisting of in‐depth semi‐structured interviews. SETTING Four primary care practices located in urban and rural settings. PARTICIPANTS Primary care clinicians, staff, and administrators (N = 30), as well as older adult patients and family caregivers (N = 40), recruited using purposive and maximum variation sampling. MEASUREMENTS Current experiences, challenges, and opportunities for integrating standardized caregiver assessment into primary care delivery. Interviews were audio‐recorded and transcribed; transcripts were analyzed using the constant comparative method of data analysis. RESULTS: Participating clinicians had been in practice for an average of 12.8 years (range = 1‐36 y). Patients had a mean age of 84.0 years (standard deviation [SD] = 9.7); caregivers had a mean age of 67.0 years (SD = 9.3). There was wide variability in current practices for identifying caregiversʼ needs and risks, encompassing direct and indirect approaches, when such issues are considered. Participants posited that integrating standardized caregiver assessment into primary care delivery could help improve patient care, enhance clinician‐caregiver communication, and validate caregiversʼ efforts. Barriers to assessment included insufficient time and reimbursement, liability concerns, lack of awareness of community resources, and concerns about patient autonomy. To facilitate future uptake of caregiver assessment, participants recommended brief self‐administered assessment tools and post‐screen discussions with practice staff. CONCLUSION: Identification of caregiversʼ needs and risks in primary care is highly variable. Integration of standardized caregiver assessment into practice requires coordinated changes to policy, revision of practice workflows, and an interdisciplinary approach to the development of appropriate assessment tools

Access source material through DOI

Canadians Who Care: Social Networks and Informal Caregiving Among Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Older Adults in the Canadian Longitudinal Study on Aging

Canada is experiencing population aging and evidence on the provision of care is based on data collected from majority populations. This analysis compared social networks and patterns of care provision between heterosexual and lesbian, gay, and bisexual (LGB) Canadians between the age of 45 and 85 years. Data were drawn from the Canadian Longitudinal Study on Aging (CLSA), a large national study of health and aging. The results from analysis of baseline data showed that LGB participants were less likely to have children and reported seeing their friends more recently than heterosexual participants. Gay and bisexual men were more likely to provide care support in comparison to heterosexual men. LGB participants were more likely to provide care to friends. The results highlight the importance of considering distinct social networks in the development of policy and practice approaches to support a diverse aging population. 

Access source material through DOI

Can in-hospital or post discharge caregiver involvement increase functional performance of older patients? A systematic review

Background: Regaining pre-hospitalization activity levels is only achieved in 30-50% of older patients. Extra physiotherapy time has been proven to improve functional outcome and shorten length of stay, but is costly. Considering their key role in caring for older people, involving informal caregivers in rehabilitation might further improve functional performance. Aim: To determine if in-hospital or post discharge caregiver involvement can increase functional performance in older adults. The secondary aim was to determine if caregiver involvement can influence, quality of life of patient and caregiver, medical costs, readmission rate, discharge location, and mortality. Design: Systematic review with narrative synthesis. Methods: The electronic bibliographic databases MEDLINE, Embase, CINAHL, Cochrane and Web of Science were searched for (quasi) experimental and observational studies, with the following inclusion criteria; caregiver involvement regarding functional performance, mean age over 65 years, admitted to a hospital unit and subsequently discharged to their home setting. Risk of bias was assessed with the Rob 2 (randomized trials) and the ROBINS-1 tool (non-randomized studies). Results: Eight studies of an initial 4683 were included: four randomized controlled trials, one prospective cohort study, one non-randomized controlled trial, one subgroup analysis of an RCT and one prospective pre-post study. All but one study included patients with stroke. Three types of caregiver interventions could be distinguished: a care pathway (inclusion of caregivers in the process of care), education on stroke and teaching of bed-side handling-skills, and caregiver-mediated exercises. The one study evaluating the care pathway reported 24.9% more returns home in the intervention group. Studies evaluating the effect of education and bed-side handling-skills reported higher effect sizes for several outcomes with increasing session frequency. All studies with caregiver-mediated exercises showed beneficial effects on functional performance, immediately after the intervention and within 3 months follow-up. Conclusion: The findings of this review suggest that involvement of caregivers in the rehabilitation of older adults leads to better functional performance up to 3 months after initiation. However, evidence is low and mainly focusing on stroke.

Access source material through DOI

Burden in Tunisian Family Caregivers of Older Patients with Schizophrenia Spectrum and Bipolar Disorders; Associations with Depression, Anxiety, Stress, and Quality of Life

There are very little data on the burden among caregivers of older adults with severe mental diseases. We aimed to assess the perceived burden among caregivers of family members with schizophrenia spectrum and bipolar disorders. A cross-sectional study was carried out with 52 older patients with schizophrenia spectrum and bipolar disorders and their family caregivers. Caregivers were assessed with the medical outcome survey short form (SF-36), the Zarit Burden Interview (ZBI) and the Depression Anxiety and Stress scales (DASS-21). Caregivers' mental quality of life was impaired with an average mental score of 59.05. For a threshold value of 17, the level of perceived burden was considered as high for 42.3% of caregivers. After controlling for demographic variables (age and gender) and patients' health-related variables (level of dependency, comorbidities, age onset of illness, number of hospitalizations and duration of clinical remission), caregivers' levels of depression, stress, and SF-36 physical component significantly contributed to their perceived burden. Certain modifiable risk factors play an inescapable role in increasing the level of burden among caregivers of older patients with serious mental illnesses. Improving the quality of life and psychological well-being of family caregivers should be considered an integral part of treatment for serious mental illness in older adult patients.

Access source material through DOI

Building Capacity for Caregiver Education in Yap, Micronesia

The US Affiliated Pacific Islands have an urgent need for family caregiver education to prevent caregiver burnout and strengthen the existing culture where seniors are cared for at home by their families. The Pacific Islands Geriatric Education Center conducted a 32-hour family caregiver train-the-trainer workshop in partnership with the Yap Department of Health Services and the Yap Area Health Education Center (AHEC) from October 16 - 20, 2017. Twenty-seven participants including community health workers, peer educators, health assistants, nurses, and physicians were trained as instructors. Confidence in caregiving increased following the training and feedback was extremely positive. Competence in geriatric syndromes was improved after attending the workshop (P < .001). Lessons from the field revealed an immense value of adding home visits to the training practicum as well as the need to translate caregiving handouts into the outer island languages. Yap AHEC is committed to offering this course as part of caregiver education at the hospital and in the community. 

Original source (some source materials require subscription or permission to access)

The association of collaboration between family caregivers and nurses in the hospital and their preparedness for caregiving at home

Family caregivers of an older person who was recently hospitalized often feel unprepared for their new or expanded tasks. Quality and continuity of care for older people is expected to improve when nurses collaborate with family caregivers as partners in care. The aim of this study was to explore the unique contribution of collaboration between family caregivers of older patients and hospital nurses as a possible predictor for preparedness of caregiving after hospital discharge. With a cross sectional design, a postal survey was sent to 777 family caregivers of home-dwelling hospitalized patients (≥70 years). Regression analyses were used to test the association between collaboration and preparedness for caregiving. In total, 506 (68%) family caregivers responded of whom 281 (38%) were eligible. Their mean (SD) age was 65 (13) and 71% were female. Family caregivers' level of collaboration with nurses was significantly associated with their preparedness for caregiving.

Access source material through DOI

Assessments for Caregivers of Hospitalized Older Adults

A systematic review was conducted to characterize assessments for caregivers of hospitalized older adults. Electronic literature searches of Medline, PsycINFO, and CINAHL of articles on caregiver assessments published in English between 2006 and present were completed. Thirty-three articles underwent full-text review; four included assessments designed to capture caregiver needs in hospital settings. Original articles on the development of these assessments were reviewed for quality appraisal. Four findings emerged from our review. Existing assessments (a) focus on caregivers of specific conditions of older adults, (b) contain a singular caregiving domain, (c) measure caregiver outcomes or simply describe caregiving experiences, and (d) neglect psychometric properties. Health care providers are limited in their selection of assessments with caregivers of hospitalized older adults. This barrier is problematic if we are to equip caregivers to be successful at providing care to older adults. Future research should develop a hospital assessment for caregivers. 

Access source material through DOI

Anxiety and depression in informal caregivers of dependent elderly people: an analytical study

Objective: To analyze the symptoms of anxiety and depression in informal caregivers of dependent elderly at home.; Methods: Analytical, cross-sectional study conducted in the city of Teresina (PI), with informal caregivers of dependent elderly people. Data collection took place from November 2017 to February 2018, using a characterization form for the dependent elderly and their caregiver, Beck's Anxiety Inventory (BAI) and Beck's Depression Inventory (BDI). The forward linear regression model was used to identify the predictive variables of anxiety and depression.; Results: It was found that 18.4% of caregivers had symptoms of depression; and 14%, moderate to severe anxiety. There was a correlation between anxiety and depression (p = 0.000).; Conclusion: The findings of this study make it possible to assess anxiety and depression in caregivers of dependent elderly people, making it possible, through these parameters, to view the profile and care demands of this population.

Access source material through DOI

Finding the Right Balance: An Evidence-Informed Guidance Document to Support the Re-Opening of Canadian Nursing Homes to Family Caregivers and Visitors during the Coronavirus Disease 2019 Pandemic

During the first few months of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, Canadian nursing homes implemented strict no-visitor policies to reduce the risk of introducing COVID-19 in these settings. There are now growing concerns that the risks associated with restricted access to family caregivers and visitors have started to outweigh the potential benefits associated with preventing COVID-19 infections. Many residents have sustained severe and potentially irreversible physical, functional, cognitive, and mental health declines. As Canada emerges from its first wave of the pandemic, nursing homes across the country have cautiously started to reopen these settings, yet there is broad criticism that emerging visitor policies are overly restrictive, inequitable, and potentially harmful. We reviewed the nursing home visitor policies for Canada's 10 provinces and 3 territories as well as international policies and reports on the topic to develop 10 provi-informed, data-driven, and expert-reviewed guidance for the re-opening of Canadian nursing homes to family caregivers and visitors. 

Access source material through DOI

Essential Family Caregivers in Long-Term Care During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Four decades ago, my parents were not permitted to hold their dying infant because they were “visitors” to the intensive care unit. I learned from them that our health care policies sometimes carry huge human costs. As a geriatrician and medical director of a long-term care (LTC) facility, I have learned that family members are not merely visitors; family members are critical partners in our care. The practice of social distancing and physical separation is important to keep our residents in LTC facilities safe in the COVID-19 pandemic, but the time has come to revise our policies allowing family presence at the bedside of loved ones....

Access source material through DOI

Meeting the Transitional Care Needs of Older Adults with COVID-19

Older adults with COVID-19 who survive hospitalizations and return to their homes confront substantial health challenges and an unpredictable future. While understanding of the unique needs of COVID-19 survivors is developing, components of the evidence-based Transitional Care Model provide a framework for taking a more immediate, holistic response to caring for these individuals as they moved back into the community. These components include: increasing screening, building trusting relationships, improving patient engagement, promoting collaboration across care teams, undertaking symptom management, increasing family caregiver care/education, coordinating health and social services, and improving care continuity. Evidence generated from rigorous testing of these components reveal the need for federal and state policy solutions to support the following: employment/redeployment of nurses, social workers, and community health workers; training and reimbursement of family caregivers; widespread access to research-based transitional care tools; and coordinated local efforts to address structural barriers to effective transitions. Immediate action on these policy options is necessary to more effectively address the complex issues facing these older adults and their family caregivers who are counting on our care system for essential support.

Access source material through DOI

A Hitchhiker's Guide to caring for an older person before and during coronavirus‐19

Coronavirus‐19 (COVID‐19) has reconfigured working lives with astonishing velocity. Older people have suffered the worst effects of the pandemic, with governments marginalizing or overlooking their needs. Women perform the majority of care for older people, often compromising their working lives and health. Yet in academic articles their voices are often filtered or aggregated in quantitative studies. Based on a weave of personal experiences and secondary research, the article traces a path through UK forms of care and shows how the inadequate response to COVID‐19 stemmed from existing policies embedded in health and social care. COVID‐19 has severed important informal care work, rendering the vulnerable yet more exposed and carers anxious and bereft. Longitudinal research capturing the trajectory of care from the perspective of older people and their carers would lead to improved support hence gender equality. 

Access source material through DOI

Amid the COVID-19 Pandemic, Meaningful Communication between Family Caregivers and Residents of Long-Term Care Facilities is Imperative

Older adults residing in long-term care facilities are especially vulnerable for severe illness or death from COVID-19. To contain the transmission of the virus in long-term care facilities, federal health officials have issued strict visitation guidelines, restricting most visits between residents and all visitors, including family members. Yet, many older adults rely on family care for social support and to maintain their health, well-being, and safety in long-term care facilities, and therefore need to stay connected to their families. The federal government, state and local leaders, and long-term care facilities should take further actions to enable the relationship between residents of long-term care facilities and families during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Access source material through DOI

Abuse in the caregiving relationship between older people with memory disorders and family caregivers: A systematic review

Aim: To synthesize what is known about elder abuse and relationship factors associated with abuse between caregivers and older people with memory disorders at home. Background: Concerns about abuse in the caring relationship between older people with memory disorders and family caregivers have increased. Abuse is associated with negative outcomes on older people's health, quality of life, and zest for life. Abuse in the caring relationship manifests in financial exploitation, neglect, mistreatment, and physical issues. Design: Systematic review. Data sources: Databases including Scopus, PubMed/Medline, SveMed+, Cinalh, SonINDEX, and ProQuest were searched using keywords about abuse in the caring relationship between older people with memory disorders and family caregivers at home. Articles published between 2005-2019 were retrieved and underwent data analysis and knowledge synthesis. Review methods: The review was presented under the categories of the dyadic approach of elder abuse in connection with the role of caregiver (risk) and care recipient (vulnerability) by Fulmer et al. (2005). Results: The search process led to 12 quantitative studies, including an intervention, a prospective, nine surveys, and a cross-sectional structural interview. Findings were synthesized and presented under 'personal', 'physical and psychological', and 'social' domains indicating the bilateral roles of caregiver and care recipient leading to abuse. Conclusion: This review depicted factors influencing abuse in the caring relationship between older people with memory disorders and their family caregivers at home. They included family caregivers' psychological issues, knowledge of memory disorders and modifications, previous caring relationship, social support, number of care recipients, and care recipients' functional level. Impact: • This review identifies what influences elder abuse by family caregivers using the dyadic approach and explains how abuse can be prevented through suggested strategies. • The review findings are relevant to multidisciplinary healthcare providers and can guide the provision of support, screening and assessment, educational programs, and legislative initiatives. 

Access source material through DOI

Resilience and burden in caregivers of older adults: moderating and mediating effects of perceived social support

BACKGROUND: The burden of caring for an older adult can be a form of stress and influence caregivers' daily lives and health. Previous studies have reported that resilience and social support play an important role in reducing physical and psychological burden in caregivers. Thus, the present study aimed to examine whether perceived social support served as a possible protective factor of burden among caregivers of older adults in Singapore using moderation and mediation effects' models. METHODS: We conducted a cross-sectional study with 285 caregivers providing care to older adults aged 60 years and above who were diagnosed with physical and/or mental illness in Singapore. The Connor-Davidson Resilience Scale (CD-RISC) was used to measure resilience and burden was measured by the Zarit Burden Interview (ZBI). The Multidimensional Scale of Perceived Social Support (MSPSS) was used to measure perceived social support. Hayes' PROCESS macro was used to test moderation and mediation effects of perceived social support in the relationship between resilience and burden after controlling for sociodemographic variables. Indirect effects were tested using bootstrapped confidence intervals (CI). RESULTS: The mean scores observed were CD-RISC: 70.8/100 (SD = 15.1), MSPSS: 62.2/84 (SD = 12.2), and ZBI: 23.2/88 (SD = 16.0) respectively. While perceived social support served as a full mediator between resilience and caregiver burden (β = - 0.14, 95% CI -0.224 to - 0.072, p < 0.05), it did not show a significant moderating effect. CONCLUSIONS: Perceived social support mediates the association between resilience and caregiver burden among caregivers of older adults in Singapore. It is crucial for healthcare professionals, particularly those who interact and deliver services to assist caregivers, to promote and identify supportive family and friends' network that may help to address caregiver burden.

Access source material through DOI

The invisible workforce during the COVID-19 pandemic: Family carers at the frontline [version 1; peer review: 2 approved]

This is an open letter to acknowledge the essential and increasingly challenging role unpaid family carers are playing in the COVID-19 pandemic. The letter is written by members of the CAREWELL team, a HRB-funded project that aims to promote health and self-care behaviours among working family carers. Family carers provide care to family and friends in the community who need support due to old-age, disability and chronic illness. In many cases, family carers are supporting those who are considered most at risk in this pandemic meaning carers must reduce their own risk of infection in order to protect their dependent family members. The temporary reduction of some home care services, as well as school and creche closures, means that family carers are providing increased levels of care with little or no support. At a time when both worlds of work and care have been dramatically transformed, we wish to shed light on those who are currently balancing paid employment with a family caregiving role. We argue that there is much to be learned from the recent work restrictions that could benefit employees, including working family carers, beyond this pandemic. We also wish to build on the potential positives of a transformed society and encourage policy makers and employers to focus on what is currently being implemented, and to identify which measures could be used to create a bedrock of policies and practices that would offer robust and effective support to family carers. It is hoped that family carers will receive greater recognition for the significant role they play in society, providing essential care and alleviating the strain on health and social care systems, both during and post the COVID-19 pandemic.

Access source material through DOI

Can We Hit Two Birds with One Stone: An Effectiveness Study of Peer-support Groups for Low-income Spousal and Adult Children Caregivers of Hong Kong Older Adults

This study aims to assess the effectiveness of peer support groups for low-income older adults’ caregivers in the Hong Kong community. It compares the effectiveness of peer support groups on spouse and adult children caregivers. The peer support program was structured into three stages, including six training sessions for peer specialists, eight caregiver support group sessions, and non-structured informal contact. The study adopted a quasi-experiment design supplemented with qualitative data collected from focused group interviews. It involved a user group of 58 participants and a control group of 42 participants. Both quantitative and qualitative data were collected before, after the peer support groups, and at a three-month follow-up. The quantitative results showed that the peer support program was more effective in promoting social support for adult children caregivers but not for spousal caregivers. Three focus group interviews suggested that the community-based peer-support group could be helpful to improve stress management, emotional regulation skills, and social networks of the caregivers. Based on the research findings, we discuss the various needs of spousal and adult children caregivers, provide recommendations for service providers and practitioners to consider homogenous group services to address the diverse needs of spousal and adult children caregivers. 

Access source material through DOI

Family Long-Term Caregivers' Lost Productivity Cost: A Research Study

Population aging and issues surrounding family caregiver costs are worldwide trends and concerns. In this study, family caregivers lost productivity cost due to elderly care over time was examined and factors affecting lost productivity were analyzed. Based on these findings, the welfare system as related to the elderly should be re-evaluated, and concrete and realistic countermeasures developed.

Original source (some source materials require subscription or permission to access)

Examining the effects of activities of daily living on informal caregiver strain

Objectives: This study examines the factors associated with caregiver strain experienced by informal caregivers of older people, using data from Ireland. Methods: The analysis is based on a sample of 1394 informal caregivers obtained from Ireland’s Quarterly National Household Survey (2009). The Caregiver Strain Index is used to measure caregiver strain on a scale from 0 to 13. The analysis focuses on estimating the association between caregiving activities (measured using Activities of Daily Living) and caregiver strain, using multivariate regression analysis. Results: Overall, 60% of informal caregivers report feeling strained. The results suggest that different types of caregiving assistance are associated with increasing caregiver strain, in line with Pearlin’s conceptual model of Stress Process theory and Process Utility theory of informal care. Female caregivers have significantly higher levels of strain. Moreover, caregiver strain amongst co-residential caregivers is 0.8 points higher compared to those who are non-resident. Conversely, caregivers over 65 years are less prone to strain than younger caregivers. The condition of the dependent is also a statistically significant factor: caring for someone with a physical condition, a mental condition or both a physical and mental condition, increases caregiver strain. Conclusions: As Ireland and Europe’s populations are ‘greying’, sustainable systems and supports need to be designed to meet demand for care that limit strain for caregivers. In doing so, policymakers and their advisors need to better understand the impact of informal caring on caregivers.

Access source material through DOI

Emerging Issues of Intelligent Assistive Technology Use Among People With Dementia and Their Caregivers: A U.S. Perspective

The increasing number of older adults with cognitive deficits, including dementia, poses a major challenge for public health in the United States. At the same time, the limited number of informal and professional caregivers available to support this rapidly growing population is of mounting concern. Not only does population aging limit the number of potential caregivers, but extant caregivers often lack skills to provide quality care. The integration of intelligent assistive technologies (IAT), including devices, robotics and sensors in many forms, into eldercare, may offer opportunities to reduce caregiver burden and enhance healthcare services while improving the quality of life among older adults with mild to severe cognitive deficits. However, many caregivers and their care recipients lack access to these technologies. The reasons for this reduced access are multifactorial, including the digital divide, sociocultural factors, and technological literacy. This mini review investigates the emerging use of IAT available to caregivers and older adults with cognitive deficits and explores the challenges in socioeconomic status and technological literacy as well as ethical and legal implications that should be considered in the design and development of IAT for older adults with cognitive deficits. Drawing from existing literature, it will suggest frameworks for design and adoption aimed at increased and equitable access for this vulnerable population. 

Access source material through DOI

Perceptions About Technologies That Help Community-Dwelling Older Adults Remain at Home: Qualitative Study

BACKGROUND: The population of Europe is aging rapidly. Most community-dwelling older adults (CDOAs) want to remain in their homes, particularly those experiencing functional decline. Politicians and academics repeatedly praise technological instruments for being the preferred solution for helping older adults with deteriorating health to remain at home. OBJECTIVE: This study aimed to understand the perceptions of CDOAs and their informal caregivers (ICs) and professional caregivers (PCs) about technologies that can help keep older adults at home. METHODS: This qualitative study used personal interviews, focus groups, and photo-elicitation interviews to better understand the perceptions of a convenience sample of 68 CDOAs, 21 ICs, and 32 PCs. RESULTS: A fraction of CDOAs did not perceive technological instruments to be a very useful means of helping them remain at home. However, the ICs and PCs were more positive. The CDOAs preferred and were more willing to adopt technologies related to their mobility and safety and those that would help slow down their cognitive decline. The ICs preferred technological aids that assist in the activities of daily living as well as safety-related technologies for detecting falls and helping to locate disoriented older adults. The PCs preferred integrated communication and information systems to improve collaboration between all stakeholders, housing equipped with technologies to manage complex care, high-performance ancillary equipment to transfer people with reduced mobility, and surveillance systems to ensure safety at home. CONCLUSIONS: Although our study reports that CDOAs have limited interest in innovative technologies to help them remain at home, their technological skills will undoubtedly improve in the future, as will those of ICs and PCs. Technological tools will play an increasingly important role in home health care. ©Henk Verloo, Thomas Kampel, Nicole Vidal, Filipa Pereira. Originally published in the Journal of Medical Internet Research (http://www.jmir.org), 04.06.2020.

Access source material through DOI

The association between activities of daily living and long hours of care provided by informal caregivers using a nationally representative survey in Japan

Highlights

  • We determined the relationship between long hours of care and the assistance in each activity of daily living (ADL) element.

  • The assistance in wiping of the body, dressing and toileting were significantly associated with longer hours of care .

  • To support caregivers effectively, it is important to consider the kinds of ADL elements of the care recipients.

Access source material through DOI

Reduced family care burden by using a communication robot: Case report

Here, we report that the use of a baby‐type robot (Smibi; Togo Seisakusyo, Aichi‐gun, Japan) helped improve the healing process and reduce the care burden of an aged woman undergoing home‐visit rehabilitation.

Access source material through DOI

The experiences and perspectives of family surrogate decision-makers: A systematic review of qualitative studies

Objective: Surrogate decision-makers play an increasingly important role in the lives of older adults who have lost their ability to make decisions. Currently, there is a lack of evidence to support family surrogates in making a variety of decisions. Additionally, a greater understanding of family caregivers’ experiences and perspectives toward making surrogate decisions is needed. Methods: This study employed a qualitative systematic review and thematic synthesis of the research evidence using the methodologies of the Joanna Briggs Institute (2014) and Thomas and Harden (2008). Results: Decisions were classified per three main types: intensive care treatment, end-of-life treatment, and placement. Six themes were identified concerning surrogates’ experiences: struggle and reluctance, seeking reassurance, communication with healthcare professionals, family support, older adults’ wishes, and negative impact. Conclusion: Family surrogates often lack adequate preparation and education regarding decision-making. Quality communication between surrogates and healthcare providers helps reduce the anxiety and guilt experienced when making surrogate decisions. Further research is required to elucidate these experiences with more cultural and racial nuances. Practice implications: This review informs healthcare providers’ awareness of the challenges faced by surrogates and fosters improved surrogate decision-making experiences.

Access source material through DOI

Challenges Faced by Family Caregivers: Multiple Perspectives on Eldercare

The focus of this study was to identify challenges to family eldercare provision from the perspectives of both caregivers and community stakeholders. This qualitative study used data from 306 family caregivers and 116 stakeholders (aging, social, and health service professionals who work with older adults and their families) in North Dakota. Data sources included an American Association of Retired Persons-ND survey of 110 caregivers, a survey by the ND Family Caregiver Support Program (196 participants), and a Statewide Caregiving Stakeholder Survey (116 participants). Thematic analysis identified five themes: (a) financial burden of providing eldercare, (b) insufficient access to respite care, (c) difficulty finding and navigating available services and programs, (d) lack of knowledge and training on care provision, and (e) challenges related to environmental context of caregiving. Implications for working with family caregivers and developing policies for eldercare are discussed.

Access source material through DOI

Intergenerational Relationships, Family Caregiving Policy, and COVID-19 in the United States

Families and intergenerational relationships are important sources of risk for COVID-19 infection, especially for older adults who are at high risk of complications from the disease. If one family member is exposed to the virus they could serve as a source of transmission or, if they fall ill, the resources they provide to others could be severed. These risks may be especially heightened for family members who work outside the home and provide care, or for those family members who care for multiple generations. Policies have the potential to help families bear the burden of these decisions. This essay argues that policies that address health, employment, and other social issues have implications for families, and that policies aimed at families and caregivers can affect the health, employment, and the general well-being of the nation.

Access source material through DOI

Spousal Caregiving in Community Settings in Canada: Implications for Nursing Professionals

Objective: Spousal caregivers report significantly more health effects and psychological consequences than caregivers of aging parents. Traditional approaches to assist these caregivers often include lifestyle approaches with a lack of health promotion initiatives. Consequently, alternative approaches to facilitate the adaptation to the social context of spousal caregivers' experiences are needed. Method: This article systematically reviewed literature on spousal caregiving in Canada using a health promotion approach. Nine peer reviewed articles were identified from the health and social care literature and critically analyzed for relevant themes. Results: Gender, social support, health care, and income emerged as themes in the literature published to date. Discussion: The article concludes with directions for future research in Canada and suggested solutions for family nursing practice.

Access source material through DOI

Caregivers’ burdens and barriers in accessing healthcare services for dependent elders in Thailand

Background: Elders report poor health status and a greater need for healthcare services; however, in Thailand there are barriers in accessing healthcare services for these individuals. Objective: To study the health status of dependent elders in Thailand, the barriers in accessing health services for them, the impact resulting from these barriers, and the impact on caregivers when taking care of dependent elders. Materials and Methods: The study was conducted in 4 provinces in Thailand: Nonthaburi, Pathumthani, Ayutthaya, and Lopburi. Data were collected from 243 home-bound and bed-bound elders and 124 caregivers. The research tools both qualitative and quantitative parts were used to interview dependent elders and their primary caregivers. Results: The study found that 96.5% of the dependent elders had chronic disease comorbidity with non-communicable. The barriers in accessing health services included long waits for healthcare services, transportation expenses to these services, medical expenses, no mobility support or body assist tools, no accessibility to information, unawareness of their rights in terms of medical treatment, and caregiver issues. These barriers affected the dependent elders regarding their physical and mental health and financial issues. Moreover, taking care of dependent elders had the impact on caregivers in terms of physical and mental health, family relationships, social participation, and financial issues. Conclusion: There are still barriers in accessing health services for dependent elders. Furthermore, taking care of them is caregivers’ burden. Therefore, caregivers should be supported. 

Original source (some source materials require subscription or permission to access)

Trajectory of psychosocial measures amongst informal caregivers: Case-controlled study of 1375 informal caregivers from the English longitudinal Study of ageing

Informal caregivers provide vital support for older adults living in the community with chronic illnesses. The purpose of this study was to assess the psychosocial status of informal caregivers of community-dwelling adults over an eight-year period. Informal caregivers of adult care-recipients were identified from Wave 1 of the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing (ELSA) cohort. Multivariate regression analysis models were constructed to assess the association between participant's psychosocial characteristics and informal caregiving. Multilevel modelling explored the psychosocial changes between caregivers and non-caregivers over eight years. 1375 informal caregivers and 2750 age-matched non-caregivers were analyzed. Self-reported loneliness (Odd Ratio (OR): 0.26; 95% confidence intervals (CI): 0.01-0.51) and relationship status (OR: 0.36; 95% CI: 0.16-0.46) were independently associated with caregiving. Caregivers were more socially isolated with less holidaying abroad (OR: 0.51; 95% CI: 0.35-0.66), attendance to church (OR: 0.30; 95% CI: 0.11-0.49), or charity groups (OR: 0.35; 95% CI: 0.14-0.55). On multilevel analysis, over time (eight-years), caregivers reported greater loneliness (p < 0.01), change in relationship status (p = 0.01) and reduced control, autonomy, and pleasure (p ≤ 0.01) compared to non-caregivers. Given the deleterious effects caregiving can place on health and wellbeing, further interventions are required to improve these psychosocial factors.

Access source material through DOI

Social support, social participation, & depression among caregivers and non-caregivers in Canada: a population health perspective

Objectives: The study used data from the Canadian Longitudinal Study on Aging to investigate the relationships among social support (measured as affectionate support, emotional/informational support, positive social interaction, tangible support), social participation and depression in caregivers and non-caregivers. Method: Hierarchical multiple regression was used to investigate relationships among social support, social participation, and depression. Analyses of variance were used to examine differences in the means of social support, social participation, and depression between the two participant groups. Results: Higher levels of affectionate support, positive social interaction, and social participation were associated with lower depression scores. Social participation was a significant mediator of the relationship between caregiver status and depression. Caregivers reported significantly higher levels of affectionate support, emotional/informational support, positive social interaction, and social participation than non-caregivers. There were no between-group difference in depression scores. Discussion: The study provides support for the beneficial role of social participation in preserving caregiver mental health. Results are discussed in the context of policy and practice implications for caregivers in Canada. 

Access source material through DOI

Resuming Normal Life as a Family Caregiver During Drip-Like Recovery of Older Persons With Cognitive Impairment Recovering From Hip Surgery: A Grounded Theory

Purpose: This study was undertaken to develop a theoretical framework explaining family caregiving processes for older persons with cognitive impairment recovering from hip fracture surgery. Design and Methods: In this grounded theory study, data were collected in audio-recorded face-to-face interviews with 21 family caregivers. Among these caregivers, 14 cared for hip-fractured persons with cognitive impairment, and seven cared for those without cognitive impairment. Caregivers were interviewed five times after patients’ discharge: at 1 week and at 1, 3, 6, and 12 months. Data were analyzed by constant comparative analysis. Findings: The core category explaining the family caregiving process for hip-fractured persons with cognitive impairment was “resuming normal life during drip-like recovery.” This category captures the slowness of the recovery process, as slow as dripping water. During the early postoperative period, caregivers attempted to gain control of the postoperative situation, using various maintenance and improvement strategies to deal with the chaos in individuals and the family and to protect hip-fractured persons with cognitive impairment from further harm. The goal of recovery was to get back to their original life. Conclusions: Family caregivers of hip-fractured older persons with cognitive impairment needed to deal with more complex chaotic situations, exerted more efforts to administer safety measures, and required more time to achieve a stable life pattern. Clinical Relevance: Since postoperative recovery was perceived as extremely slow, family caregivers of hip-fractured older persons with cognitive impairment should be patient regarding recovery and be informed before hospital discharge of different strategies to resume normal life during postoperative recovery. 

Access source material through DOI

Quality of life among caregivers of people with end-stage kidney disease managed with dialysis or comprehensive conservative care

Background: To measure health-related and care-related quality of life among informal caregivers of older people with end-stage kidney disease (ESKD), and to determine the association between caregiver quality of life and care recipient's treatment type. Methods: A prospective cross-sectional study was conducted. Three renal units in the UK and Australia were included. Informal caregivers of people aged ≥75 years with ESKD managed with dialysis or comprehensive conservative non-dialytic care (estimated glomerular filtration (eGFR) ≤10 mL/min/1.73m2) participated. Health-related quality of life (HRQoL) was assessed using Short-Form six dimensions (SF-6D, 0-1 scale) and care-related quality of life was assessed using the Carer Experience Scale (CES, 0-100 scale). Linear regression assessed associations between care-recipient treatment type, caregiver characteristics and the SF-6D utility index and CES scores. Results: Of 63 caregivers, 49 (78%) were from Australia, 26 (41%) cared for an older person managed with dialysis, and 37 (59%) cared for an older person managed with comprehensive conservative care. Overall, 73% were females, and the median age of the entire cohort was 76 years [IQR 68-81]. When adjusted for caregiver sociodemographic characteristics, caregivers reported significantly worse carer experience (CES score 15.73, 95% CI 5.78 to 25.68) for those managing an older person on dialysis compared with conservative care. However, no significant difference observed for carer HRQoL (SF-6D utility index - 0.08, 95% CI - 0.18 to 0.01) for those managing an older person on dialysis compared with conservative care. Conclusions: Our data suggest informal caregivers of older people on dialysis have significantly worse care-related quality of life (and therefore greater need for support) than those managed with comprehensive conservative care. It is important to consider the impact on caregivers' quality of life when considering treatment choices for their care recipients. 

Access source material through DOI

Effectiveness of respite care via short-stay services to support sleep in family caregivers

Family caregivers of older people who need care often experience sleep disorders, which can lead to various health problems. Although respite care is used in many countries, its effectiveness has not been fully demonstrated. We analyzed the sleep of family caregivers using actigraphy and heart rate spectral analysis to clarify changes in their sleep characteristics during short-stay respite care. Participants were all family caregivers living with an older person needing long-term care. The outcomes consisted of questionnaire responses, sleep/wake records, and R-wave to R-wave interval records. Quantitative evaluation of sleep revealed that caregivers’ median sleep time was 378.0 min, and median sleep efficiency was 94.7%. The low frequency (LF)/high frequency (HF) value was 1.722 for total sleep and 1.822 for the first half of the sleep period. The LF/HF for the first half of the sleep period was significantly different between caregiving and respite days. The respite day LF/HF was 1.567, which was significantly lower than on caregiving days. On respite days, cardiac sympathetic nervous activity among family caregivers was reduced during the first half of the sleep period. This suggests that regular use of short-stay services can improve caregivers’ sleep status, making this an effective form of respite care. 

Access source material through DOI

Oral Health Assessment by Lay Personnel for Older Adults

Oral health is an often-undervalued contributor to overall health. The literature, however, underscores the myriad of systemic diseases influenced by oral health, including type II diabetes, heart disease, and atherosclerosis. Thus, assessments of oral health, called oral screenings, have a significant role in assessing risk of disease, managing disease, and even improving disease by oral care. Here we present a method to assess oral health quickly and consistently across time. The protocol is simple enough for non-oral health professionals such as students, family, and caregivers. Useful for any age of patient, the method is particularly key for older individuals who are often at risk of inflammation and chronic disease. Components of the method include existing oral health assessment scales and inventories, which are combined to produce a comprehensive assessment of oral health. Thus, oral characteristics assessed include intraoral and extraoral structures, soft and hard tissues, natural and artificial teeth, plaque, oral functions such as swallowing, and the impact this oral health status has on the patient's quality of life. Advantages of this method include its inclusion of measures and perceptions of both the observer and patient, and its ability to track changes in oral health over time. Results acquired are quantitative totals of questionnaire and oral screening items, which can be summed for an oral health status score. The scores of successive oral screenings can be used to track the progression of oral health across time and guide recommendations for both oral and overall health care.

Access source material through DOI

Psychometric evaluation of the German version of a social support scale of FAFHES (Family Functioning, Family Health and Social Support)

Background Family members often need to be supported in informal care of the elderly and desire to be involved into care planning and decision‐making. Valid and reliable instruments are needed to measure how family members perceive the care and support they receive from nurses for older family members living at home.  Aim The purpose of this study was to translate the 20‐item social support scale of the Family Functioning, Family Health and Social Support (FAFHES) questionnaire from English to German and test the validity and reliability of the scale among Swiss‐German‐speaking family caregivers of home‐dwelling elderly people who receive home healthcare services. Methods A cross‐sectional study was conducted to test the empirical and psychometric properties of the translated and culturally adapted version of the social support questionnaire. A factor analysis with the principal component analysis PCA was used to test construct validity. The internal consistency of items was measured with the Cronbach`s alpha coefficient. Results After a rigorous translation process the original 20‐item questionnaire was adapted into a 19‐item version and tested with family caregivers (n = 207) of home‐dwelling elderly. Psychometric testing of the German version of the social support questionnaire revealed that the three factors – affirmation, affect and concrete aid – were congruent with the original questionnaire. The accounted variance was 79.5% and the internal consistency determined by the Cronbach's alpha was 0.973. Conclusion The German version of the social support scale of the FAFHES questionnaire is a valid and reliable instrument to assess family perceived support on three dimensions – affirmation, affect and concrete aid – received from nursing professionals. The questionnaire should be tested further in other German‐speaking populations.

Access source material through DOI

Massive Open Online Courses: enhancing caregiver education and support about dementia care towards and at end of life

As the ageing population grows globally, the need for informal care-usually provided by family and friends-will continue to increase. Numbers of people with dementia also continue to rise, and much of their care will be provided by relatives. As such, more people who may themselves be older, will take on such caring roles. Consequently, more carers are likely to have education and support needs. Amidst government recognition of the need to provide good quality, person-centred education and support to carers, there are tensions between the potential for such provision to be resource intensive and whether existing services have the capacity to meet the needs of carers. Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) are a resource with scope to meet some of these educational and support needs. MOOCs enable flexible learning, are often free, and can be accessed anywhere in the world. Providing supportive dementia care requires carers to have an understanding of the condition, assistance to cope with the responsibilities of caring, and recognition of the importance of their own health and wellbeing as well as the person they support. In response to the needs of family carers of people with advancing dementia identified through a 5 year programme of research, we developed a MOOC-dementia care: living well as dementia progresses. This is an accessible source of relevant and engaging information; which enables carers to learn about advancing dementia, consider their own needs and create an interactive global forum of peer support. 

Access source material through DOI

Utilization and costs of formal and informal care, home adaptations, and physiotherapy among older patients with hip fracture

Aims: This feasibility study investigates the utilization and cost of health resources related to formal and informal care, home adaptations, and physiotherapy among patients aged 60 years and above after hip fracture from a multicentre cohort study (World Hip Trauma evaluation (WHiTe)) in the UK. Methods: A questionnaire containing health resource use was completed at baseline and four months post-injury by patients or their carer.completion rate and mean cost of each health resource item were assessed and sensitivity analysis was performed to derive a conservative estimate of the informal care cost. All costs are presented in 2017/18 pound sterling. Results: A total of 4,183 patients from the WHiTe cohort completed the baseline questionnaire between May 2017 and April 2018, of whom 3,524 (84.2%) completed the four-month health resource section. estimated mean costs of formal and informal care, home adaptations, and physiotherapy during the four months following injury were £2, 843 (sD 5, 467), £6, 613 (sD 15, 146), £706 (sD 1, 706) and £9 (sD 33), respectively. Mean cost of informal care decreased to £660 (sD £ 1,040) in the sensitivity analysis when informal care was capped at 17.2 hours per day. Conclusion: Informal care is a significant source of costs after hip fracture and should therefore be included in future economical analyses of this patient group. our results show that there is considerable variation in the interpretation of time-use of informal care among patients and further work is needed to improve how data regarding informal care are collected in order to obtain a more accurate cost estimate. 

Access source material through DOI

Digital Mental Health Tools for Caregivers of Older Adults-A Scoping Review

Aim: Informal caregivers have an important role in bridging the gap between the assistance care recipients need and what can be provided by the health care systems across Europe. The burden of the caregiving role places a significant threat to caregiver health, and the vast majority of caregiver's report stress and emotional strain, depression, and increased rates of chronic diseases. In line with this, strengthening the caregiver's mental health is one of the main goals for optimal caregiving. Caregivers already struggle with the demand of their role while coping with health problems, social, family, and work obligations. The solution for the caregiver's mental health needs to be accessible, low cost, and time-effective. This scoping review investigates digital mental health tools available as a mean of supporting the mental health of caregivers. Method: Databases searched include Summon search box, the Cochrane Library, and PubMed. Three groups of keywords were combined: relating to digital mental health interventions for caregivers, digital mental health interventions and stress in elderly care, and digital mental health interventions and burden in elderly care. Results: Caregivers reported that digital mental health tools have an overall positive role in their health. Coping skills, emotion regulation, skill building, and education are found to be important aspects of digital mental health tools. There was a noted lack of digital mental health apps available specifically for the caregiver of older adults. Furthermore, the digital mental health tools, divided into three categories in this review, focused either on building skills or educating caregivers and assisting with the duties rather than the mental health of the caregiver itself. As repeatedly suggested in the reviewed studies, digital mental health interventions overall contribute to reducing the caregiver burden with a limitation of addressing one aspect of caregiver needs -i.e., specific coping skills or education regarding illnesses such as Alzheimer's disease and Dementia. The lack of all-encompassing, data and theory-driven digital mental health tools for addressing and supporting the caregiver's mental health is evident.

Access source material through DOI

Caregiving for Community-Dwelling Older Persons in South Korea: Current Formal and Informal Care Use and Expectation

The aim of this study is to examine formal and informal care use among community-dwelling older Korean adults. Older adults aged between 65 and 85 (N = 516) in mid-size city, selected using the probability proportional sampling method, were interviewed in person. One third reported having at least one caregiver. Compared to respondents who did not use any informal/formal care, those who used any formal or informal care were older and were more likely to be prefrail or frail and experienced at least one hospitalization or emergency department use in the past year. Living alone or being experienced with any hospitalization was associated with formal care use. Most care recipients received informal care from families, specifically spouses. Among participants who received no formal/informal care, 19% of them expected to receive formal care support in the future. Substantial support programs for informal caregivers are needed to address the increase in demand and expectation for long-term care.

Access source material through DOI

Participant and Caregiver Perspectives on Clinical Research During Covid‐19 Pandemic

BACKGROUND/OBJECTIVES The COVID‐19 pandemic has massively disrupted essential clinical research. Many regulatory organizations have rightfully advocated to temporarily halt enrollment and curtail all face‐to‐face interactions. Views and opinions of patients and their caregivers are seldom considered while making such decisions. The objective was to study older participantsʼ and their caregiversʼ perspectives to participate in ongoing clinical research during the COVID‐19 pandemic. DESIGN Cross‐sectional. SETTING VISN‐16/Geriatric Research, Education and Clinical Center (GRECC), Department of Veterans Affairs. PARTICIPANTS Older participants and their caregivers (N = 51) enrolled in ongoing clinical research studies. MEASUREMENTS Questions about perceptions of safety to attend research visit, the level of panic among the general public, and medical centerʼs preparedness in handling the pandemic. Other questions identified the source of pandemic information and the preference of a phone or in‐person visit. RESULTS Mean age was 69.3 (±9.4) years, 53% were male, 39% were caregivers, and 65% were Caucasian. Majority (78%) of the participants felt safe/very safe attending the scheduled research appointment; 63% felt that the extra screening made them feel safe/very safe; 82% felt that the medical center was prepared/very prepared for the pandemic. Participants split evenly on their preference for phone versus in‐person visits. Family members and television news media were the commonly used sources of pandemic information irrespective of their education. Perceptions were influenced by gender and source of information, not by age or education. Females perceived higher level of panic compared to males (P = .02). Those relying on news media felt safer compared to those that relied on family members (P = .008). CONCLUSION Even though informants felt that the medical center was prepared to handle the pandemic, only half the participants preferred the in‐person visit. Pandemic information was obtained from family members or the television news media. Knowing patientsʼ perspectives may help researchers be better prepared for future pandemics.

Access source material through DOI

Effect of an innovative model of complexity care on family caregiver experience Qualitative study in family practice

Objective To investigate the experiences of family caregivers who participated in an innovative model of interprofessional team-based care specifically designed for elderly patients with complex care needs. Design Qualitative study. Setting Large academic family practice in Toronto, Ont. Participants Family caregivers of elderly patients who had attended the IMPACT (Interprofessional Model of Practice for Aging and Complex Treatments) clinic (N=13). Methods Individual semistructured interviews, which were conducted faceto-face, audiorecorded, transcribed verbatim, and analyzed using the constant comparative method. Main findings Family caregivers who attended the IMPACT clinic believed it enhanced caregiver experience and capacity. Caregivers experienced increased validation and engagement with the treatment team. Feelings of isolation were reduced, resulting in increased confidence and greater feelings of empowerment in their caregiver role. Conclusion White the needs and value of caregivers are increasingly acknowledged, health care teams continue to struggle with how to relate to and engage with family caregivers-how best to support them and work with them in the context of their family members' care. Interprofessional teams who adopt the IMPACT model-providing synchronous, real-time interventions that include the caregiver-can facilitate increased caregiver capacity, confidence, and empowerment.

Original source (some source materials require subscription or permission to access)

Informal support for people with Alzheimer's disease and related dementias in rural Uganda: a qualitative study

Background The generation of people getting older has become a public health concern worldwide. People aged 65 and above are the most at risk for Alzheimer's disease which is associated with physical and behavioral changes. This nurtures informal support needs for people living with dementia where their families together with other community members are the core providers of day to day care for them in the rural setting. Despite global concern around this issue, information is still lacking on informal support delivered to these people with dementia. Objective Our study aimed at establishing the nature of informal support provided for people with dementia (PWDs) and its perceived usefulness in rural communities in South Western Uganda. Methods This was a qualitative study that adopted a descriptive design and conducted among 22 caregivers and 8 opinion leaders in rural communities of Kabale, Mbarara and Ibanda districts in South Western Uganda. The study included dementia caregivers who had been in that role for a period of at least 6 months and opinion leaders in the community. We excluded trained health workers. Results The study highlights important forms of informal support offered to PWDs such as support in activities of daily living, enabling access to medical attention, recovering misplaced items, provision of herbal remedy, informal counseling, and sourcing carers from other families to offer presence and support in the hope to impact positively on behavioral outbursts and the frustration of living with dementia. Conclusion The study revealed various forms of informal support that are available for PWDs in South Western Uganda and stressed the role of caregivers and the perceived usefulness of the care provided.

Access source material through DOI

The influence of swallowing impairments as an independent risk factor for burden among caregivers of aging parents: A cross-sectional study

Informal caregivers can experience high levels of burden, negatively impacting both the caregiver and care recipient. The presence of dysphagia (swallowing impairments) in care recipients is suggested to contribute to increased caregiver burden. The purpose of this study was to describe the type and severity of caregiver burden experienced by adults caring for community-dwelling older parents reporting symptoms of dysphagia. Using surveys from the National Health and Aging Trends Study and the National Study of Caregiving, data from 895 adults providing care for an aging parent were analyzed. Binary logistic regression analyses revealed that swallowing difficulties reported by a parent is a significant independent predictor of increased physical and emotional burden in their caregivers. Forty percent or more of these caregivers reported moderate to severe physical and/or emotional burden. Suggestions are provided to identify dysphagia early on and to provide supports for caregivers.

Access source material through DOI

Self-compassion as an applicable intervention target for family carers of older adults: A conceptual commentary

Extract: Caring for an older family member can be a challenging and stressful experience, and there is a need to better support family carers in their role.(1) Drawing on a rapidly growing body of research conducted with various population groups, (2) there is reason to suggest that psychological interventions that target self‐compassion could be particularly relevant in supporting family carers of older adults. Yet, research exploring self‐compassion within this population is currently very limited, (3) and the potential theoretical underpinnings of self‐compassion as an intervention and/or form of support for this group have not been explored. Within this paper we outline, for the first time, a conceptual rationale for why self‐compassion is an applicable intervention target for family carers of older adults. In doing so, we situate the discussion within current understanding and evidence about family caregiving stress and use an emotion regulation framework to explore the mechanism of change though which self‐compassion may positively influence carer health outcomes. This conceptual commentary is intended to encourage and guide research in a new and rapidly developing area and, to this end, we provide a series of considerations for future research to extend current understanding....

Access source material through DOI

Migrant caregivers of older people in spain: Qualitative insights into relatives’ experiences

The traditional structure of families is undergoing profound changes, causing the so-called “crisis of family care.” This study describes the experiences and emotions of the family member who hires migrant caregivers for the older people. This is a qualitative study using a phenomenological design with nine women participants between 53 and 72 years of age. The data collection was carried out through two in-depth interviews and a focus group. There were three major topics: (1) the women in this study recognized that they were not able to take care of the family member directly, due to their responsibilities as female workers and mothers. The fact that migrant caregivers were chosen was conjunctural, where economic reasons were more important. (2) The family members supported the caregivers by teaching them about care and also resolving conflicts produced by culture shock. (3) Trusting the caregiver was a gradual process; the family members felt a complex set of emotions (insecurity, gratitude for the help, moral obligation). In conclusion, they wanted a caregiver who would provide the elder dependent with the love and compassion that they, as daughters, would provide if they had time to do so. The family became the caregiver’s managers and assumed the responsibility of training and helping them. 

Access source material through DOI

Unmet needs of family caregivers of hospitalized older adults preparing for discharge home

Objectives: To describe unmet needs of caregivers of hospitalized older adults during the transition from hospital back home, and identify subgroups with different needs. Methods: Patients and family caregivers were recruited from an acute care hospital in Montreal, Canada. Measures included Instrumental Activities of Daily Living (IADL), Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS), Zarit burden scale, and Family Inventory of Needs. Dimensions of unmet needs were explored with principal component analysis; regression tree models were used to identify subgroups with different unmet needs. Results: A total of 146 patient-caregiver dyads were recruited. Three categories of caregiver unmet needs were identified: patient medical information; role clarity and support; and reassurance. Caregiver subgroups with highest unmet needs were those with high burden of care plus depressive symptoms (n = 46) and those caring for patients with low IADL scores (n = 10). Discussion: Caregivers with high burden and depression are those with the greatest unmet needs during the care transition.

Access source material through DOI

Eldercare hours, work hours and perceived filial obligations

In this paper, we take a fresh look at the magnitude of the trade-off between caring informally for a parent and paid work. We adopt a simultaneous approach with a primary focus on how hours of care are influenced by hours of work rather than the other way round. We also investigate the role that filial obligations play in choices of caring versus working. Using the SHARE data (2004 and 2006) we find that the elasticity of informal care hours in response to working hours is between −0.17 in the caregivers sample and −0.19 in the women-only caregivers sample; small but not negligible. Moreover, we find that a 10% increase in the index measuring the strength of filial obligations increases weekly hours of care by about two and a half hours. 

Access source material through DOI

Receptivity of Hospitalized Older Adults and Family Caregivers to Prognostic Information about Aging, Injury, and Frailty: A Qualitative Study

Background: Frailty is the leading prognosticator for poor outcomes and palliative care among older adults. Delivery of negative prognostic information entails potentially difficult conversations about decline and death. Objective: The study aims were to: 1) examine hospitalized older adults' and family caregivers' receptivity to general (vs. individualized) prognostic information about frailty, injury, and one-year outcomes; and 2) determine information needs based on prognostic information. Design: Provision of general prognostic information followed by semi-structured interview questions. We deductively analyzed qualitative data within the context of problematic integration theory. Setting: An academic medical center in the Southeast region of the U.S. Participants: Purposive sampling was utilized to obtain a distribution of patients across the frailty continuum (non-frail [N=10], pre-frail [N=9], frail [9=6]). Twenty-five older adults (≥ age 65) hospitalized for a primary injury (e.g. fall) and 15 family caregivers of hospitalized patients were enrolled. Methods: Hospitalized older patients and family caregivers were shown prognostic information about one-year outcomes of injured older adults in the form of simple pictographs. Semi-structured interview questions were administered immediately afterwards. The interviews were audio-recorded, transcribed, and analyzed using qualitative content analysis. Demographic and medical information data were used to contextualize the responses during analysis. Results: Overall, participants (patients [56%], caregivers [73%]) were open to receiving prognostic information. A small number of family caregivers (N=3) expressed reservations about the frankness of the information and suggested delivery through a softer approach or not at all. Qualitative data was coded using categories and constructs of problematic integration theory. Four codes (personalizing the evidence, vivid understanding, downhill spiral, realities of aging) reflected probabilistic and evaluative orientation categories of problematic integration theory. One code (fatalism vs. hope) represented manifestations of ambivalence and ambiguity in the theory; and another code (exceptionalism) represented divergence and impossibility. Two codes (role of thought processes, importance of faith) reflected forms of resolutions as described in problematic integration theory. Information needs based on prognostic information revealed four additional codes: give it to me straight, what can I do? what can I expect? and how can I prevent decline? A consistently reported desire of both patients and caregivers was for honesty and hope from providers. Conclusion: This study supports the use of general prognostic information in conversations about aging, injury, frailty and patient outcomes. Incorporating prognostic information into communication aids can facilitate shared decision making before end-of-life is imminent. 

Access source material through DOI

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. 

Access source material through DOI

The Development of a Quality of Life Scale for Informal Carers for Older Adults

Background: The aim of the study was to develop a multidimensional quality of life instrument suitable for use among individuals across cultures who have an informal care role for older persons. Methods: Participants were informal carers of older adults in the United Kingdom (n = 308), United States (n = 164), and China (n = 131). We carried out exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses of 61 items derived from the eight-factor Adult Carers Quality of Life Questionnaire with newly added items to define both traditional and nontraditional informal care roles. Results: Findings suggest a 24-item quality of life scale with a six-factor structure to caring for older adults that assesses (a) exhaustion, (b) adoption of a traditional carer role, (c) personal growth, (d) management and performance, (e) level of support, and (f) financial matters. Conclusion: We present a new scale to assess the multidimensional aspects of quality of life among those caring for older adults.

Access source material through DOI

Factors related to the burden of family caregivers of elderly patients with spinal Tumours in Northwest China

Background Family caregivers of elderly patients with spinal tumours experience considerable pain and burden during the care process. This study aims to investigate the factors associated with caregiver burden in family caregivers of elderly patients with spinal tumours. Methods A total of 220 elderly patients with spinal tumours (age >= 65 years) hospitalized at the spine centre of our hospital from January 2015 to December 2017 and their family caregivers were recruited for this cross-sectional study. All participants completed a sociodemographic questionnaire. Caregiver burden, social support and self-efficacy were assessed by the Chinese version of the Zarit Burden Interview (ZBI), the Social Support Rating Scale (SSRS) and the General Self-Efficacy Scale (GSE), respectively. The factors related to caregiver burden were analysed by multivariate analysis. P < 0.05 was considered statistically significant. Results The 216 elderly patients with spinal tumours were 71.59 +/- 8.49 years old, and their caregivers were 70.46 +/- 9.13 years old. A total of 170 patients were cared for by their spouses, who accounted for 78.7% of all caregivers. The ZBI score for the family caregivers was 35.5 +/- 7.5, and most caregivers (84.5%) reported a moderate or heavy burden. The factors related to caregiver burden included patient paralysis, the primary cancer site, chemotherapy and/or radiation, cognitive dysfunction, functional status, monthly income, pain score, caregivers' SSRS score, and GSE score. Conclusions Most family caregivers of elderly patients with spinal tumours have a considerable caregiver burden. Interventions based on social support and self-efficacy can help reduce caregiver burden.

Access source material through DOI

Psychological well-being of Chinese Immigrant adult-child caregivers: how do filial expectation, self-rated filial performance, and filial discrepancy matter?

Background: Given the importance of ethnic culture in family caregiving and recent Chinese immigrant population growth, this study explored effects of multiple filial piety traits-filial expectation, self-rated filial performance, and filial discrepancy-on psychological well-being of Chinese immigrants who care for older parents (adult-child caregivers) in the United States. Methods: This study used cross-sectional data from 393 Chinese immigrant adult-child caregivers in the Greater Chicago area from the 2012-2014 Piety study. Multivariate negative binomial and linear regression analyses tested effects of filial expectation, self-rated filial performance, overall filial discrepancy, and discrepancies in six filial domains (respect, bringing happiness, care, greeting, obedience, and financial support) on psychological well-being indicators: depressive symptoms and stress. Results: Adult-child caregivers reported high filial expectation and self-rated performance, and expectation was higher than performance. High filial expectation and self-rated performance were significantly associated with better psychological well-being; Overall filial discrepancy and two emotional-support domain discrepancies (respect, greeting) were associated with poor psychological well-being. Conclusions: Findings suggest that filial expectation, self-rated filial performance, and filial discrepancy are important in shaping Chinese adult-child caregivers' psychological well-being. Researchers and practitioners should incorporate these aspects of filial piety in future research and intervention development for this population.

Access source material through DOI

Technology and Caregiving: Emerging Interventions and Directions for Research

An array of technology-based interventions has increasingly become available to support family caregivers, primarily focusing on health and well-being, social isolation, financial, and psychological support. More recently the emergence of new technologies such as mobile and cloud, robotics, connected sensors, virtual/augmented/mixed reality, voice, and the evermore ubiquitous tools supported by advanced data analytics, coupled with the integration of multiple technologies through platform solutions, have opened a new era of technology-enabled interventions that can empower and support family caregivers. This paper proposes a conceptual framework for identifying and addressing the challenges that may need to be overcome to effectively apply technology-enabled solutions for family caregivers. The paper identifies a number of challenges that either moderate or mediate the full use of technologies for the benefit of caregivers. The challenges include issues related to equity, inclusion, and access; ethical concerns related to privacy and security; political and regulatory factors affecting interoperability and lack of standards; inclusive/human-centric design and issues; and inherent economic and distribution channel difficulties. The paper concludes with a summary of research questions and issues that form a framework for global research priorities.

Access source material through DOI

The care capacity goals of family carers and the role of technology in achieving them

Background: As global populations age, governments have come to rely heavily on family carers (FCs) to care for older adults and reduce the demands made of formal health and social care systems. Under increasing pressure, sustainability of FC's unpaid care work has become a pressing issue. Using qualitative data, this paper explores FCs' care-related work goals, and describes how those goals do, or do not, link to technology. Methods: We employed a sequential mixed-method approach using focus groups followed by an online survey about FCs' goals. We held 10 focus groups and recruited 25 FCs through a mix of convenience and snowball sampling strategies. Carer organizations helped us recruit 599 FCs from across Canada to complete an online survey. Participants' responses to an open-ended question in the survey were included in our qualitative analysis. An inductive approach was employed using qualitative thematic content analysis methods to examine and interpret the resulting data. We used NVIVO 12 software for data analysis. Results: We identified two care quality improvement goals of FCs providing care to older adults: enhancing and safeguarding their caregiving capacity. To enhance their capacity to care, FCs sought: 1) foreknowledge about their care recipients' changing condition, and 2) improved navigation of existing support systems. To safeguard their own wellbeing, and so to preserve their capacity to care, FCs sought to develop coping strategies as well as opportunities for mentorship and socialization. Conclusions: We conclude that a paradigm shift is needed to reframe caregiving from a current deficit frame focused on failures and limitations (burden of care) towards a more empowering frame (sustainability and resiliency). The fact that FCs are seeking strategies to enhance and safeguard their capacities to provide care means they are approaching their unpaid care work from the perspective of resilience. Their goals and technology suggestions imply a shift from understanding care as a source of 'burden' towards a more 'resilient' and 'sustainable' model of caregiving. Our case study findings show that technology can assist in fostering this resiliency but that it may well be limited to the role of an intermediary that connects FCs to information, supports and peers. 

Access source material through DOI

The influence of the combination of visiting frequency of family caregivers and pre-admission frailty status on dependency after discharge among hospitalized older patients: a clinically-based prospective study

Purpose: This study aims to determine whether the combination of visiting frequency of the family caregiver and frailty status has an additive effect on the incidence of dependency among hospitalized older patients. Methods: We analyzed the prospective cohort data of hospitalized older patients (65 years and older) with internal medical problems. The main outcome showed patients’ dependency from admission to a month after discharge. We investigated the visiting frequency of family caregivers and the frailty status and categorized respondents into 4 groups: group 1, visiting frequency 3–7 times a week and non-frailty; group 2, visiting frequency 0–2 times a week and non-frailty; group 3, visiting frequency 3–7 times a week and frailty; or group 4, visiting frequency 0–2 times a week and frailty. We used the Cox proportional hazards regression to estimate the hazard ratios (HR) and confidence intervals (95% CI) of relationships between the combination of visiting frequency and frailty status, and dependency. Results: A total of 182 participants who completed the follow-up were analyzed. During the follow-up period, 45 participants (24.7%) showed some dependency. The hazards regression showed that the low visiting frequency group with presence of frailty had the most increased dependency, compared to other groups (adjusted HR 8.61 [95% CI 3.38–21.98]). Conclusions: The coexistence of low visiting frequency and the presence of frailty influenced dependency more strongly than each factor alone. These findings suggest that the combination of visiting frequency and frailty status is a useful predictor for future dependency. 

Access source material through DOI

Caregiver strain on informal caregivers when providing care for older patients undergoing major abdominal surgery: A longitudinal prospective cohort study

Background: Health-care systems nowadays rely on complementary patient care by informal caregivers. The need for, and burden on, informal caregivers will likely increase in the upcoming years. This study aimed to examine the burden on caregivers when providing care for elderly patients undergoing major abdominal surgery. Methods: A single-centre longitudinal cohort study was conducted between November 2015 and June 2018 in the Amphia hospital in Breda, the Netherlands. Patients aged 70+ undergoing elective surgery for colorectal carcinoma (CRC) or an abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) were included in this study. Informal caregiver burden was assessed and compared over time using the Caregiver Strain Index (CSI) at the outpatient clinic visit, at discharge, 2 weeks post-discharge and after 6 and 12 months. The effects of patient- and caregiver-related factors on the experienced caregiver strain were examined. Results: CSI scores of 248 caregivers were significantly increased at discharge (3.5 vs 2.6; p < 0.001) and 2 weeks post-discharge (3.3 vs 2.6; p < 0.001). After 12 months, scores dropped below baseline scores (1.8 vs 2.6; p = 0.012). The highest strain was observed 2 weeks post-discharge for AAA patients and at discharge for CRC patients. Older age, physical or cognitive impairment and burden of comorbidity were associated with an increased caregiver strain at baseline. Type of surgery was independently associated with the change in mean CSI scores over time; a bigger change in caregiver burden is observed after open surgery. Conclusion: In the early postoperative period, perceived caregiver strain was significantly increased. Psychological support for caregivers may be advisable, with timing of this support depending on diagnosis and patient-related factors. Trial registration: This manuscript was retrospectively registered on 05-04-2016 in the Netherlands Trial Register (NTR5932). http://www.trialregister.nl/trialreg/admin/rctview.asp?TC=5932. 

Access source material through DOI

Development and validation of the scale for partnership in care—for family (SPIC-F)

This study aims to develop and validate the Scale for Partnership in Care between staff and families of older adult nursing home (NH) residents—for Family (SPIC-F). The components of partnership were identified on the basis of literature reviews and focus group interviews. The content validity of 41 preliminary items was verified by 10 experts, and a pilot study was conducted. The reliability and validity of the instrument was tested on 330 families of older adult NH residents. The final instrument comprised 20 items in three categories: professional caring and support, cooperative relationship and information sharing, and participation in care. Each item is rated on a four-point Likert scale, with total scores ranging from 20–80. The reliability of the instrument was 0.95, and test–retest ICC was 0.83. This instrument could be utilized to develop interventions to establish an efficient partnership and assess its outcomes. 

Access source material through DOI

The protective effects of informal care receipt against the progression of functional limitations among chinese older people

Objective: This study investigates the impacts of receiving informal care on the progression of functional limitations among older people aged 60 and older in China. Methods: The data come from three waves of the China Health and Retirement Longitudinal Survey, which collected health- and aging-related information on a nationally representative sample of Chinese older people from 2011 to 2015. Multilevel regression models were used to analyze the data. Results: The protective effect of receiving informal care is stronger for the first 2 years after the baseline survey and tends to fade away or be reversed 4 years later. The protective effect is stronger among older people receiving low-intensity informal care and is gradually weakened with an increase in care intensity. Discussion: Trajectories of function capabilities are deeply embedded in social relationships. In the context of rapid population aging and increasing demand for informal care, government support for caregivers is needed to sustain the protective effects of informal care. 

Access source material through DOI

Traditional Gender Roles and Effects of Dementia Caregiving within a South Asian Ethnic Group in England

Background: Despite the integral role that women play in the care of older adults in South Asian families, limited empirical data are available on the impact of migration from South Asia to England. The purpose of this research was to examine caring for a family member with dementia from a gender role perspective. Methods: Data were gathered in two phases: (1) focus groups and (2) semi-structured interviews. Focus groups were held with the general public, and semi-structured interviews were conducted with family carers. Data were audio-recorded and analysed using thematic analysis. The NVivo qualitative software was utilised to simplify the thematic analysis. Results: While traditionally family care for frail older adults has been mainly provided by women in South Asian families, the samples in this study revealed how women's attitudes towards caregiving are changing in British societies. Conclusion: There is a dearth of research about socioeconomic transformations in South Asian women's migration to Western countries that could contribute to deterring them from providing family care. More research is warranted to understand the ways in which migration shapes gender relations in South Asian families and its impact on care for the frail elderly. 

Access source material through DOI

Research Priorities in Family Caregiving: Process and Outcomes of a Conference on Family-Centered Care Across the Trajectory of Serious Illness

The number of older adults living with functional decline and serious illness is growing exponentially at a time when availability of both family and professional caregivers is strained. Achieving optimal outcomes for this vulnerable population involves advancing the knowledge needed to improve the quality of care delivered by families, health professionals, and community programs. Recent reports from National Institute of Health and the National Academy of Science, Engineering and Medicine have called for the identification of gaps in key areas of family caregiving intervention research. In March 2018, the Family Caregiving Institute at UC Davis convened an invitational meeting of over 50 thought leaders in family caregiving-representing service agencies, funding organizations, and academia-to participate in the Research Priorities in Caregiving Summit: Advancing Family-Centered Care across the Trajectory of Serious Illness. Using an iterative process, attendees identified the top 10 research priorities and created research priority statements that incorporated a definition of the priority topic, rationale for the priority; problem(s) to address; priority population(s); and example research topics. The research priority statements serve as a roadmap for research development that will address the most significant gaps in the caregiving field.

Access source material through DOI

Elder abuse in the COVID‐19 era

Reports of elder abuse range from financial scams to incidents of family violence, with public warnings issued accordingly from the Federal Trade Commission and the American Bar Association. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention defines elder abuse as an intentional act or failure to act by a caregiver or another person in a relationship involving an expectation of trust that causes or creates a risk of harm to an older adult. Abuse of older adults can be physical, emotional, financial, neglect, or any combination of these. The World Health Organization defines ageism as “the stereotyping, prejudice, and discrimination against people on the basis of their age,” and a recent systematic review found ageism to be associated with numerous negative health consequences worldwide. Ageism is pervasive, harmful, and arguably the primary vice underlying elder abuse. See PDF.] ACKNOWLEDGMENTS Financial Disclosure This work was supported by the National Institute on Aging at the National Institutes of Health grants (R01AG055430 to S.D.H., R01AG060096 to L.M.) and the Administration for Community Living grant (90ABRC0001‐02‐00 to L.M.), as well as the Department of Family Medicine of the University of Southern California.

Access source material through DOI

Protecting the elderly through and beyond the Covid-19 lockdown

Extract: ...Add to this the knowledge that assaults and domestic murders surge by as much as 25% during a festive season - a time of increased financial strain and closer proximity of family members - and the present Covid-19 pandemic lockdown, the current environment for older people looks deeply concerning. Caregiver support interventions Stemming from the theoretical risk model of 'caregiver stress theory', caregiver support interventions seek to alleviate the stress and burden of caring for an older person by providing key services (including meal preparation, housekeeping help or day care, or broader caregiving help through educational, teaching coping strategies or support groups). There is help and support available for informal carers from Citizens Advice, and from local councils on a range of issues from making daily life easier to benefit claims * Have a conversation about practical arrangements for the future, e.g. 'Have you thought about future decision-making for health and financial matters?'; 'Do you feel confident managing your money?' Empowering older people to seek out knowledge to help plan their future can safeguard from abuse.

Original source (some source materials require subscription or permission to access)

Family Caregiving During the Hospitalization of an Older Relative

The purpose of the current study was to examine the role and activities of family caregivers for older relatives during hospitalization. The Family Care Actions Index was completed by 293 family caregivers of hospitalized older adults. Results indicated that the scope of caregiving activities extended beyond providing care to the patient and included working together with the health care team. Activities requiring interaction with providers, such as care coordination, planning, evaluation, and oversight, were frequently performed by family caregivers. Family caregivers are assuming a greater role during the hospital stay of older relatives. Partnering with family caregivers provides hospital staff an opportunity to improve care, outcomes, and satisfaction. 

Access source material through DOI

Relationship Between Caregiver Burden and Family Functioning in Family Caregivers of Older Adults With Heart Failure

Caregivers of individuals with heart failure are at high risk for diminished quality of life because of the energy involved in providing necessary care. Caring for someone with chronic heart failure can affect caregivers' physical, psychological, and social health, collectively referred to as the burden of care, and may also affect family functioning. The current cross-sectional study aimed to investigate the relationship between caregiver burden and family functioning in caregivers of older adults with heart failure in southeastern Iran using the Zarit Burden Inventory and the Family Assessment Device based on the McMaster Model of Family Functioning. The Pearson correlation coefficient, independent t test, and analysis of variance were used to determine relationships among variables. Results showed a significant correlation between burden of care and total score of family functioning. Therefore, it is necessary to take measures to reduce burden of care for caregivers through education and support programs and to improve their family functioning and quality of life. 

Access source material through DOI

Characteristics and Health Status of Informal Unpaid Caregivers - 44 States, District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico, 2015-2017

What is already known about this topic? Informal, unpaid caregivers provide important support to family members, friends, and the health care system and might compromise their own health to provide this support.

What is added by this report? During 2015–2017, approximately 20% of respondents to the Behavioral Risk Factors Surveillance System survey were classified as caregivers. Nearly 20% of caregivers reported fair or poor health, with wide interstate variation, ranging from 11.7% to 34.4%.

What are the implications for public health practice? Because caregiving is a public health issue of increasing importance as the U.S. population ages, the health status of caregivers warrants special attention.

Access source material through DOI

Allowing Visitors Back in the Nursing Home During the COVID-19 Crisis: A Dutch National Study Into First Experiences and Impact on Well-Being

Objectives: To prevent and control COVID-19 infections, nursing homes across the world have taken very restrictive measures, including a ban for visitors. These restrictive measures have an enormous impact on residents' well-being and pose dilemmas for staff, although primary data are lacking. A Dutch guideline was developed to cautiously open nursing homes for visitors during the COVID-19 pandemic. This study reports the first findings on how the guideline was applied in the local context; the compliance to local protocols; and the impact on well-being of residents, their family caregivers, and staff. Design: A mixed-methods cross-sectional study was conducted. Setting and Participants: In total, 26 nursing homes were permitted to enlarge their possibilities for allowing visitors in their facility. These nursing homes were proportionally representative of the Netherlands as they were selected by their local Area Health Authority for participation. At each nursing home, a contact person was selected for participation in the current study. Methods: A mixed-methods cross-sectional study was conducted, consisting of questionnaire, telephone interviews, analyses of documentation (ie, local visiting protocols), and a WhatsApp group. Results: Variation in local protocols was observed, for example, related to the use of personal protective equipment, location, and supervision of visits. In general, experiences were very positive. All nursing homes recognized the added value of real and personal contact between residents and their loved ones and indicated a positive impact on well-being. Compliance with local guidelines was sufficient to good. No new COVID-19 infections were reported during this time. Conclusions and Implications: These results indicate the value of family visitation in nursing homes and positive impact of visits. Based on these results, the Dutch government has decided to allow all nursing homes in the Netherlands to cautiously open their homes using the guidelines. More research is needed on impact and long-term compliance.

Access source material through DOI

Exploring a new model of end-of-life care for older people that operates in the space between the life world and the healthcare system: a qualitative case study

BACKGROUND: Innovative service models to facilitate end-of-life care for older people may be required to enable and bolster networks of care. The aim of this study was to understand how and why a new charitably funded service model of end-of-life care impacts upon the lives of older people. METHODS: A multiple exploratory qualitative case study research strategy. Cases were three sites providing a new end-oflife service model for older people. The services were provided in community settings, primarily providing support in peoples own homes. Study participants included the older people receiving the end-of-life care service, their informal carers, staff providing care within the service and other stakeholders. Data collection included individual interviews with older people and informal carers at two time points, focus group interviews with staff and local stakeholders, nonparticipant observation of meetings, and a final cross-case deliberative panel discussion workshop. Framework analysis facilitated analysis within and across cases. RESULTS: Twenty-three service users and five informal carers participated in individual interviews across the cases. Two focus groups were held with an additional twelve participants, and 19 people attended the deliberative panel workshop. Important elements contributing to the experience and impacts of the service included organisation, where services felt they were 'outsiders,' the focus of the services and their flexible approach; and the impacts particularly in enriching relationships and improving mental health. CONCLUSION: These end-of-life care service models operated in a space between the healthcare system and the person's life world. This meant there could be ambiguity around their services, where they occupied a liminal, but important, space. These services are potentially important to older people, but should not be overly constrained or they may lose the very flexibility that enables them to have impact. 

Access source material through DOI

Care and the shadow of the fourth age: how does home care get caught up in it and how does it stay away from it?

This article examines how care encounters at the elders' homes are forged, and how the way these encounters are forged avoids or evokes the social imaginary of the fourth age. Data were gathered in Portugal from elders receiving home care (16 cases), their care workers (eight cases) and family carers (six cases), through participant observation and informal conversations (conducted at the elders' homes), as well as focus groups. The collected data were analysed according to the procedures of Framework Analysis. This study found five forms of care encounters - marked by conflict, infantilisation, burden, harmony and indifference - the harmony form being the only one found to maintain the fourth age at a distance. It concludes that home care has a Janus-like nature in relation to the fourth age, and that the way home care encounters are forged depends on the conditions of the care settings and the actions of all participants in care encounters. It also concludes that it is difficult to maintain the social imaginary of the fourth age at a distance when the elders exhibit high levels of infirmity. Finally, it concludes that family carers play a crucial role in the way care encounters unfold. Implications for practice and policy include vocational training regarding the relational component of care, and information and educational programmes for family carers.

Access source material through DOI

Adaptation and Validation of the Capacity Scale for Informal Caregivers of Elderly Stroke Patients to be Used in Brazil

Background and Purpose: The Portuguese instrument for informal caregivers' skills providing care of aged people after a stroke (ECPICID-AVC) evaluates the capacities that informal caregivers must have for supporting aged stroke survivors. The purpose was to adapt and validate the ECPICID-AVC to be used in Brazil. Methods: A methodological study was conducted. Results: The terms with the lowest degree of comprehension were adapted. The factor analysis suggested the exclusion of three items and that the remaining be grouped into six domains. The factor loadings varied from 0.525 to 0.924. The internal intra-assessor consistency was satisfactory (ICC = 0.94, CI 95%). Total reliability was considered excellent (Cronbach's alpha = 0.914). Conclusions: The ECPICID-AVC is considered appropriate for using in Brazil.

Access source material through DOI

I’ll Be a Caregiver-Employee: Aging of the Workforce and Family-to-Work Conflicts

Background: The double role of caregiver-employee (CE) defines those workers who simultaneously serve as an informal, unpaid care provider for sick, disabled, or elderly relatives, and it is a situation that is on the increase in most western countries. Providing informal caregiving can lead to detrimental effects on emotional well-being and several physical and psychological diseases (e.g., caregiver-burden). CEs can suffer double discomfort (at work and at home), but, first of all, they can be exposed to a high level of home-to-work conflict (HWI). In this study, we analyzed the CE phenomenon in a typical Italian public company, where the mean age of workers is particularly high. Methods: An online questionnaire related to the perception of HWI, well-being, and discomfort at work (depression, emotional exhaustion, job engagement) in relation to the family load (none, parents with <12 children to care for, caregiver to other adults, or children and older adults to care for/old/children to care for employees) was answered by 1704 administrative workers. Results: More than 20% of our sample was included in the elder caregiver condition or in the double role or “sandwiched” condition with older adults and children to care for. The family load changed significantly between the different age groups: for workers aged between 55 and 64 years, the percentage was nearly 27%. CEs had higher levels of HWI and of personal and job discomfort and lower levels of engagement, when compared with non-CEs. Having “only” older adults to care for (the typical CE condition) was associated with having the most negative results. Conclusion: This study confirms and underlines the increasing number of CEs in western organizations and their higher levels of HWI, work disengagement, emotional exhaustion, and depression. As the general population and workforce experience increased “graying,” and many more workers become CEs out of necessity, stable caregiver-friendly workplace policies (CFWPs) should be developed. 

Access source material through DOI

Public policy for supporting employed family caregivers of the elderly: the Israeli case

The demographic processes that have  been avolving in recent years around the world and Israeli society in particular, associated with the rise in life expectancy and the aging of population, are rasing the depedency ratio  and increasing public policy  makers' interest in issues related to caring for the elderly and thier support. These  circumstances have a considerable effect on family member required to  assist  thier aging parents, as they raise the potential support ratio and have an even greater impact on employed family caregivers. This article examined the policy implemented in Israel for providing support and assistance to employed family caregivers assisting ageing parents. It shows that the current policy is relatively limited compared to that of other liberal countries and not compatible with caregivers’ demands and needs. The article calls for implementing an effective public policy for employed family caregivers and suggests ways of formulating such a policy. 

Access source material through DOI

Caregiving centenarians: Cross-national comparison in Caregiver-Burden between the United States and Japan

Background and Objectives: The personal distress associated with caring for a family member has been well documented; however, questions about the burden of caregiving for centenarians and cross-national differences in the caregiving context, remain unanswered. Research Design and Methods: This study includes reports by caregivers of 538 near-centenarians and centenarians in the U.S. and Japan: 234 from the Georgia Centenarian Study and 304 from the Tokyo Centenarian Study. Basic descriptive and multivariate regression analyses were conducted. Mean levels of caregiver burden and near-centenarian and centenarians’ characteristics (as predictors) for caregiver burden were compared between the U.S. and Japan. The near-centenarian and centenarians’ functional capacity and personality were assessed as predictors. Results: Differential predictive patterns in caregiver burden were found in the two groups. In the U.S., near-centenarian and centenarians’ agreeableness and conscientiousness were negatively associated with caregiver burden; whereas the near-centenarian and centenarians’ neuroticism and number of diseases were positively associated with caregiver burden. In Japan, the near-centenarian and centenarians’ activities of daily living, openness, and agreeableness were negatively associated with caregiving burden. Interaction effects between functional capacity and personality, on caregiver burden were observed only in the U.S. In the U.S., higher levels of agreeableness and openness significantly changed the level of caregiver burden associated with vision problems and a greater number of diseases. Discussion and Implications: Cross-national comparative predictors of caregiving burden between the two countries emphasized that caring for centenarians should be understood in the caregiving context, as well as the social context.

Access source material through DOI

Does the experience of caring for a severely disabled relative impact advance care planning? A qualitative study of caregivers of disabled patients

The aging of the Taiwanese population has become a major issue. Previous research has focused on the burden and stress faced by caregivers, but has not explored how the experience of these caregivers influences decisions of advance care planning (ACP). Semi-structured and in-depth interviews were conducted. Qualitative content analysis was used to identify important themes. Five themes and fourteen sub-themes were identified: (1) Past experiences: patient wishes, professional recommendations, and expectation about disease progress; (2) Impact of care on family members: positive affirmation, open-minded life, social isolation and health effects, and financial and life planning effects; (3) Attitude toward life: not forcing to stay, and not becoming a burden, (4) Expected proxy dilemmas: torment between doing or not, seeing the extension of suffering and toil, and remorse and self-blame; (5) Expectation of end of life (EOL) care: caregiver’s experience and EOL care decisions, and practicality of EOL decision making. After making multiple medical decisions for their disabled relatives, caregivers are able to calmly face their own medical decisions, and “not becoming a burden” is their primary consideration. It’s suggested that implementation of shared decision-making on medical care for patients with chronic disability will not only improve the quality of their medical care but also reduce the development of remorse and guilty feelings of caregivers after making medical decisions. 

Access source material through DOI

Being a caregiver as a determinant of quality of life and as a contributor to depressive symptoms

Background. Taking care of elderly, ill and disabled people, as well as rearing children alone, involve a number of medical, psychological, economic and social problems. Objectives. The aim of this study was to assess QoL and the severity of depressive symptoms in nonprofessional caregivers compared to non-caregivers. Material and methods. The study involved 460 (100%) participants, including 335 (72.8%) women and 125 (27.2%) men. The individuals were divided into two groups of the same size: a study group of 230 (50%) caregivers and a control group of 230 (50%) non-caregivers. 35.2% (n = 81) of the caregivers were taking care of an adult family member (parent, husband, wife, sister or brother), and 64.8% (n = 149) were mothers rearing children alone, of whom 91 women (19.8% of the whole study sample) were unmarried. The instruments employed in this study were the World Health Organization Quality of Life-Bref (WHOQoL-Bref) questionnaire, the Beck Depression Inventory and a questionnaire of our own devising. Results. The caregivers (p = 0.001) had lower general QoL. the non-caregivers (control group) scored 4 points more for general QoL, which was associated with a difference in the scores for the WHOQoL-Bref physical health domain. There were statistically significant differences in general QoL (p = 0.031) and in QoL scores in the physical health domain (p = 0.043) between the subgroups of caregivers. Conclusions. Estimating the extent of non-institutional care and concern for the quality of caregivers' lives will improve the physical and mental functioning of both caregivers and those under their care. Regardless of the nature of care, state of health and family relationships, caregivers should receive support from healthcare professionals, the local community, authorities and volunteers.

Access source material through DOI

Systematic review: Influence of self-help groups on family caregivers

Introduction: Since the incorporation of women into the world of work, together with the progressive ageing of the population and the increase of chronic diseases, there is an alteration in the role of the caregiver, due to the physical, work and family burden it bears, emotional conflicts and with other family members. Mutual aid can be an effective alternative to promoting the well-being of caregivers, as well as their families and dependents. Objective: To know the characteristics of self-help groups for family caregivers and their influence on caregivers, the dependent and family health. Methodology: Systematic review. The search strategy included the Pubmed, Scopus, Psycinfo, Eric, Cochrane plus and CSIC databases; selecting scientific articles in either Spanish, Catalan, English, Portuguese or French, for the last 10 years. Results: 12 articles related to the study topic were selected. All studies show that participation in these groups can improve the physical-psychological well-being, the health of caregivers and, at the same time, reinforce their sense of social support, although there is a lack of studies in our environment, with a size higher quality sample. Conclusions: Caregivers benefit from participating in self-help groups. Therefore, they should become a routine component of the family caregiver. 

Access source material through DOI

Decreasing Heart Failure Readmissions Among Older Patients With Cognitive Impairment by Engaging Caregivers

BACKGROUND: Cognitive impairment is common in older patients with heart failure (HF), leading to higher 30-day readmission rates than those without cognitive impairment. OBJECTIVES: The aim of this study was to determine whether increased readmissions in older adults with cognitive impairment are related to HF severity and whether readmissions can be modified by caregiver inclusion in nursing discharge education. METHODS: This study used prospective quality improvement program of cognitive testing and inclusion of caregivers in discharge education with chart review. Two hundred thirty-two patients older than 70 years admitted with HF were screened for cognitive impairment using the Mini-Cog; if score was less than 4, nurses were asked to include caregivers in education on 2 cardiovascular units with an enhanced discharge program. Individuals with ventricular assist device, transplant, or hospice were excluded. Measurements include Mini-Cog score, 30-day readmissions, readmission risk score, ejection fraction, brain natriuretic peptide, and medical comorbidities. RESULTS: Readmission Risk Scores for HF did not correlate with Mini-Cog scores, but admission brain natriuretic peptide levels were less abnormal in those with better Mini-Cog scores. Only for patients with cognitive impairment, involving caregivers in discharge teaching given by registered and advanced practice nurses was associated with decreased 30-day readmissions from 35% to 16% (P = .01). Readmission rates without/with cognitive impairment were 14.1% and 23.8%, respectively (P = .09). Abnormal Mini-Cog screen was associated with a significantly increased risk of 30-day readmission (odds ratio, 2.23; 95% confidence interval, 1.06-4.68; P = .03), whereas nurse documentation of education with family was associated with a significantly decreased risk of 30-day readmission (odds ratio, 0.46; 95% confidence interval, 0.24-0.90; P = .02). CONCLUSIONS: Involving caregivers in discharge education significantly reduced 30-day readmission rates for patients with HF and cognitive impairment. The Readmission Risk Score was similar between patients older than 70 years with and without cognitive impairment. We have hypothesis-generating evidence that identification of cognitive impairment and targeted caregiver engagement by nurses may be critical in the reduction of readmission rates for older patients with HF.

Access source material through DOI

Caring safely at home

This video-based resource is designed to help people look after someone safely at home.

This resource will help you care for people in any situation, although this resource may be particularly useful if you are supporting someone during the COVID-19 crisis.

Each section has a set of videos designed to give you and the person you care for practical and relevant information to support you day to day.

What will the videos cover?

  • how to help manage certain conditions
  • providing everyday support for any person you’re caring for.

There is no set order you need to go through these topics, and some may not apply to your specific situation. Learn at your own pace and choose whichever is relevant to you.

Original source (some source materials require subscription or permission to access)

Associations between care network types and psychological well-being among Dutch older adults

This study examines the mechanisms underlying the association between care network types and psychological well-being. Care recipients in the 2015/16 wave of the Longitudinal Aging Study Amsterdam (<i>N</i> = 607) reported on the structural (size and composition) and functional features of care network types (satisfaction, feeling in control of care and care attitudes). Those in a mixed care network reported the highest depressive symptoms, while those in a spousal care network and a privately paid care network reported the lowest. The importance of being in control of care interacts with care network type on well-being. The results corroborate that both informal and formal caregivers need to help older persons to remain in control of care.

Access source material through DOI

Caring for older people: relational narratives of attentiveness, commitment and acceptance

Informal care evolves from an existing relationship with the care recipient. This study aims to understand the relational nature of such care. Six participants caring for a spouse or parent chose their own methods of data collection, including keeping a journal, telephone interviews or face-to-face interviews. Participants drew on personal narratives to reveal different identities, which included a guardian, a partner, a coper, and a campaigner on behalf of the person receiving care. These findings demonstrate how providing good care is part of each carer’s relational identity. Acknowledging the relational nature of care will enable better support for carers.

Access source material through DOI

Voice‐Controlled Intelligent Personal Assistants to Support Aging in Place

BACKGROUND/OBJECTIVES: Many older adults wish to age in place, and voice‐controlled intelligent personal assistants (VIPAs; eg, Amazon Echo and Google Home) potentially could support unmet home needs. No prior studies have researched the real‐world use of VIPAs among older adults. We sought to explore how older adults and caregivers utilize VIPAs. DESIGN/MEASUREMENT: Retrospective review of all verified purchase reviews of the Amazon Echo posted on Amazon.com between January 2015 and January 2018, with filtering for health‐related older adult key words. Open‐ended reviews were qualitatively analyzed to identify relevant themes. RESULTS: On retrieval, there were 73 549 reviews; and with subsequent key word filtering, 125 total reviews were subsequently analyzed. Five major themes were identified: (1) entertainment ("For two very senior citizens...we have really had fun with Echo. She tells us jokes, answers questions, plays music.); (2) companionship ("A senior living alone...I now have Alex to talk to."); (3) home control; (4) reminders ("I needed something that would provide me with information I couldn't remember well, such as the date, day, or my schedule...I highly recommend for anyone with memory challenges"); and (5) emergency communication. Several felt it reduced burdening caregivers. "...You also feel guilt from fear of overburdening your caregivers. Alexa has alleviated much of this." Specifically, caregivers found that: "By making playlists of songs from her youth whoever is providing care, family or professional caregiver, can simply request the right song for the moment in order to sooth, redirect, or distract Mom." Alternatively, negative reviewers felt the VIPA misunderstood them or could not adequately respond to specific health questions. CONCLUSION: VIPAs are a low‐cost artificial intelligence that can support older adults in the home and potentially reduce caregiver burden. This study is the first to explore VIPA use among older adults, and further studies are needed to examine the direct benefits of VIPAs in supporting aging in place.

Access source material through DOI

Vietnamese Adult-Child and Spousal Caregivers of Older Adults in Houston, Texas: Results from the Vietnamese Aging and Care Survey (VACS)

Vietnamese are the largest Asian ethnic group in Houston, Texas; however, research on this population is scarce. To address this dearth of knowledge, we developed the Vietnamese Aging and Care Survey. The objective of the study was to explore the sociodemographic and health characteristics of Vietnamese adults aged 65 years and older (n = 132) and their family caregivers (n = 64). Adult-child caregivers (n = 41) were aged between 21 and 65 years old. The majority were married, working, female, and in good to excellent health. Spousal caregivers (n = 23) were between 57 and 82 years old, retired, female, and in fair to good health. Adult children received more caregiving-related help from others compared to spousal caregivers; however, they felt more caregiver burden, had more perceived stress, and were in challenging relationships with care recipients. Differences in life stages of adult-child versus spousal caregivers may contribute to these results. Implications are discussed.

Access source material through DOI

Using Patient- and Family-Reported Outcome and Experience Measures Across Transitions of Care for Frail Older Adults Living at Home: A Meta-Narrative Synthesis

Background and Objectives: Our aim was to create a "storyline" that provides empirical explanation of stakeholders' perspectives underlying the use of patient- and family-reported outcome and experience measures to inform continuity across transitions in care for frail older adults and their family caregivers living at home.; Research Design and Methods: We conducted a meta-narrative synthesis to explore stakeholder perspectives pertaining to use of patient-reported outcome and experience measures (PROMs and PREMs) across micro (patients, family caregivers, and healthcare providers), meso (organizational managers/executives/programs), and macro (decision-/policy-makers) levels in healthcare. Systematic searches identified 9,942 citations of which 40 were included based on full-text screening.; Results: PROMs and PREMS (54 PROMs; 4 PREMs; 1 with PROM and PREM elements; 6 unspecified PROMs) were rarely used to inform continuity across transitions of care and were typically used independently, rarely together (n = 3). Two overarching traditions motivated stakeholders' use. The first significant motivation by diverse stakeholders to use PROMs and PREMs was the desire to restore/support independence and care at home, predominantly at a micro-level. The second motivation to using PROMs and PREMs was to evaluate health services, including cost-effectiveness of programs and hospital discharge (planning); this focus was rarely at a macro-level and more often split between micro- and meso-levels of healthcare.; Discussion and Implications: The motivations underlying stakeholders' use of these tools were distinct, yet synergistic between the goals of person/family-centered care and healthcare system-level goals aimed at efficient use of health services. There is a missed opportunity here for PROMs and PREMs to be used together to inform continuity across transitions of care.

Access source material through DOI

Using a Nursing Salon to Identify and Develop an Initiative for Family Caregivers of Older Adults

The purpose of the Aging Well Nursing-Interprofessional Salon was to explore current local community healthcare issues for older adults and to develop innovative strategies that support and enhance their health. An initiative emerged from the salon that focuses on identifying caregivers to ensure their awareness of available support resources. We are in the process of developing a pilot plan that includes collaboration of PhD and doctorate of nursing practice students, nursing faculty, and community agencies that support older adults.

Access source material through DOI

Thai family caregivers' experiences helping dependent elders during medical emergencies: a qualitative study

Aim: To describe the experience of family caregivers of dependent elders during medical emergencies in rural settings in Thailand.; Methods: This was a descriptive qualitative research using in-depth interviews of 15 participants. Content analysis was applied to transcribed interviews, including data reduction as well as identification of key words, phrases, and themes.; Results: The findings described the experience of caregivers of dependent older persons who faced emergency illness. Most of the family caregivers described their roles in unusual situations as practising assessment first and doing something that may relieve the symptoms experienced by the older persons before initiating and calling for help from relatives, neighbors, and, finally, the emergency medical services. The caregivers four main barriers to them feeling competent: (1) lack of home monitoring devices, (2) inexperienced caregivers in assessing warning signs to report during emergency care, (3) lack of information and understanding of patient rights in emergency health services, and (4) delayed arrival of emergency medical services.; Conclusions: There are barriers to the development of competency in caregiving skills, especially in assessing and recognizing warning signs and initiating first aid accurately before the arrival of the emergency health care team.

Access source material through DOI

Social support and depressive symptoms among family caregivers of older people with disabilities in four provinces of urban China: the mediating role of caregiver burden

Background: To examine the relationship between social support and depressive symptoms of Chinese family caregivers of older people with disabilities, and to evaluate the role of caregiver burden as a potential mediator of that relationship.; Methods: A survey questionnaire was completed face-to-face by 567 primary family caregivers of older people with disabilities in four provinces in China. Covariates that may affect depressive symptoms, such as the characteristics of disabled people (socio-economic factors, functional and cognitive capacity) and caregivers (caregiver duration and self-rated health of caregivers) were collected. Social support was measured by the Multidimensional Scale of Perceived Social Support (MSPSS); depressive symptoms were assessed by the shortened 10 item version of Center for Epidemiological Studies Depression scale (CES-D); and the caregiver burden was assessed by the Zarit Burden Interview (ZBI).; Results: The prevalence of depressive symptoms among caregivers was 37.7%. Higher levels of social support was negatively associated with lower depressive symptoms. This relationship was partially mediated by the caregiver burden, where higher levels of the caregiver burden were negatively associated with depressive symptoms. Furthermore, caregivers who were women, spent extended time in caregiving and were in poor health, reported significantly higher depressive symptoms.; Conclusions: Our results indicated that social support was negatively associated with depressive symptoms in family caregivers and in the caregiver burden. The caregiver burden partially mediated the social support-depressive symptoms association. Interventions for family caregivers should include increasing social support, health monitoring and structured interventions to reduce the caregiver burden and attenuate family caregivers' depressive symptoms.

Access source material through DOI

Regrets of family caregivers in Israel about the end of life of deceased relatives

Objective: We aimed to clarify the content of different types of regrets or lack of regret, and the frequency of feeling regret among family caregivers who assisted their relatives during their end of life stage. Method: Seventy primary informal caregivers in Israel were interviewed (17 spouses, 52 children, and 1 cousin) concerning their regret about the end of life of their deceased relative, including a general question about regret and questions about regret concerning life-sustaining treatments. After calculating the frequency of regrets and lack of regret, we conducted a qualitative analysis, using a thematic approach to identify themes and interpret data. Results: A majority of caregivers (63%) expressed regret and about 20% expressed ambivalence involving both regret and denial of regret. Regrets pertained to care given, suffering experienced, and the caregiver's behavior towards, and relationship with the deceased, including missing opportunities to express love and caring toward relatives. Caregivers viewed almost 30% of 75 administered life-sustaining procedures as misguided. Most regrets involved inaction, such as not communicating sufficiently, or not fighting for better care. Conclusion: This article provides a comprehensive description of EoL regrets, and helps clarify the complexity of regrets, lack of regrets, and ambivalence concerning regrets, though the study is limited to one country. Analysis suggests the need for public education concerning the EoL process, and for changes within the health care system to improve communication, to improve understanding of the needs of the terminally ill, and to provide more instruction to family caregivers to help them understand EoL.

Access source material through DOI

Preliminary Evidence for the Validity of the Family Caregiver Identity Scale

The purpose of this study was to develop and evaluate the Family Caregiver Identity Scale (FCIS), an instrument designed to measure the extent to which an individual identifies with the family caregiver role. The process of instrument development outlined in the Standards for Educational and Psychological Testing was combined with Dillman's four stages of pretesting. This was a multistage, iterative process, including several revisions based on feedback from experts, interviews, and pilot testing. Factor analyses were performed to test the hypothesized model of caregiver identity. A version of the FCIS consisting of 18 items was created and demonstrated initial evidence of validity. The FCIS will enable gerontological professionals to assess caregiver identity. The absence of caregiver identity is a factor in caregivers not accessing support services. This study contributes to the growing body of research connecting caregiver identity and support service utilization by caregivers.

Access source material through DOI

Predictors of Unmet Need among Informal Caregivers

Objectives: This study investigates the relationship of caregiver demographics, caregiving intensity, caregiver support use, and aspects of the caregiving situation to a self-reported measure of unmet need among U.S. informal caregivers of older adults living at home with various conditions.; Methods: Response data from 1,558 caregiver participants interviewed by telephone during the December 2016 baseline period of the Outcome Evaluation of the National Family Caregiver Support Program were used. Caregivers who responded "Definitely No" to the question "Are you receiving all the help you need?" were classified as reporting unmet need. Logistic regression was used to find significant factors associated with unmet need among the full sample and among caregivers tiered by three levels of burden.; Results: Unmet need was reported by 22% of the caregivers. In a fully adjusted model, unmet need was predicted by higher levels of caregiving intensity, non-White race of the caregiver, and the caregiver not feeling appreciated by their care recipient. Other predictors associated with unmet need were no use of caregiver educational services, fewer respite hours, not living in a rural area, and caregiver having an education past high school.; Discussion: Caregivers who do not feel appreciated by their care recipient and non-White caregivers should be identified as potential targets for intervention to address unmet need, especially if they are also reporting higher levels of caregiver burden. Understanding the factors associated with self-reported unmet need can assist caregiver support programs in measuring and addressing the needs of informal caregivers to support their continued caregiving.

Access source material through DOI

Perceived stress and social support influence anxiety symptoms of Chinese family caregivers of community-dwelling older adults: a cross-sectional study

Aim: Chinese family members always take care of older adults because of obligations stemming from the culture of filial piety and the paucity of a long-term care system. These caregivers usually perceive high levels of stress that could compromise their psychological health and consequently result in anxiety impairments. This study aimed to assess the anxiety symptoms of Chinese family caregivers of older adults, explore factors associated with these symptoms, and provide theoretical evidence on improving their mental health.; Methods: A questionnaire survey was conducted face-to-face with caregivers of community-dwelling older adults. The survey asked about the demographic characteristics of the caregivers and older adults, objective caregiving loads, and social support and included the Zung Self-Rating Anxiety Scale and the Perceived Stress Scale.; Results: Anxiety symptoms were present in 43.1% of caregivers. The R2 changes indicated that the incremental variance explained by each block of variables was 9.8%, 5.0%, 0.7%, 17.6%, and 2.1% for demographic characteristics of caregivers, demographic characteristics of older adults, objective caregiving loads, perceived stress, and social support, respectively. Perceived stress was the strongest predictor of anxiety symptoms, and social support was positively associated with anxiety symptoms. Factors associated with caregivers' anxiety symptoms were having a chronic disease and living with older adults, as well as older adults' weight, hours of sleep, and education level.; Conclusion: Chinese family caregivers of older adults experienced higher levels of anxiety symptoms. Perceived stress could aggravate these symptoms, but social support might assist in alleviating anxiety symptoms from the stress of caregiving.

Access source material through DOI

Managing Urinary Incontinence

This article is part of a series, Supporting Family Caregivers: No Longer Home Alone, published in collaboration with the AARP Public Policy Institute. Results of focus groups, conducted as part of the AARP Public Policy Institute's No Longer Home Alone video project, supported evidence that family caregivers aren't given the information they need to manage the complex care regimens of family members. This series of articles and accompanying videos aims to help nurses provide caregivers with the tools they need to manage their family member's health care at home.The articles in this new installment of the series provide simple and useful instructions that nurses should reinforce with family caregivers. This article is the second of two that provide an update on urinary incontinence and its management in older adults. It includes an informational tear sheet-Information for Family Caregivers-that contains links to the instructional videos. To use this series, nurses should read the articles first, so they understand how best to help family caregivers, and then encourage caregivers to watch the videos and ask questions. For additional information, see Resources for Nurses.

Access source material through DOI

The "Last Child": Lone Family Caregivers in St. Croix, US Virgin Islands

I investigate local explanations for a common family configuration of care for older relatives on the island of St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands: the "lone family caregiver." Through the examination of a paradigm case emerging from these explanations, I argue that local logics can divest some children of obligations to care for their older parents. I suggest that this case is an important addition to recent discussions within the anthropology of care that emphasize how families practice "care across distance," as it offers an alternative example of how families manage care in the context of migration. 

Access source material through DOI

Innovating Long-Term Care Provision in Mediterranean Welfare States: A Comparison Between Italy and Israel

Social innovations in long-term care (LTC) may be useful in more effective responses to the challenges of population aging for Western societies. One of the most investigated aspects in this regard is the role of family/informal care and strategies to improve its integration into the formal care system, yielding a more holistic care approach that may enhance opportunities for aging in place. This article reports the findings of a comparative research focusing on the Italian and Israeli LTC systems as representative of the Mediterranean "family-based" care model. To analyze the innovative solutions that have been adopted or are needed to improve LTC provision in these two contexts, focus groups and expert interviews have been carried out in both countries to identify the most relevant challenges and responses to them and to highlight promising policies and strategies to be adopted or up-scaled in the future. These include multidisciplinary case and care management, a stronger connection between prevention and LTC provision, and more systematic recognition of the role and limits of informal caregivers' contributions.

Access source material through DOI

Informal Caregiver Burden and Benefits and Older Adult Mortality: A Survival Analysis

Objective: Informal caregivers are crucial to maintaining older adults' health, but few studies examine how caregiving receipt is associated with older person longevity. In a nationally representative sample, we prospectively explore whether and how having an informal caregiver is associated with older adult overall mortality, and how caregivers' burden and benefits perceptions relate to care recipient mortality.; Methods: We match six National Health and Aging Trends Study waves (2011-2016) with 2011 National Study of Caregiving data, conducting survival analysis on 7,369 older adults and 1,327 older adult-informal caregiver dyads.; Results: Having an informal caregiver is associated with 36% (p<0.001) higher mortality risk over 6-year follow-up, adjusting for demographic, economic and health factors. Older adults whose caregivers perceive only burden have 38% higher (p<0.05) mortality risk than those with caregivers reporting neither burden nor benefits. This risk is reduced from 38% higher to 5% higher (p<0.001) for older adults with caregivers reporting benefits alongside burden, compared to those with caregivers reporting neither perception.; Discussion: Having a caregiver may signal impending decline beyond known mortality factors. However, interventions to increase caregivers' benefit perceptions and reduce their burden may decrease mortality risk for older adults with declining health and functional ability.

Access source material through DOI

How do clients and (In)formal caregivers experience quality of home care? A qualitative approach

Aim: To explore and understand the views of clients and formal and informal caregivers about the experienced quality of home care for older people. Design: A descriptive qualitative study was conducted using individual interviews. Methods: Six home care clients, four formal and six informal caregivers were recruited from two Dutch home care organizations. Individual, semi‐structured interviews took place between April ‐ November 2018. The INDividually EXperienced QUAlity of Long‐term care framework was used to guide data collection and content analyses. Results: The analyses revealed several important attributes contributing to experienced quality of home care such as a preferred small number of caregivers, perceived sufficient time for care provision and a caring atmosphere facilitating open communication and humour. Participants indicated that care routines fitting with the care receiver's former way of living were important. A more 'close' personal care relationship related to trust, openness and empathy was preferred over a more 'detached' professional care relationship. Conclusion: This study identified a wide range of attributes related to experienced quality of care from the perspectives of clients and formal and informal caregivers in home care. Impact: Care providers are being challenged to structurally assess individual experienced quality of home care. This study underlines the importance of incorporating care preferences and experiences throughout the care process from a relationship‐centred care approach. Relevant care measures and outcomes should be determined to gain insight and further improve individual care provision.

Access source material through DOI

Female family carers' experiences of violent, abusive or harmful behaviour by the older person for whom they care: a case of epistemic injustice?

Family carers affected by violent, abusive or harmful behaviour by the older person for whom they care face social and epistemic challenges in developing and sharing knowledge about their experiences. These difficulties have contributed to a situation in which there is a paucity of evidence and public discourse about how we understand violence and harm instigated by people who have care needs or are 'vulnerable'. This paper reports the findings of a qualitative study that involved 12 in‐depth interviews with female carers affected by violence, abuse or harm. The study was informed theoretically by Miranda Fricker's concept of epistemic injustice which was used as a framework for analysis. There were two principal findings: (1) Carers were sensitive to anticipatory stigma and loss of moral autonomy. As a result, they self‐censured what they shared and, at times, were met with subtle but powerful processes of silencing. (2) Carers had limited linguistic and conceptual resources to explain the emotional and social aspects of the harm they experienced, exacerbated by implicit social norms about the 'private' and gendered nature of familial care. To conclude, we discuss the implications of these findings for sociological research and health and social care practice.

Access source material through DOI

Feasibility of Tele-Prompt: A tablet-based prompted voiding intervention to support informal caregivers of older adults with urinary incontinence

Urinary incontinence (UI) is a highly prevalent condition, burdening older adults and their informal caregivers. This study explored the development and feasibility of a 6-week evidence-based, educational/skill building program delivered via tablet-personal computer aimed at developing informal caregiver UI knowledge; and enhancing informal caregiver skill set in prompted voiding and toileting strategies. Caregivers also received individualized weekly coaching sessions from a nurse expert. Feasibility and preliminary efficacy were tested in three caregiver/care-recipient dyads. Recruitment of eligible participants through community-based resources was a challenge to feasibility. Most caregivers found the technology acceptable, but adherence to prompted voiding was inconsistent. All caregivers rated the intervention highly, reported improvements in their care-recipient's urine leakage, found access to a UI expert beneficial, and would recommend it to a friend. The results suggest that the tablet-facilitated intervention was feasible and acceptable to informal caregivers and showed promise for improving both caregiver and care recipient outcomes.

Access source material through DOI

Family Caregiving for Older Adults

Family members are the primary source of support for older adults with chronic illness and disability. Thousands of published empirical studies and dozens of reviews have documented the psychological and physical health effects of caregiving, identified caregivers at risk for adverse outcomes, and evaluated a wide range of intervention strategies to support caregivers. Caregiving as chronic stress exposure is the conceptual driver for much of this research. We review and synthesize the literature on the impact of caregiving and intervention strategies for supporting caregivers. The impact of caregiving is highly variable, driven largely by the intensity of care provided and the suffering of the care recipient. The intervention literature is littered with many failures and some successes. Successful interventions address both the pragmatics of care and the emotional toll of caregiving. We conclude with both research and policy recommendations that address a national agenda for caregiving.

Access source material through DOI

Family Caregivers' Experiences With Health Care Workers in the Care of Older Adults With Activity Limitations

Importance: Family and unpaid caregivers often play an active role in managing the care of older adults with activity limitations.; Objective: To examine caregivers' experiences with older adults' health care workers.; Design, Setting, and Participants: This survey study constitutes a secondary analysis of a sample of 1916 family and unpaid caregivers to 1203 community-living older adults with activity limitations who participated in the 2017 National Health and Aging Trends Study. Data analysis was performed January to August 2019.; Exposures: Caregiver sociodemographic characteristics, caregiving intensity, and frequency speaking with or emailing older adults' health care workers.; Main Outcomes and Measures: Caregiver-reported experiences when interacting with older adults' health care workers in the prior year, including being listened to, being asked about understanding of treatments, and being asked about help needed in managing older adults' care.; Results: Caregivers (mean [SE] age, 59.4 [0.5] years; 63.7% women) assisting community-living older adults with activity limitations reported that they never (56.3%), sometimes or rarely (33.0%), or often (10.7%) spoke with or emailed older adults' health care workers in the prior year. Most caregivers who interacted with older adults' health care workers reported being always (70.6%) or usually (18.2%) listened to and always (54.4%) or usually (17.7%) being asked about their understanding of older adults' treatments. Fewer caregivers reported being always (21.3%) or usually (6.9%) asked whether they needed help managing older adults' care, and nearly one-half (45.0%) were never asked. Caregivers who interacted with older adults' health care workers often (vs sometimes or rarely) were more likely to report being always or usually listened to (94.8% vs 86.9%; P = .004), being asked about understanding treatments (80.1% vs 69.5%; P = .02), and being asked about needing help (40.8% vs 24.1%; P < .001). No other exposures were consistently associated with caregiver experiences. Measures of caregiving intensity, including caring for an older adult with dementia, were not associated with being listened to or asked about understanding, but were associated with being asked about needed help. Although caregivers of persons with dementia were more likely than caregivers of persons without dementia to report always being asked about needed help (26.9% vs 19.0%), a high percentage in both groups were never asked (41.2% vs 46.5%) (P = .007).; Conclusions and Relevance: These findings reinforce the need for strategies to better support family and unpaid caregivers, who are the main source of assistance to older adults with physical and/or cognitive limitations.

Access source material through DOI

Experience of family caregivers of hospitalized older people in Kolkata, India

In India, family caregivers (FCs) play a major role in providing care to their older kin during hospitalization. This article explores the challenges encountered by them while providing care in a public hospital. It draws upon empirical insights obtained through interviews with 54 FCs and field observations. The findings show that the hospital was not congenial for FCs and exposes the factors impeding their caregiving role. FC experience was found to be highly complex and fraught with multiple practical challenges during admission, in-hospital treatment, and at discharge. All these had repercussions on various aspects of their own life and well-being like poor health outcomes, financial stress, and social isolation. The article concludes that the needs, preferences, and challenges of the FCs need to be considered to make hospitals conducive for FCs of older people.

Access source material through DOI

The Effect of National Family Caregiver Support Program Services on Caregiver Burden

Extant evidence on the effectiveness of caregiver programs in alleviating caregiver burden is mixed, underscoring the need for further investigations. This study evaluated the effect of the National Family Caregiver Support Program (NFCSP) educational services and respite care on caregiver burden. We used survey data from caregivers assigned to program (n = 491) or comparison (n = 417) group based on their reported use of NFCSP services. Adjusted difference-in-differences (DiD) analysis found an increase in mean burden scores for both groups from baseline to 6 or 12 months. Among program caregivers receiving ≥4 hr of NFCSP respite care per week (n = 307) and matched comparisons (n = 370), burden scores decreased slightly for program caregivers (-0.095 points), but increased for comparison caregivers (+0.145 points). The DiD (0.239 points) was not statistically significant. More research is needed to determine the minimum amount of respite care needed to positively impact caregiver burden.

Access source material through DOI

Coping with cognitive impairment and family caregiving: Introduction to the special section

Consistent with the long history within Psychology and Aging of publishing high impact articles on family caregiving, the current Special Section includes 5 articles that provide important advances, in knowledge and in methodological sophistication, to the study of cognitive difficulty, impairment and family caregiving. One study used daily diary data over 14 days to conduct microlongitudinal analyses of the prospective impact of everyday memory failures on negative affect and marital interactions in older couples. Also relying on dyadic data, 2 other articles addressed the impact of caregiving on family members, including a study of the effects of transitioning to family caregiving over time on well-being in older husbands and wives, and a comparison of primary and secondary caregivers. Together, these articles represent important methodological advances in terms of the use of longitudinal data to study the effects of transition to cognitive impairment and spousal caregiving within the couple, and the inclusion of multiple caregivers to illustrate the impacts of caregiving in the broader family. In addition, two articles examined issues in clinical intervention for caregivers. Both articles offer new insights about the effectiveness of caregiver interventions, with the former focusing on the relative merits of offering intervention components in a flexible way over the manualized approach, and the latter a comprehensive systematic review and meta-analysis to tease out the relative utility of different intervention characteristics and approaches, with a new lens to look at psychoeducational programs. The implications of these articles for family caregiving and further research advances are discussed. 

Access source material through DOI

The Changing Status of Israeli Arab Women as Reflected in Their Role as Main Caregivers

The study evaluated how changes in the status of women in the Israeli Arab sector are perceived in light of the role of women as main caregivers of older adults. Interviews with 25 older adults and 27 family members were conducted. Qualitative analysis consisted of constant comparisons and contrasts of relevant themes. Two main themes emerged from the interviews. The first theme was the expected and actual role of women. The immediate response of most interviewees was the expectation that women are responsible for housework in their own home and in that of their aging parents. The second theme was the changes in the woman’s status in the Arab society. Most respondents noted that women today are very busy, and they sometimes work outside the home. In other words, the themes reflect the conflict between tradition and the rules that were followed in the past, and the changes that have appeared in recent years.

Access source material through DOI

Caring Near and Far by Connecting Community-Based Clients and Family Member/Friend Caregivers Using Passive Remote Monitoring: Protocol for a Pragmatic Randomized Controlled Trial

Background: Significant chronic disease challenges exist among older adults. However, most older adults want to remain at home even if their health conditions challenge their ability to live independently. Yet publicly funded home care resources are scarce, private home care is expensive, and family/friend caregivers have limited capacity. Many older adults with chronic illness would require institutional care without the support from family member/friend caregivers. This role raises the risk of physical health problems, stress, burnout, and depression. Passive remote monitoring (RM), the use of sensors that do not require any action by the individual for the system to work, may increase the older adult's ability to live independently while also providing support and peace of mind to both the client and the family member/friend caregiver.; Objective: This paper presents the protocol of a study conducted in two provinces in Canada to investigate the impact of RM along with usual home care (the intervention) versus usual home care alone (control) on older adults with complex care. The primary outcome for this study is the occurrence of and time to events such as trips to emergency, short-term admission to the hospital, terminal admission to the hospital awaiting admission to long-term care, and direct admission to long-term care. The secondary outcomes for this study are (1) health care costs, (2) client functional status and quality of life in the home, (3) family/friend caregiver stress, and (4) family/friend caregiver functional health status.; Methods: The design for this study is an unblinded pragmatic randomized controlled trial (PRCT) with two parallel arms in two geographic strata (Ontario and Nova Scotia). Quantitative and qualitative methodologies will be used to address the study objectives. This PRCT is conceptually informed by the principles of client-centered care and viewing the family as the client and aims at providing supported self-management.; Results: This study is supported by the Canadian Institutes for Health Research. A primary completion date is anticipated in fall 2022.; Conclusions: Findings from this real-world rigorous randomized trial will support Canadian decision-makers, providers, and clients and their caregivers in assessing the health, well-being, and economic benefits and the social and technological challenges of integrating RM technologies to support older adults to stay in their home, including evaluating the impact on the burden of care experienced by family/friend caregivers. With an aging population, this technology may reduce institutionalization and promote safe and independent living for the elderly as long as possible.; Trial Registration: International Standard Randomised Controlled Trial Number (ISRCTN) 79884651; http://www.isrctn.com/ISRCTN79884651.; International Registered Report Identifier (irrid): DERR1-10.2196/15027.

Access source material through DOI

The care-wage penalty: the association between family care and wages

Background: Against the background of demographic aging, the need for professional and private care will increase in the future. To contain costs many welfare states rely on the family as care provider and, in addition, people in need of care often prefer being cared for at home. Thus, the number of people who provide care privately and without pay in the home environment (referred to as family care in this article) is likely to increase. So far, however, research on the impact of family care on the labor market situation of caregivers in general and their wages in particular remains scarce. Objective: This article examines whether and if so to what extent, family care affects the wages of women and men. Material and methods: Using data from the German Socio-Economic Panel (2001–2017), fixed effects regressions were estimated separately for women and men, while accounting for important confounders. Results: Both women (2.4%) and men (3%) suffer wage losses as a result of family care activities. Conclusion: The results indicate that care-related wage losses, net of relevant controls, exist.

Access source material through DOI

The Care of "Small Things": Aging and Dignity in Rwanda

In Rwanda, disruptions to family and social life as a result of the 1994 genocide, and the economic transformations in its aftermath, have complicated the fabric of elder care across the country. In this article, I focus on how elderly Rwandans are reconfiguring their care networks - many of which were destroyed during the genocide - by acting as caregivers and care receivers for each other on a daily basis. Although emotionally and physically taxing, elderly Rwandans emphasize that the "small things" embedded in the giving and receiving of care are intricately connected to how personal and collective dignity is cultivated. 

Access source material through DOI

Can Family Caregivers Provide Life Review to Reduce Depression in Older Adults With Dementia?

Life review (LR) therapy has received considerable support as an effective treatment for depression among older adults. Researchers believe that providing LR does not require extensive training and can be done by family members who are not psychiatric professionals. If so, then training family caregivers to provide LR is a potential strategy for alleviating the shortage of resources for treating depression among the growing population of older adults experiencing depression. A pilot study that explored the feasibility of that strategy had mixed results. Seventeen (89%) of 19 caregiver–care recipient dyads completed the current study, and caregivers provided the LR with self-reported fidelity. However, there was lack of statistically significant improvement in this convenience sample. Implications are provided for future assessments of this strategy with a larger study of caregiver and care recipient dyads. 

Access source material through DOI

Beware of Discharge: A Case Exploring the Ethics of Societal Expectations Placed on Family at Hospital Discharge

As the population ages and medical therapies advance, more individuals are living in the community with complex health conditions. These individuals, as well as their clinicians, often assume their family members and friends will be capable of, and willing to, provide the caregiving work necessary to continue living at home. There is an ethical problem in this assumption that unpaid community care will be provided by family or friends. Using the Hunt and Ells Patient-Centered Care Ethics Analysis Model for Rehabilitation (2013), this article explores the ethical considerations involved in the hospital discharge planning of a fictional case involving a middle-aged, male stroke patient who is in a strained marriage. We discuss the ethical merits and concerns of the various discharge options. We conclude with recommendations to avoid assumptions that family or friends will provide unpaid care after a hospital discharge. We share advocacy suggestions for improving community supports for caregivers and those with long-term care needs.

Access source material through DOI

Barriers and facilitators to cancer treatment adherence for older Rural African Americans: Understanding the experience from the view of patients and their caregivers

The purpose of the present study was to understand the barriers that a particularly vulnerable sub-population of older adults experience in adhering to cancer treatments in rural eastern North Carolina. Qualitative descriptive interviews were completed with 16 individuals (8 cancer patients and their caregivers) about the challenges they face in adhering to cancer treatments. Three themes emerged based on the analysis which included transportation and financial barriers, and assistance that facilitated patients to adhere to treatment protocols. Transportation barriers were those associated with both the formal and informal systems. Financial barriers were related to costs associated with treatment. Participants also reported on ways in which adherence was facilitated via both formal and informal means. Our findings support those of previous research on treatment adherence and add information on the actions patients take in response to barriers that can negatively impact their disease trajectory. The knowledge gained can inform service providers about the issues in treatment adherence and help identify interventions that could support caregivers and patients to circumvent such challenges. 

Access source material through DOI

Attributes of caregivers' quality of life: A perspective comparison between spousal and non-spousal caregivers of older patients with cancer

Purpose: With the aging population, our current understanding of patients with cancer and their family caregivers needs to be expanded to older patients with cancer and their caregivers. By differentiating spousal caregivers and non-spousal caregivers, we aimed to investigate the universalities and particularities of caregiving for older patients with cancer.; Methods: Through 11 cancer centers in South Korea, 358 patient-caregiver pairs were recruited in this cross-sectional study. Patients were of gastric, colorectal, or lung cancers, and caregivers were those who accompanied the patients to the clinic. Along with socio-demographic variables, medical records of the patients, and caregiving-related measurements, the caregiver's quality of life (AC-QOL) was rated both by patients and by caregivers.; Results: Statistically significant attributes of ACQOL included patient's age, caregiving duration, caregiver's concern about financial burden, caregiver's self-evaluation of their own physical health, and work conflicts due to caregiving for spousal caregivers (R2 = 0.687). For non-spousal caregivers, caregiving duration, caregiver's concern about financial burden, caregiver's self-evaluation of their own physical health, and family conflicts due to work were found significant (R2 = 0.272). Also patients rated ACQOL in higher accordance with their spousal caregivers than with non-spousal caregivers.; Conclusion: The needs of spousal caregivers and non-spousal caregivers might vary, which should inform the effective and efficient channeling of support for family caregivers. Future research suggestions, along with the study limitations, are discussed.

Access source material through DOI

Association between sleep, care burden, and related factors among family caregivers at home

Aim: Several studies have reported a negative correlation between depressive symptoms and family caregivers' (FCs) subjective sleep status. However, there is a paucity of information on the association between objective/subjective sleep status, care burden, and related factors.; Methods: Participants were 23 pairs of care receivers (CRs; Mage = 82.7 ± 8.5 years; 69.6% women) receiving long-term care at home and their FCs (Mage = 66.9 ± 11.0 years; 69.6% women). At baseline, demographic data, subjective sleep status (Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index; PSQI), WHO-5 well-being, depressive mood, and frequency of going outdoors were collected. FCs wore a small, wrist-worn device with an accelerometer to assess objective sleep status for a consecutive 24-h 2-week period, and they answered the Zarit Burden Interview short version (ZBI) every night before sleep. After 3 months, CR status was collected and analysed retrospectively.; Results: The mean total sleep time over 2 weeks was 349.5 ± 69.6 min. The mean ZBI score over 2 weeks was 8.8 ± 6.8, which was significantly correlated with total sleep time (r = -0.42; P < 0.05), total time in bed (r = -0.44; P < 0.05), PSQI (r = 0.62; P < 0.01), frequency of going outdoors by CRs (r = -0.42; P < 0.05), and WHO-5 well-being among CRs (r = -0.50; P < 0.05). Multiple regression analyses revealed that total sleep time (β = -0.51; P < 0.05) was significantly associated with care burden (adjusted R2 = 0.45). At the 3-month follow-up, four CRs had been hospitalised or died, and their FCs displayed significantly severe care burden and slept less than at baseline.; Conclusions: Reduced objective total sleep time is significantly associated with the severity of care burden among FCs. Home-based care is critical in Japan; therefore, it is meaningful to determine how to reduce care burden.

Access source material through DOI

Challenges and needs of informal caregivers in elderly care: Qualitative research in four European countries, the TRACE project

Background: Providing informal care may affects caregivers' life in different ways. Determining the needs of caregivers and supporting them can improve both the quality of life of the caregivers, as well as the elderly they take care of. Objective: To explore the experiences and needs of the informal caregivers in four countries. Design: Qualitative research method was used in the study. Methods: The qualitative data was collected through focus groups and individual interviews between December 2016–May 2017. In all countries interviews were conducted in the mother language of the informants. Informants of the qualitative research were adult people who take primary care of an individual with chronic diseases, aged 65 years or older. Data were collected from 72 informal caregivers from four European countries. Inductive content analysis was performed. Results: Informal caregivers identified 2 themes, 5 subthemes, 19 categories and 7 subtcategories. The themes highlighted two major issues: informal caregiver's challenges and needs related to the management of care of elderly and caregivers' personal needs. Conclusion: The important and charming results of the present study are, difficulties of managing caregiver's own life, and coping with emotions are common in four countries. Identifying challenges and needs of informal caregivers enable healthcare professionals to develop care strategies and plan interventions focused to support and help to reduce the burden of care for elderly with chronic diseases. 

Access source material through DOI

Community Social Capital and Positive Caregiving Experiences Among Adult-Children Caregivers of Older Adults With Disabilities in Urban China

The present study aimed to examine the association between community social capital and positive caregiving experiences among adult-children caregivers of disabled older adults in urban China. Data for this study were derived from the 2016 wave of the Longitudinal Study on Family Caregivers for Frail Older Adults Aged 75 or Above in Shanghai. The final analysis featured 440 disabled older adult and adult-children caregiver dyads. Multiple indicators and multiple causes modeling was used to test the proposed model from a structural equation modeling perspective. Provision of support to others was significantly associated with self-affirmation. Citizenship activity was significantly associated with life enrichment. Support of units (i.e., employers) was significantly associated with self-affirmation and life enrichment. The findings support the integration of the stress process model and social capital theory and highlight the important role of community social capital in enhancing the subdimensions of positive caregiving experiences. Policy and intervention implications are discussed.

Access source material through DOI

Cloud and Internet of Things Technologies for Supporting In-House Informal Caregivers: A Conceptual Architecture

Persons in a situation of dependency, or independent but with deficiencies in their autonomy, have specific needs for a better management of their long-term care. New sensing technologies based on real-time location systems, mobile apps, the Internet-of-Things (IoT) paradigm and cloud systems can be used to collect and process information about their activity and their environment in a continuous and truthful way. In this chapter, we analyse current solutions available to support informal caregivers and propose an innovative framework based on the integration of existing IoT products and services of cloud architectures. From the technological point of view, the system we propose is focused on the integration and combination of technologies for providing support for the informal caregiver in long-term care. The differential factor of these technologies is the customization level according to the specific context of the end-users. The main contribution of the proposed systems relies on the intelligence and the management of recorded events to create complex and reliable alerts, and its ability to configure multiple end-user instances and configurations (e.g.: needs, countries, regions, cultures). These type of systems should be sustainable and efficient, and that is why the inclusion of cloud technologies can grant its flexibility and scalability. 

Access source material through DOI

Worry about Performance: Unravelling the Relationship between 'Doing More' and 'Doing Better'

Objective: Recent studies have described worry about caregiver performance (WaP) as a distinct dimension of caregiver burden. We aimed to explore care recipient and caregiver characteristics between the concordant and discordant WaP groups in a population of caregivers of older adults with cognitive impairment. The secondary objective is to explore if there are differences between high and low WaP subsets in the 'doing more' and 'doing better' groups. Design, setting and participants: This is a retrospective study of 936 dyads of community-dwelling older adults with cognitive complaints and their primary family caregiver from a hospital in Singapore. Measurements: We performed descriptive and inferential statistics of the characteristics of caregivers and patients. We categorized caregiver-patient dyads into four groups, namely concordant (high vs low WaP) and discordant ('doing more' vs 'doing better') groups. For both concordant and discordant groups, we further defined low and high WaP subgroups using tertile cutoffs. Results: The concordant low WaP group is predicted by the spousal relationship (p<.001) and care recipients with fewer neuropsychiatric symptoms (p<.001). There is no significant difference between the discordant groups, which were predominantly the adult children. Further analysis of subgroups found that in the 'doing better' group, there were more spouses in the high as compared to low WaP subgroups, with the reverse true in the 'doing more' group. In the 'doing more' group, caregivers with high WaP also had higher total ZBI (p<0.05) with higher factors (Fl, F2 and F3) scores (p<0.05). They also endorsed higher NPI-Q scores (p=0.045) particularly in the domain of depression / dysphoria (p=0.034). These differences are not seen in the 'doing better' group. Conclusion: Our study suggests an association with caregiver characteristics (adult child) and disruptive behavior in the 'do more' high WaP discordant group. Delineating into the high and low WaP subgroups can help us identify the 'do more' high WaP subgroup that merits further attention and early intervention.

Access source material through DOI

Words Matter: The Language of Family Caregiving

The authors discuss the vocabulary used to describe caregivers, They mention the role of family caregiving in geriatric care, how the use of the word "informal" to describe this caregiving is inadequate for the work that is done, and efforts to change how family caregivers are described.

Access source material through DOI

What do caregivers value and is there agreement in perception of met needs between nurses and caregivers?

Introduction: There is an increasing reliance on informal caregivers to continue the care of patients after discharge. This is a huge responsibility for caregivers and some may feel unprepared for the role. Without adequate support and understanding regarding their needs, patient care may be impeded. This study aimed to identify the needs valued by caregivers and if there was agreement between acute care nurses and caregivers in the perception of whether caregiver needs were being met. Methods: We conducted face-to-face interviews with 100 pairs of acute care nurses and caregivers. Participants were recruited from inpatient wards through convenience sampling. Questionnaires included demographic data of nurses and caregivers, patients' activities of daily living, and perception of caregiver needs being met in six domains of care. Independent t-test was used to compare mean values in each domain, and intraclass correlation coefficient was used to compare agreement in perception. Results: Caregivers valued reassurance the most. Three domains of care needs showed significant differences in perception of caregiver needs being met:reassurance (p = 0.002), honesty and timeliness (p = 0.008), and kindness and genuine care (p = 0.026). There was poor agreement in all six domains of caregiver needs being met between nurses and caregivers. Conclusion: Although caregivers valued reassurance the most, there was poor agreement between acute care nurses and caregivers in the perception of caregiver needs being met. Hence, more attention should be paid to the caregiver's needs. Further studies can examine reasons for unmet caregiver needs and interventions to improve support for them.

Access source material through DOI

A validation study of the ICECAP-O in informal carers of people with dementia from eight European Countries

Purpose: The pressure on healthcare budgets remains high, partially due to the ageing population. Economic evaluation can be a helpful tool to inform resource allocation in publicly financed systems. Such evaluations frequently use health-related outcome measures. However, in areas such as care of older people, improving health outcomes is not necessarily the main focus of care interventions and broader outcome measures, including outcomes for those providing informal care, may be preferred when evaluating such interventions. This paper validates a recently introduced well-being measure, the ICECAP-O, in a population of informal carers for people with dementia from eight European countries.; Methods: Convergent and discriminant validity tests were performed to validate the ICECAP-O using data obtained in a sample of 451 respondents from Germany, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Sweden and the UK. These respondents completed a number of standardized questionnaires within the framework of the Actifcare project.; Results: The ICECAP-O performed well among informal carers, in terms of both convergent and discriminant validity. In the multivariate analysis, it was found to be significantly associated with the age of the person with dementia, EQ-5D-5L health problem index of the person with dementia, carer-patient relationship, care recipient CDR, carer LSNS Score, the PAI score, and Perseverance Time.; Conclusion: The ICECAP-O appears to be a valid measure of well-being in informal carers for people with dementia. The ICECAP-O may therefore be useful as an outcome measure in economic evaluations of interventions aimed at such informal carers, when these aim to improve well-being beyond health.

Access source material through DOI

Using sensor-based technology for safety and independence - the experiences of people with dementia and their families

Background: The majority of people with dementia prefer to live independently and safely in their own home cared for by their family members. Much effort has been invested in the development of technology, such as sensor-based networks. Many challenges remain, in particular gaining more knowledge about their experiences and perceived benefits. This study aimed to explore experiences, needs and benefits with using sensor-based technology for safety and independence in the homes of people with dementia and their family members.; Methods: This study is part of the TECH@HOME project, aiming to evaluate the effects of sensor-based technology on independence among people with dementia and caregiver stress among their family members. This study applied an inductive, qualitative approach with semi-structured interviews of people with dementia (n = 9) and family members (n = 21). The participants were interviewed between June and September 2018 after using the technology for at least 6 months. The interviews were analysed with manifest content analysis.; Results: Our findings highlighted that technology was considered as a precaution and a safety measure that could provide a sense of having control of the everyday life of the person with dementia. Understanding and acceptance of the technology were as important, together with the reliability of the technology. Ethical dilemmas related to the monitoring of the person with dementia in the home were also raised.; Conclusion: This study provides insights into how people with dementia and family members experience and benefit from using sensor-based technology in their own homes. The knowledge generated is essential for healthcare professionals and policymakers developing and implementing care and service systems including technology, as well as for the industry.

Access source material through DOI

Trust in older persons: A quantitative analysis of alignment in triads of older persons, informal carers and home care nurses

Self‐management by older persons could be influenced by the level of trust found in triads of informal carers, formal care providers and care recipient, the older person. Little research has been done on care providers' trust in older persons. This study aims to explore the level of trust that informal carers and home care nurses have in older persons, the extent of alignment in triads and the relationship between trust in older persons and self‐management. We conducted a cross‐sectional survey study in the Netherlands, sampling 133 older persons, 64 informal carers and 72 nurses, which resulted in 39 triads. Alignment level was analysed through Intraclass Correlation Coefficient 1 scores and absolute and mean difference scores. Correlation analysis and one‐way analysis of variance measured the relationship between trust and self‐management. The results show that triads contain both alignment and misalignment. Misalignment occurs mostly when informal carers and nurses have little trust in the older person while this person views their own behaviour towards their caregivers positively. Care providers' trust levels relate significantly to their perception of the person's ability to self‐manage, but not to the person's self‐rated ability. This could be explained by care providers not communicating their intrinsic trust in the older person to them. Trust building could be enhanced by organising discussions of mutual expectations of trust and both formal and informal care providers could benefit from compassionate assessment training, to learn how to openly express their trust in the older person. 

Access source material through DOI

Transitions to family caregiving: enrolling incident caregivers and matched non-caregiving controls from a population-based study

Background and Aim: Providing care to an older adult with a disability has been associated with increased risk to the caregiver's health, but most previous studies of caregiving and health compare persons who are already caregivers with poorly matched non-caregiving controls and are often based on convenience samples. In this report, we describe the enrollment of persons who transitioned into a family caregiving role while participating in a national epidemiological study.; Methods: Participants in the REasons for Geographic And Racial Differences in Stroke (REGARDS) study were asked on two occasions 9-14 years apart if they were providing care on an ongoing basis to a family member with a chronic illness or disability. Those who answered "no" and "yes", respectively, to this caregiving question and reported sufficient caregiving responsibilities after their transitions were enrolled in the present study as incident caregivers (N = 251). Participants matched on multiple demographic and health history variables and who reported no history of caregiving were enrolled as non-caregiving controls (N = 251).; Results: Among eligible participants, 84% agreed to participate, and 47% of caregivers reported caring for a person with dementia. Descriptive analyses confirmed the success of the matching procedures for balancing the groups on multiple demographic and pre-caregiving health variables. Depressive symptoms and perceived stress increased significantly after the transition to caregiving.; Conclusion: Comparable, population-based samples of incident caregivers and matched non-caregivers have been enrolled. Future analyses will examine within-person changes in health and circulating biomarkers as a function of the transition to caregiving.

Access source material through DOI

"Tipping point" concept analysis in the family caregiving context

Aim: Analyze the concept "tipping point" in the older adult family caregiving context to further knowledge about caregiving families, enhancing transdisciplinary theory, research, and practice. Background: While used commonly in some disciplines, how "tipping point" has been used in health care, generally, and in relation to caregiving families, specifically, is less clear. This project was conducted to offer conceptual clarity to tipping point. Design: Walker and Avant's framework. Data Source: Searches of scholarly literature in PsycINFO, CINAHL, and PubMed using the search term "tipping point" in either title or abstract. Review Methods: Definitions used were extracted; instances when the concept was implied but the actual term "tipping point" was not used and contexts where the term was used or implied were identified. Results: The composite definition of a caregiving tipping point is a seemingly abrupt, severe, and absolute change event involving either the older adult or caregiver(s), or both that indicates a breakdown in the status quo of the caregiving system. Conclusions: Transdisciplinary research, care, and policy should treat caregiving families as complex systems, use longitudinal assessments, and include colloquial communication. Early detection of impending tipping points will provide family‐centered decisional support and enhance families' quality of life and safety.

Access source material through DOI

Synergistic Dependencies in Partner and Elder Abuse

Although dependency in its various forms has been widely studied, most investigations examine manifestations of dependency within individuals. Scrutiny of the literature reveals that synergistic dependencies—situations wherein both members of a dyad manifest excessive dependency of one form or another—play a role in some forms of partner and elder abuse. High levels of interpersonal or economic dependency in a woman coupled with high levels of interpersonal dependency in her male partner increase the likelihood of partner abuse. When family member caregivers are economically dependent on a functionally dependent older adult, risk for elder abuse increases. Although these synergistic dependencies differ across abuse domains, two prevailing themes emerge. The interpersonal, economic, and functional dependencies of abused partners and older adults are associated with feelings of helplessness, powerlessness, and an inability to challenge the abuser. The common dependency-related dynamic in perpetrators of abuse is fear—fear of abandonment leading to partner abuse, and fear of loss of financial support increasing risk for elder abuse. 

Access source material through DOI

Supporting family caregiver engagement in the care of old persons living in hard to reach communities: A scoping review

Today, 8.5% of the world's population is 65 and over, and this statistic will reach 17% by 2050 (He et al., U.S. Census Bureau, international population reports, P95/16‐1, An ageing world: 2015, U.S., 2016). They are the people who, with increasing age, will find themselves more closely interfacing with the national health system, which in many countries shows strong imbalances between rural and urban areas. In this context, a fundamental role is played by the relatives who find themselves becoming informal caregivers to compensate for lack of services. To date, however, little has been done to help these people. In this article, we want to identify the nature and extent of research evidence that had its objective to help informal caregivers in rural, hard to reach areas (Grant & Booth, Health Information & Libraries Journal, 2009, 26, 91). Following the approach set out by Arksey and O'Malley (International Journal of Social Research Methodology, 2005, 8, 19), we conducted a scoping review in May 2018 and closed the review with an update in September 2018. We identified 14 studies published from 2012, the European Year of Active Ageing, promoted by the European Commission, which had three domains of implementation: emotional support to decrease the emotional burden of caregivers, educational support to increase their skills, and organisational support to improve the mobility of caregivers and carereceivers. Although informal caregivers play a fundamental role in many countries, the studies that have been involved in alleviating their caring burden are few; nevertheless, they provide interesting indications. This lack of attention confirms how this portion of the population is still neglected by scientific research and risks having unequal access to health and social care. Future research is needed, not only to create and improve services to caregivers in rural, hard to reach areas, but also to evaluate and focus on the participation and the engagement of caregivers in the co‐design of these services. 

Access source material through DOI

Supporting Active Aging for Persons with Severe Disabilities and Their Families Across the Life Course

Individuals with severe disabilities and their families can engage in person-centered and family-centered planning for aging using a life course view. Viewing aging within the context of the family and disability is essential because many people with severe disabilities depend on their families for supports in daily living, social relationships, and for activities within communities. Since eligibility-based supports are often limited, parents and other family members play large roles both financially and socially in helping their family member move through the life course into active and healthy aging. Charting the LifeCourse is a framework that both people with disabilities and their families can use to achieve desired life outcomes over time. Issues that impact active and healthy aging for people with disabilities include the aging of caregivers, death of a caregiver, limited resources for supporting physical and health concerns, staying active in the community following retirement, and maintaining social emotional connections.

Access source material through DOI

Social Participation and Health Outcomes Among Caregivers and Noncaregivers in Great Britain

This study investigates the relationship between social participation and health outcomes between caregivers and noncaregivers in Great Britain. Previous studies indicate that the impact of informal caregiving on the carer's health is complex, and the intensity of care provision has an adverse impact on the caregivers' health, while social participation could have a protective role in this respect. Using qualitative and quantitative data from Wave 8 of the 1958 National Child Development Study, the analysis shows that social participation has a positive effect on the carers' mental health and subjective well-being. Individuals who did not engage in social participation reported lower levels of mental health and control, autonomy, self-realization and pleasure (CASP) scores than those engaged in social participation. The qualitative results showed the barriers to social participation of caregivers to be time, energy, and finance. We discuss ways in which the government could address such barriers to improve the level of social participation among caregivers.

Access source material through DOI

Sleep Quality in Caregivers of Older Patients with Schizophrenia Spectrum and Bipolar Disorders: A Case-Control Study

Objectives: Prior literature has documented the global burden of serious mental illnesses. The present study aimed to compare the sleep quality in caregivers of older patients with schizophrenia spectrum and bipolar disorders with control participants who did not serve as caregivers. Methods: We performed a case-controlled, cross-sectional study among family caregivers of older patients with psychotic disorders in Razi Hospital, Tunisia. Subjective sleep quality was assessed using the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index Scale (PSQI). Results: Fifty caregivers of older patients (≥ 60 years) with schizophrenia spectrum and bipolar disorders, and 50 matched controls were enrolled. The three sub-dimensions of the PSQI, namely subjective sleep quality, sleep duration, and sleep efficiency, as well as overall PSQI scores, were worse for caregiver participants. Hierarchical multiple regression analyses predicting PSQI scores revealed that caregivers' age and marital status were the only significant predictors in the final model. Conclusions: Older adults with severe mental disorders constitute a vulnerable population which generates a significant burden of care, and impacts their caregivers' subjective sleep quality. Clinical Implications: Family interventions, including sleep interventions, should be considered as an integral component of treatment for serious mental illnesses. When promoting sleep quality, older and single caregivers should be targeted.

Access source material through DOI

A qualitative systematic review of factors affecting caregivers' decision-making for care setting placements for individuals with dementia

Aims: To synthesize factors that facilitates or hinders the choice of a new living environment for a person with dementia by the informal caregiver.; Background: In an effort to develop evidenced-based interventions to support caregivers, it is essential to explore their experience.; Design: A qualitative systematic review using thematic synthesis. Studies published up to July 2019 were retrieved from four electronic databases. Two independent reviewers selected studies and assessed their methodological quality.; Findings: Choosing a new living environment for a person with dementia includes two main concerns for caregivers: (1) evaluating the current living environment and caregiving arrangements; and (2) evaluating potential living environments. The key factor, that is acceptability, reflects the extent to which a change of living environment is personally and socially perceived as desirable, suitable, as well as decent for all stakeholders.; Conclusions: Future interventions must consider that caregivers' decision-making process is highly social and value-laden.

Access source material through DOI

The mediating effects of leisure engagement on relationships between caregiving stress and subjective wellbeing among family caregivers of persons with cognitive impairment: A cross-sectional study

Family caregivers of persons with cognitive impairment experience changes in reductions in leisure engagement, which can decrease their subjective wellbeing (leisure satisfaction, negative affect and positive affect). We recruited 100 dyads of patients with cognitive impairment and family caregivers by convenience sampling from outpatient memory clinics and daycare centers in northern Taiwan. Hierarchical regression analysis tested the mediating effects of leisure engagement on the relationship between caregiving stress and subjective wellbeing. Results indicated that the restorative experience of event/tourism activities (β = 0.23, p < .05) significantly mediated between caregiving stress and leisure satisfaction. In addition, the only significant mediator between caregiving stress and negative affect was leisure barriers (β = 0.21, p < .05). Both of the regression models explained 27% of the variance. Future development of leisure interventions should focus on reducing leisure barriers and providing event and tourism activities to the dyads. 

Access source material through DOI

"It's More than Just Needing money": The Value of Supporting Networks of Care

It is well established in research, practice, and policy that unpaid caregivers (family and friends of people with care needs) experience stress in their role. Supports that have been put in place by policy planners and program developers to support caregivers may not be accessed by caregivers at all or may do little to reduce their stress. Accessing personal resources (education, finances), in addition to social resources (individual connections) and societal resources (community supports) are critical in fostering resilience in caregivers (helping them adapt to stress and adversity). Social capital theorists argue that creating connections at various levels can improve access to resources. This research, through qualitative interviews (n = 21), identifies the different levels of resources required to address the needs of caregivers. Our findings indicate that interventions that focus on access to personal-level resources (education, funding) are important, but are on their own insufficient. Of more importance were interventions that work to improve relationships between formal providers and families; access to interdisciplinary teams; cross-sectoral collaborations; and inter-organization relationships, highlighting that a system that works together is likely to improve caregivers' access to resources.

Access source material through DOI

Is Family Caregiving Associated With Inflammation or Compromised Immunity? A Meta-Analysis

Background and Objectives Family caregiving stress has been widely reported to have negative effects on circulating biomarkers of immune system function and inflammation. Our goals were to systematically review this literature and conduct a meta-analysis on the extracted effects. Research Design and Methods A systematic search of published studies comparing caregivers and noncaregivers on biomarkers measured from blood samples was conducted in the PubMed, Embase, and Cochrane databases. This search identified 2,582 articles and abstracts. After removing duplicative papers and studies not meeting inclusion criteria, 30 articles were identified that reported analyses on 86 relevant biomarkers from 1,848 caregivers and 3,640 noncaregivers. Results Random-effects models revealed an overall effect size across all biomarkers of 0.164 SD units (d). A slightly larger overall effect (d = 0.188) was found for dementia caregivers only. Immune system comparisons yielded somewhat larger differences than inflammation comparisons. Most studies used small convenience samples, and effect sizes were larger for studies with moderate or high bias ratings than for studies with low bias ratings. No significant associations were found in studies that used population-based samples. Discussion and Implications Caregivers had small but significantly reduced immune system functioning and greater inflammation than noncaregivers, but associations were generally weak and of questionable clinical significance. The absence of clear associations from low bias studies and population-based studies underscores concerns with possible selection biases in many of the convenience samples. Population-based studies that assess biomarkers before and after the onset of caregiving might add much clarity to this literature. 

Access source material through DOI

Informal caregivers in Chile: the equity dimension of an invisible burden

Population aging is driving a process of increase in long-term care needs in Chile and many countries around the world. In this context, this article asks about the consequences of this increase in informal caregivers, emphasizing the inequity issues arising from these changes. Using the CASEN 2017 survey, caregivers are identified and matched to people with long-term care needs. Results show that most caregivers are women, and a large fraction of them are also elderly; this is similar to what has been found previously in developed countries. Caregivers have fewer opportunities than non-caregivers, which translates into lower income-generating ability and higher poverty. The nature of these tasks creates a vicious cycle in which people get trapped with increasing needs and fewer resources to meet them. Important differences arise between caregivers and the rest of the population. Even more concerning is that these disparities are avoidable to some extent, adding an equity dimension to the problem. This emphasizes the need for the generation of policies that will support caregivers and meet their needs.

Access source material through DOI

Family experience in providing support and the achieving of post-stroke late adulthood development

Objectives: Supporting the achievement of post-stroke late adulthood development is a unique experience that impacts heavily on families. The purpose of this study was to provide an overview of family experience in providing support post-stroke to a family member and enabling them to achieve late adulthood development and then to interpret this.; Method: The research used a qualitative design with a descriptive phenomenology approach. The participants were 14 caregivers of the elderly.; Results: The results (1) the impact of the bio-psycho-socio-spiritual on the elderly post-stroke survivor, (2) how the family fulfills the needs of the post-stroke elderly person, (3) the impact of the post-stroke period on the elderly by family members, (4) the achievement of post-stroke late adulthood development by family members, and (5) the meaning of providing care for the post-stroke elderly survivor.; Conclusions: This research identified 5 themes and recommendations are that psychoeducation for the carers of stroke survivors should be improved.

Access source material through DOI

Examining satisfaction of older adult patients and their caregivers following traumatic injury: a cross-sectional study of three level I trauma centres

Objective: To explore satisfaction of care received by older adult patients and their primary caregivers following traumatic injury.; Design: Prospective, cross-sectional study using the FAMCARE (Family Satisfaction with Advanced Cancer Care Scale) satisfaction surveys prior to discharge.; Setting: Three level I trauma centres in Colorado from November 2016 to December 2017.; Participants: Trauma patients ≥55 years old and their primary caregivers.; Outcome Measures: Overall mean (SD) satisfaction, satisfaction <80% vs ≥80%, and mean satisfaction by survey conceptual structures.; Results: Of the 319 patients and 336 caregivers included, the overall mean (SD) patient satisfaction was 81.7% (15.0%) and for caregivers was 83.6% (13.4%). The area with the highest mean for patient and caregiver satisfaction was psychosocial care (85.4% and 86.9%, respectively). Information giving was the lowest for patients (80.4%) and caregivers (80.9%). When individual items were examined, patients were significantly more satisfied with 'availability of nurses to answer questions' (84.5 (15.3) vs 87.4 (14.8), p=0.02) and significantly less satisfied with 'speed with which symptoms were treated' (80.6 (17.9) vs 84.0 (17.0), p=0.03) compared with caregivers. Patients with a history of smoking (least squares mean difference: -0.096 (-0.18 to -0.07), p<0.001) and hospital discharge destination to an outside facility of care (adjusted OR: 1.6 (1.0 to 2.4), p=0.048) were identified as independent predictors of lower overall satisfaction in generalised linear and logistic models, respectively.; Conclusions: Our data suggest that patients' medical history was driving both patient and caregiver satisfaction. Patient characteristics and expectations need to be considered when tailoring healthcare interventions.

Access source material through DOI

Effect of the Tailored, Family-Involved Hospital Elder Life Program on Postoperative Delirium and Function in Older Adults: A Randomized Clinical Trial

Importance: Postoperative delirium (POD) is a common condition for older adults, contributing to their functional decline.; Objective: To investigate the effectiveness of the Tailored, Family-Involved Hospital Elder Life Program (t-HELP) for preventing POD and functional decline in older patients after a noncardiac surgical procedure.; Design, Setting, and Participants: A 2-arm, parallel-group, single-blind, cluster randomized clinical trial was conducted from August 24, 2015, to February 28, 2016, on 6 surgical floors (gastric, colorectal, pancreatic, biliary, thoracic, and thyroid) of West China Hospital in Chengdu, China. Eligible participants (n = 281) admitted to each of the 6 surgical floors were randomized into a nursing unit providing t-HELP (intervention group) or a nursing unit providing usual care (control group). All randomized patients were included in the intention-to-treat analyses for the primary outcome of POD incidence. Statistical analysis was performed from April 3, 2016, to December 30, 2017.; Interventions: In addition to receiving usual care, all participants in the intervention group received the t-HELP protocols, which addressed each patient's risk factor profile. Besides nursing professionals, family members and paid caregivers were involved in the delivery of many of the program interventions.; Main Outcomes and Measures: The primary outcome was the incidence of POD, evaluated with the Confusion Assessment Method. Secondary outcomes included the pattern of functional and cognitive changes (activities of daily living [ADLs], instrumental activities of daily living [IADLs], Short Portable Mental Status Questionnaire [SPMSQ]) from hospital admission to 30 days after discharge, and the length of hospital stay (LOS).; Results: Of the 475 patients screened for eligibility, 281 (171 [60.9%] male, mean [SD] age 74.7 [5.2] years) were enrolled and randomized to receive t-HELP (n = 152) or usual care (n = 129). Postoperative delirium occurred in 4 participants (2.6%) in the intervention group and in 25 (19.4%) in the control group, with a relative risk of 0.14 (95% CI, 0.05-0.38). The number needed to treat to prevent 1 case of POD was 5.9 (95% CI, 4.2-11.1). Participants in the intervention group compared with the control group showed less decline in physical function (median [interquartile range] for ADLs: -5 [-10 to 0] vs -20 [-30 to -10]; P < .001; for IADLs: -2 [-2 to 0] vs -4 [-4 to -2]; P < .001) and cognitive function (for the SPMSQ level: 1 [0.8%] vs 8 [7.0%]; P = .009) at discharge, as well as shorter mean (SD) LOS (12.15 [3.78] days vs 16.41 [4.69] days; P < .001).; Conclusions and Relevance: The findings suggest that t-HELP, with family involvement at its core, is effective in reducing POD for older patients, maintaining or improving their physical and cognitive functions, and shortening the LOS. The results of this t-HELP trial may improve generalizability and increase the implementation of this program.; Trial Registration: Chinese Clinical Trial Registry Identifier: ChiCTR-POR-15006944.

Access source material through DOI

Differences within Differences: Gender Inequalities in Caregiving Intensity Vary by Race and Ethnicity in Informal Caregivers

Among the 50+ million informal caregivers in the US, substantial gender, racial/ethnic, and socioeconomic disparities in caregiving intensity are well-documented. However, those disparities may be more nuanced: gender disparities in caregiving intensity may vary by race/ethnicity (White, Black, and Hispanic) and socioeconomic status (SES). We used data from the 2011 National Study of Caregiving and applied generalized linear models to estimate associations between three measures of caregiver intensity (ADLs, IADLs, and hours caregiving/month) and the three sociodemographic factors with their interaction terms. Black female caregivers provided significantly higher levels of care than White females and males for both IADL caregiving and hours/month spent caregiving. Black caregivers spent an average of 28.5 more hours/month (95%CI 1.7-45.2) caregiving than White caregivers. These findings highlight the need to understand the complex disparities within population subgroups and how intersections between gender, race/ethnicity, and SES can be used to develop effective policies to reduce disparities and improve caregiver quality-of-life. 

Access source material through DOI

Delirium Burden in Patients and Family Caregivers: Development and Testing of New Instruments

Background and Objectives Delirium creates distinct emotional distress in patients and family caregivers, yet there are limited tools to assess the experience. Our objective was to develop separate patient and family caregiver delirium burden instruments and to test their content and construct validity. Research Design and Methods Two hundred forty-seven patients and 213 family caregivers were selected from an ongoing prospective cohort of medical-surgical admissions aged ≥70 years old. New patient and family caregiver delirium burden instruments were developed and used to measure the subjective experiences of in-hospital delirium. Delirium and delirium severity were measured by the Confusion Assessment Method (CAM) and CAM-Severity (long form). Results Both Delirium Burden (DEL-B) instruments consist of eight questions and are measured on a 0 – 40 point scale. Final questions had good clarity and relevancy, as rated by the expert panel, and good internal consistency (Cronbach's α =.82–.86). In the cohort validation, Patient DEL-B (DEL-B-P) was 5.1 points higher and Family Caregiver DEL-B (DEL-B-C) was 5.8 points higher, on average, for patients who developed delirium compared to those who did not (p <.001). Test–retest reliability of DEL-B-C at baseline and 1 month was strong (correlation =.73). Delirium severity was mildly-moderately correlated with DEL-B-P (correlation =.34) and DEL-B-C (correlation =.26), suggesting contribution of other factors. Discussion and Implications We created instruments to reliably measure and evaluate the burden of delirium for patients and their family caregivers. Although additional validation is indicated, these instruments provide a key first step toward measuring and improving the subjective experience of delirium for patients and their families. 

Access source material through DOI

Caring for migrant older Moroccans with dementia in Belgium as a complex and dynamic transnational network of informal and professional care: A qualitative study

Background: Due to its labour migration history, Belgium is confronted with an increasingly older population of people of Moroccan background who have been diagnosed with dementia. These migrants came to the country during the labour migration wave of the nineteen-sixties and seventies to work in mines and other industries and they are now ageing. Yet little is known about how dementia care is provided to this older population.; Objectives: This study explores how dementia care is provided to these Moroccan older people with dementia, and what challenges do caregivers face in providing care.; Methods: A qualitative study including 31 informal caregivers of older Moroccan migrants with dementia and professional caregivers in the field of dementia care in several Belgian cities was conducted. After an initial focus group including 6 informal and professional caregivers, individual in-depth interviews were held with 12 informal caregivers of Moroccan decent and 13 professional caregivers. In order to be included in the study, informal caregivers had to have a recent experience in caring for an older family member with dementia. The professional caregivers had to be active in the field of dementia care (General Practitioners, nurses, psychologists,…) and have experience with older migrants with dementia.; Results: Analyses of the collected data reveal that current dementia care is a challenging, complex and dynamic search process. This process is shaped by (1) multiple factors reflecting the changing care needs of the care recipient during the course of the dementia, (2) the individual (transnational) recourses of the informal caregivers and the (3) current (lack of) accessibility of professional dementia care (driven by the absence of an accessible migration-, culture- and religion-sensitive professional care). The limited professional service-use is predominantly compensated through the search for transnational external helpers. The limited migration, cultural and religious sensitivity of current dementia care is often overlooked by professional caregivers.; Conclusion: The study provides a better understanding of the complex reality of dementia care for older migrants in which these different aspects intersect. This understanding enable health professionals and policy makers to develop a better suited care for older migrants with dementia.

Access source material through DOI

Carer Social Care-Related Quality of Life Outcomes: Estimating English Preference Weights for the Adult Social Care Outcomes Toolkit for Carers

Background: There is increasing interest in assessing the effects of interventions on older people, people with long-term conditions and their informal carers for use in economic evaluation. The Adult Social Care Outcomes Toolkit for Carers (ASCOT-Carer) is a measure that specifically assesses the impact of social care services on informal carers. To date, the ASCOT-Carer has not been preference-weighted. Objectives: To estimate preference-based index values for the English version of the ASCOT-Carer from the general population in England. Methods: The ASCOT-Carer consists of 7 domains, each reflecting aspects of social care-related quality of life in informal carers. Preferences for the ASCOT-Carer social care-related quality of life states were estimated using a best-worst scaling exercise in an online survey. The survey was administered to a sample of the general adult population in England (n = 1000). Participants were asked to put themselves into the hypothetical state of being an informal carer and indicate which attribute they thought was the best (first and second) and worst (first and second) from a profile list of 7 attributes reflecting the 7 domains, each ranging at a different level (1-4). Multinomial logit regression was used to analyze the data and estimate preference weights for the ASCOT-Carer measure. Results: The most valued aspect by English participants was the 'occupation' attribute at its highest level. Results further showed participants rated having no control over their daily life as the lowest attribute-level of all those presented. The position of the 7 attributes influenced participants' best and worst choices, and there was evidence of both scale and taste heterogeneity on preferences. Conclusion: This study has established a set of preference-based index values for the ASCOT-Carer in England derived from the best-worst scaling exercise that can be used for economic evaluation of interventions on older individuals and their informal carers.

Access source material through DOI

Caregiving for older adults requiring hemodialysis: A comparison study

This study examined differences in caregiving appraisal between primary family caregivers of disabled older adults receiving hemodialysis (PFCGs-wHD) and disabled older adults not receiving dialysis (PFCGs-woD). A total of 242 PFCGs -wHD and 335 PFCGs-woD were included in the analyses. We used adjustment by propensity score to control for bias by confounding factors. Caregiving appraisal was measured in terms of role strain, emotional exhaustion, and caregiving satisfaction. On the first task, PFCGs-wHD demonstrated significantly worse levels on all three appraisal indicators than did PFCGs-woD. On the second task, only higher emotional exhaustion was significantly mediated by higher role strain in PFCGs-wHD. Further, PFCGs-wHD status directly influenced lower caregiving satisfaction without mediation by higher role strain. Caregiving for disabled older adults receiving HD may be associated with significant challenges for caregivers. 

Access source material through DOI

Caregiving Across Diverse Populations: New Evidence From the National Study of Caregiving and Hispanic EPESE

Background and Objectives: The current study employs population-based data to determine the extent to which stress and coping factors are related to self-rated health and distress for informal caregivers (CGs) from the 3 largest racial/ethnic groups in the United States (non-Latino White, African American, and Mexican American).; Research Design and Methods: Data on primary, informal CGs are obtained from the 2015 National Study of Caregiving (NSOC) (n = 667) and the 2016 Hispanic Established Populations for the Epidemiologic Studies of the Elderly (H-EPESE) CG supplement (n = 287). Logistic regression models of health are presented for all CGs and specifically for dementia CGs.; Results: Caregiving intensity is related to health for non-Latino White CGs and African American dementia CGs. Support from family and friends is related to better self-rated health, but only for African American dementia CGs. While better relationship quality is related to better health for African American CGs and White dementia CGs, formal support utilization is related to worse CG health for Mexican American dementia CGs.; Discussion and Implications: Findings emphasize the importance of earlier detection and intervention with CGs at the beginning in the caregiving career, the interplay of formal and informal support, and appropriate ways to intervene with dementia CGs. Culturally tailored home- and community-based care options are needed to supplement the low levels of CG support, especially for the Mexican American population.

Access source material through DOI

Caregivers of hip fracture patients: The forgotten victims?

Introduction: The burden that family and friends assume when caring for hip fracture patients can negatively impact the caregiver's quality of life, relationships, and the decision to place the patient in a care facility. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the burden of caregiving for intertrochanteric hip fractures to better counsel patients and caregivers in order to prevent delayed admission to a care facility. Methods: A retrospective analysis of a prospectively gathered elderly hip fracture database identified 29 patients and their caregivers with complete 6 month follow-up. Caregiver burden and depression scales were administered to the primary caregiver in the immediate perioperative period (baseline), at 3 month follow-up, and at 6 month follow-up. At each time point caregivers reported the effects of caregiving on their finances, work hours, relationships, and their willingness to admit the patient to a long-term care facility. Results: At 6 month follow-up, <30% of caregivers reported negative effects on their finances, relationships, work hours, or intent to place the patient in care facility, while 77% endorsed cherishing their time spent as a caregiver. The number of caregivers with a high caregiver burden remained stable at 20% over the 6 month follow-up; these caregivers were more likely to have a depressed mood (p < 0.01), to consider placement of the patient into a long-term care facility (p < 0.01), and to have negatively affected finances (p = 0.03) and relationships (p < 0.01). Conclusions: High degrees of burden were experienced by 20% of caregivers of hip fracture patients. Caregivers with high caregiver burdens were more likely to consider placement of the patient into a long-term care facility. Risk factors for high caregiver burdens should be identified to optimize the quality of caregiving after discharge and to prevent delayed admission to a long-term care facility. Level Of Evidence: Level IV, case series.

Access source material through DOI

Depressive symptoms among adult children caregivers in China: moderating effects of working status and gender

Objectives: With over one-fifth of the world's older population, shrinking family size and increasing number of women in the workforce, elder care is a growing challenge for families in mainland China. This study explored the moderating effect of working status and gender on caregiving time and depressive symptoms among adult children caregivers in mainland China. Method: Participants were 660 adult children caregivers from a nationally representative sample of individuals aged 45 + (N = 13,204) who participated in the China Health and Retirement Longitudinal Study (CHARLS) Wave 2 (2013). Multiple linear regression was used to analyze the direct effect of caregiving time and the moderating effects of working status and gender on symptoms of depression among caregivers. Results: Significant main effect between caregiving time and depressive symptoms was found controlling for demographic covariates. The three-way interaction between working status, gender and caregiving time was also significant. Working status and gender moderate the effect of caregiving time on depressive symptoms: among employed men and women caregivers, spending more hours providing care predicted fewer depression symptoms. Unemployed men caregivers who spent more hours providing care showed highest level of depressive symptoms. Conclusion: The relationship between caregiving time and depressive symptoms was moderated by working status and gender. Future research is needed to explore factors that influence changes in caregivers' health and well-being over time. 

Access source material through DOI

Personalisation, customisation and bricolage: how people with dementia and their families make assistive technology work for them

Assistive technologies (ATs) are being 'mainstreamed' within dementia care, where they are promoted as enabling people with dementia to age in place alongside delivering greater efficiencies in care. AT provision focuses upon standardised solutions, with little known about how ATs are used by people with dementia and their carers within everyday practice. This paper explores how people with dementia and carers use technologies in order to manage care. Findings are reported from qualitative semi-structured interviews with 13 people with dementia and 26 family carers. Readily available household technologies were used in conjunction with and instead of AT to address diverse needs, replicating AT functions when doing so. Successful technology use was characterised by 'bricolage' or the non-conventional use of tools or methods to address local needs. Carers drove AT use by engaging creatively with both assistive and everyday technologies, however, carers were not routinely supported in their creative engagements with technology by statutory health or social care services, making bricolage a potentially frustrating and wasteful process. Bricolage provides a useful framework to understand how technologies are used in the everyday practice of dementia care, and how technology use can be supported within care. Rather than implementing standardised AT solutions, AT services and AT design in future should focus on how technologies can support more personalised, adaptive forms of care.

Access source material through DOI

266 Patient and Carers Experience of an Acute Care at Home Team: A Service Evaluation

Background The Aim of the Acute Care at Home Team is to provide acute care to over 65's in the patient's own home, providing assessment and treatment of acute conditions such as pneumonia, urinary sepsis and heart failure. It is a multidisciplinary team that works together to streamline services to enable a patient to stay safely in their own home. A full comprehensive geriatric assessment is carried out in all patients to help improve patient outcomes. The patients have full access to in patient services such as scans, and x-rays. All blood tests are treated as urgent to ensure the patient is in no way disadvantaged by being treated by acute care at home compared with hospital care. The aims and objectives are to explore patient and family experiences and identify any areas for improvement. Methods A service users and carers experience Questionnaire (N=31) was used to gain insight into how satisfied the patient or family were with the service and what the experience was like having the team come into their home. Results Patient satisfaction with this Acute Care at Home Team was reported at 100%. Patients were happy with the care they received, 100% of patients were happy with staff's knowledge of their condition and treatment plan. All of the respondents stated they would both recommend the service and use it again. The qualitative responses were in keeping with 100% satisfaction in that they were positive in nature. Conclusion This service evaluation has shown that patient and carer experience of this Acute Care at Home Team is a positive one, with 100% satisfaction levels. There are some small areas to be improved upon, however the results show this service is providing the over 65 population with a good experience of being treated at home as an alternative to hospital care when acutely unwell. 

Access source material through DOI

65 The Health and Well-Being of Family Carers of Older People: An Exploratory Cross-Sectional Analysis

Background Family carers are critical to supporting older people to live well in their homes and demand for care at home is projected to increase dramatically into the future. The Irish state and health system, therefore, are dependent upon the supply of family care now and into the future. The health and well-being of older family carers, and carers providing care to older people in the community, is under-researched. Methods A combination of online and postal survey distribution achieved a convenience sample (N=1102) of carers from the membership and network reach of Ireland's largest family carer support and advocacy agency. Results Of those carers providing care to an older adult (n=341), 30% were aged over 64 and 28% reported mild to moderate carer burden. A further 36% reported moderate to severe burden. The average Zarit burden score for carers caring for an older adult was 44 (CI 42:45) and was 39 (CI 36:43) for family carers aged over 64. Among family carers of older adults, 72% reported diagnosis or treatment for physical illness and 42% reported diagnosis or treatment for mental illness. The most frequently cited source of worry for this group was their own health and wellbeing (73%) followed by lack of appropriate supports/services (68%). GPs were the most frequently cited source of support (64%) followed by a PHN (50%). Conclusion The study findings indicate that the lack of appropriate state supports and services for family carers is negatively impacting carer health and well-being. Family carers, including those providing care to older people and those who are themselves aged over 64, need to be consistently identified for intervention by health professionals, particularly GPs and PHNs. 

Access source material through DOI

119 The Perceptions of Older Patients and their Family or Caregivers Towards Physical Activity and Exercise in Hospital: A Qualitative Study

Background Between 30-60% of older people experience functional decline after hospitalisation which can be accelerated by inactivity in hospital. Family or caregivers can positively affect activity levels of hospitalised older people. We aimed to explore the perceptions of hospitalised older people and their family or caregivers towards physical activity and exercise during an admission to a Specialist Geriatric Ward in an acute hospital Methods A qualitative approach was taken, using semi-structured interviews with eleven patient participants and semi-structured focus groups with four family or caregivers. Thematic analysis was utilised to identify key themes. Results Three similar themes emerged from both groups: 1) personal feelings towards exercise or inactivity, 2) the role family/caregivers could play in facilitating exercise and 3) the role of hospital staff, which all impacted on participants' perceptions towards exercise in hospital. Personal influences including self-efficacy and appreciation of the importance of exercise resulted in more positive views towards activity. There was an acute awareness among some family of the dangers of inactivity. Uncertainty existed regarding the role family or caregivers have in increasing patient activity levels. Some patient participants believed family involvement may increase activity levels, while others thought it would compromise their independence. Both groups identified a need for more patient-specific information regarding activity in hospital. Both groups favoured hospital staff encouraging rather than restricting activity and felt that more doctors encouraging exercise would be helpful. The need for more opportunities for meaningful activity in hospital was highlighted. Conclusion Physical activity and exercise were perceived as important during hospital admission. Hospital staff should facilitate and enable increased opportunities for patient activity, and empower family or caregiver involvement in this where appropriate. 

Access source material through DOI

175 A Dyadic Approach to Life-Threatening Illness in Older Adults and their Spouse Carers

Background Little research focuses on the older adult with life-threatening illness and their carer simultaneously, nor the role of the interpersonal and familial context around them. The purpose of this study was to identify factors associated with poor mental health and lack of shared appraisal of symptoms. Methods Multilevel modeling was used to examine cross-sectional data from 135 older adult-spouse carer dyads with life-threatening illness (59 with congestive heart failure and 76 with lung cancer). This was a secondary analysis of quantitative data from two studies. Data were gathered using established measures of symptoms (dyspnoea, fatigue, pain), depression, concealment, relationship quality and family support with in-person interviews conducted separately for older adults and their carers. Diagnosis and stage of disease were gathered from clinical records. Results Older adults with heart failure reported significantly more depressive symptoms than older adults with lung cancer, whereas spouses caring for someone with heart failure reported significantly less depressive symptoms than those caring for someone with lung cancer. Greater levels of spouse depressive symptoms were significantly associated with less shared appraisal of the older adult's fatigue and pain interference, controlling for the quality of the relationship between them. Finally, risk factors for higher depressive symptoms of older adults included higher levels of concealing symptoms and worries from their spouse, advanced stage of disease, reporting low relationship quality and low levels of support from family. Risk factors for higher depressive symptoms of spouse carers included being younger and reporting low support from family. Conclusion Findings highlight the importance of taking a dyadic approach to life-threatening illness in older adults and the role of interpersonal and familial variables on the mental health of both members. Interventions to support and strengthen relationships and communication and address depressive symptoms of both members of the dyad are warranted.

Access source material through DOI

59 Male Family Carers' Perceptions of Formal Support Services, a Meta-ethnography

Background Family carers provide thousands of hours of unpaid work every year, a third of whom are men, however this group are generally under-represented in research. Comparative studies have shown that male carers experience their caring role differently to female counterparts. Social concepts related to masculinity can help to explain help-seeking behaviours of male carers, as well as their attitudes to accessing outside support. Compared to women carers, men have lower rates of uptake of formal support services. This aim of this review, therefore, was to examine accounts of male carers' experiences and perceptions of receiving formal support. Methods The study followed a meta-ethnography process starting with a systematic literature search of five electronic databases. The methodological quality of the included studies was evaluated using the McMaster checklist. Using NVivo 12 software, primary qualitative data was analysed and key themes were identified. Results were synthesised using Noblit and Hare's (1988) process of meta-ethnography, retaining direct quotes from the studies. Results Eighteen studies were included in the final paper. Three main themes were identified: 1) asserting control over the caring role 2) desire to excel in caring role and 3) coping without formal support. Conclusion For the most part, male carers expressed a desire to be competent in their caring role. Perceived loss of control within the caring relationship was a key factor when men had low trust and dissatisfaction with services. Support services that were collaborative, education-based and gender-sensitive were favoured by the men. To engage more male carers, service providers should acknowledge men's experience and capabilities as well as their wish to stay involved in decision-making around care for their family member. For men over the age of 85 male family carers outnumber females in Ireland (CSO 2016). It is important to understand male carers' experience to develop more inclusive supports and consequently increase service uptake

Access source material through DOI

Mental health of carers in Wales: a national population survey

Background Informal care is increasingly common in ageing populations. However, the impact of caring responsibilities on carers’ mental health remains unclear. We used data from the HealthWise Wales (HWW) cohort to examine the impact of caregiving on the mental health of carers. Methods HWW collects demographic, lifestyle, and opinion data, which are linked to routine health-care records, from individuals aged 16 years or older who live in Wales, UK (n=21 779). Mental health was assessed by use of the short Mental Health Inventory (MHI-5) and self-reported diagnosis of mental health conditions. Data on diagnosis of common mental disorders (CMD), including depression and anxiety, were obtained from linked health-care records. Level of caring responsibilities and its impact on the individual's work were self-reported. We estimated associations between caring responsibilities and CMD using logistic regression adjusting for gender, age, and deprivation. HWW received ethics approval from Wales Research Ethics Committee (REC) 3 on March 16, 2015 (reference 15/WA/0076). All participants gave informed consent digitally as a pre-requisite for registration online. Findings The cohort included 3682 carers; 2791 (76%) were female, 2833 (77%) were aged 45 years or older, and 1900 (53%) lived in more deprived areas. The cohort of non-carers included 10 023 people; 7107 (71%) were female, 6030 (60%) were aged 45 years or older, and 4814 (49%) lived in more deprived areas. Of those identifying as carers, 1271 (35%) of 3607 with linked health records self-reported a CMD and 1331 (44%) of 3057 with linked health records had a diagnosis of a CMD versus 3029 (31%) and 2992 (36%) of non-carers, respectively. There was 80% agreement between self-report and recorded diagnosis of a CMD in health-care records. Compared with non-carers, carers were 1·3 times more likely to have an MHI5 score indicating current CMD (odds ratio [OR] 1·28, 95% CI 1·17–1·40; p<0·0001). Participants who had previously given up work to provide care were also more likely to have an MHI5 score indicative of a CMD (1·67, 1·47–1·88; p<0·0001). Being a carer was further linked to the likelihood of self-reported diagnosis of a CMD (1·21, 1·11–1·32; p<0·0001) and of diagnosis of a CMD from health-care records (1·32, 1·21–1·44; p<0·0001), even after adjusting for sociodemographic factors. Interpretation This study suggests that caring is linked to poor mental health, emphasising the potential burden of caring responsibilities on the carers’ mental health across the population. While acknowledging the cross-sectional nature of these data, these findings highlight the need to develop and test interventions that can support informal carers to protect their mental health. Funding Health and Care Research Wales.

Access source material through DOI

Caregiving time costs and trade-offs: Gender differences in Sweden, the UK, and Canada

Population ageing is putting pressure on pension systems and health care services, creating an imperative to extend working lives. At the same time, policy makers throughout Europe and North America are trying to expand the use of home care over institutional services. Thus, the number of people combining caregiving responsibilities with paid work is growing. We investigate the conflicts that arise from this by exploring the time costs of unpaid care and how caregiving time is traded off against time in paid work and leisure in three distinct policy contexts. We analyze how these tradeoffs differ for men and women (age 50-74), using time diary data from Sweden, the UK and Canada from 2000 to 2015. Results show that women provide more unpaid care in each country, but the impact of unpaid care on labor supply is similar for male and female caregivers. Caregivers in the UK and Canada, particularly those involved in intensive caregiving, reduce paid work in order to provide unpaid care. Caregivers in Sweden do not trade off time in paid work with time in caregiving, but they have less leisure time. Our findings support the idea that the more extensive social infrastructure for caring in Sweden may diminish the labor market effects of unpaid care, but highlight that throughout contexts, intensive caregivers make important labor and leisure tradeoffs. Respite care and financial support policies are important for caregivers who are decreasing labor and leisure time to provide unpaid care.

Access source material through DOI

Non-spouse companions accompanying older adults to medical visits: a qualitative analysis

Background Medical Visit Companions (MVCs) are encouraged for older adults' routine medical encounters. Little data exist on the experiences and contributions of non-spouse companions for the growing population of older adults without a living spouse. Methods We conducted six focus groups with forty non-spouse MVCs identified through churches in Baltimore, Maryland. Thematic analysis was used to identify key issues before the visit, during the visit itself, after the visit, and in the overall companion experience. Results MVCs described their experiences positively but also highlighted many challenges related to the role that extended far beyond the visit itself. These included scheduling, transportation, communication, and coordination of care expectations. Conclusion Our increasingly complex healthcare system can be challenging for older adults to navigate successfully. The diverse nature of tasks performed by companions in this study highlight the many benefits of having a companion accompany older patients to medical visits. The positive experience of the companions studied and their willingness to continue their role in the future highlights the untapped potential for increased social facilitation to improve the quality of healthcare visits and achieve patient-centered care for all older patients.

Access source material through DOI

Contextual factors influencing medication management by rural informal caregivers of older adults

Background: Managing medications is an important part of the rural informal caregiver's role in the community setting, and the context within which care is provided plays an important role in shaping the work they perform. However, little is known about the intra- and interpersonal factors that impact the rural caregiver's involvement in and performance of medication management. Objectives: To identify contextual factors influencing medication management by rural informal caregivers of older adults. Methods: Four separate focus groups with rural caregivers of older adults were conducted with 5-9 caregivers per group. Participants were asked to describe the medication management activities performed and problems they encountered while providing assistance. Focus groups were recorded, transcribed verbatim, and analyzed for themes using an inductive approach. Results: Care recipient independence, or their ability and preference to perform medication-related activities without supervision, was a key factor driving the caregiver's involvement in medication management and how it was performed. Many caregivers used a team-based approach to medication management that supported the care recipient's independence. Care recipient health and function was a driver behind the need for caregiving, and declines in physical and mental health led to changes in how medication management was carried out over time. Caregiver location also impacted the ways in which medication management was performed by caregivers. Conclusions: Interventions and pharmacy services to support medication management by rural informal caregivers should be designed in a way that preserves and promotes the care recipient's independence, and should be tailored to the context within which caregiving is performed.

Access source material through DOI

Family Caregiver Factors Associated With Emergency Department Utilization Among Community-Living Older Adults With Disabilities

Background: Older adults with disability are frequent users of the emergency department (ED) and often rely on family caregiver support. We identify whether and which caregiver characteristics are associated with older adults' ED use. Methods: We use Cox proportional hazards regression to model the likelihood of all-cause ED use (defined as 1 or more visits within 12 months of survey) as a function of caregiver characteristics after adjusting for older adult sociodemographic and health characteristics. We draw from linked older adult and caregiver surveys and administrative claims, creating a sample of 2521 community-living older adults with mobility/self-care disability receiving care from a family or unpaid caregiver. Results: About half (52.5%) of older adults receiving mobility or self-care help incurred 1 or more ED visits within 12 months of interview. Adjusting for year of data collection, sociodemographic characteristics, and health status, these older adults were at greater risk of all-cause ED use if their primary caregiver provided greater than 40 hours of care per week (hazard ratio [HR] 1.22, 95% CI 1.04-1.43; P = .02), helped with health care tasks (HR 1.26; 95% CI 1.08-1.46; P < .01), or experienced physical strain (HR 1.18; 95% CI 1.03-1.36; P = .02). Conclusion: Caregiver strain, helping with health care tasks, and greater hours of help per week are associated with heightened risk of ED use among older adults receiving mobility or self-care help. Study findings suggest the potential benefit of caregiver assessment and support.

Access source material through DOI

Older Adult Factors Associated With Identified Need for Family Caregiver Assistance During Home Health Care

Family caregivers make important contributions to home health care for older adults, but knowledge of the specific roles they assume is lacking. We analyzed data from 1,758 community-dwelling Medicare beneficiaries aged 65+ receiving Medicare-funded home health care between 2011 and 2016, using linked National Health and Aging Trends Study and Outcomes and Assessment Information Set data. Most (86.7%) beneficiaries receiving home health care had an identified need for family caregiver assistance, and nearly 6 in 10 (57.9%) had identified need for caregiver assistance with five or more tasks. After examining significant associations between older adult characteristics and identified needs for caregiver assistance with specific tasks, we identified three profiles of older adults who demonstrate similar patterns of identified need for family caregiver assistance during home health. These profiles include: (1) older adults with greater functional impairment who more often had identified need for assistance with Instrumental Activities of Daily Living, advocacy, or Activities of Daily Living; (2) older adults with cognitive impairment who more often had identified need for assistance with medication administration or supervision; and (3) older adults with greater clinical severity who more often had identified need for assistance with medical procedures and equipment. Findings support calls to develop training interventions and strengthen the partnership between home health providers and family caregivers. These three profiles present a potential framework for the development of family caregiver training programs.

Access source material through DOI

Policy Brief on Ageing No. 22: The challenging roles of informal carers

The number of older people with care or support needs is on the rise across the UNECE region. While there are efforts to expand formal long-term care services to respond to this growing demand, informal care forms the backbone of long-term care (LTC) provision across the UNECE region. There is diversity in the way long-term care provision is organised and financed across the region as well as with regard to the status, recognition and support provided to informal carers. Although informal carers cover an estimated 70 to 95 per cent of all care needs,  they are often called the ‘invisible workforce’ in long-term care systems as they are rarely registered or counted and their status as informal care provider is often not formally recognized. The majority of informal care is provided by women.

By covering for the gaps in both short-term and long-term formal care provision, thus “co-producing” care services alongside professional service providers, informal carers help prevent or delay the need for institutionalization of people in need of care or support and are enabling them to remain living at home. 

It is challenging for informal carers to cover short-term care needs for a family member, neighbour or friend. It becomes even more demanding the longer this activity has to be performed, especially when informal carers might themselves be of advanced age and care recipients themselves. Policy measures are needed to address the growing need for care in a way that prevents strain on families and caregivers and protects their health and well-being. Public policies need to ensure that informal carers will not be forced to reduce or give up paid employment, face social exclusion and ultimately be caught in a poverty trap.

This policy brief focuses on informal carers who provide long-term informal care to older persons. It addresses the policy challenge to support informal carers in a multifaceted way, identifying key challenges faced by informal carers and policy strategies to address them. 

Original source (some source materials require subscription or permission to access)

Community and caregiver perceptions of giving care to seniors

Background: Family caregivers of seniors and disabled adults frequently bear the responsibility of aiding in instrumental activities of daily living and locating resources, often while raising their own families. As the demand for care rises, caregivers may experience declining physical health and increased social and emotional stress compared to their noncaregiving counterparts. This study aims to better understand the journey of unpaid family caregivers and identify opportunities for improvement across organizations, policies, systems, and teams. Research design and methods: A purposive sample of 28 current and former unpaid caregivers of seniors or people with disabilities (26 females and 2 males) participated in four separate focus groups. Recordings were transcribed verbatim and analyzed using open coding. Results: Six major themes surrounding the experience of caregiving emerged from the coding process: Ambivalence, “Boiling Point,” Coping, Acknowledgment and Acceptance, Family Dynamics, and Interaction with the System. Focus groups indicated an urgent need to identify and support unpaid caregivers earlier in their trajectory of caring for a senior and to provide consistent, right-time resources over the trajectory of the senior’s lifespan. Discussion and implications: The rational, emotional, and relational components of caregiving represent distinct but overlapping themes within the experience of giving care. Each theme influences another, creating an experience that is complex, fluid, and sensitive to change. The system surrounding caregivers must proactively identify caregivers as equal members of the care team for a senior or disabled adult early in the patient’s disease trajectory.

Access source material through DOI

Caring for Aging Populations: Examining Compassion Fatigue and Satisfaction

Stamm’s Professional Quality of Life Scale (ProQOL) was utilized to examine compassion fatigue and compassion satisfaction among three types of caregivers: formal (employed in a caregiver role), adult child (caring for an aging parent), and spouse/partner (caring for significant other). Data were collected from a sample of 87 adults who were currently (for 6 months or longer) providing care to an individual 65 years of age or older. The results revealed that formal caregivers had significantly higher compassion satisfaction scores compared to both adult child and spouse/partner caregivers. Additionally, results indicated that formal caregivers had significantly lower compassion fatigue scores than adult child caregivers. Although limited by the homogeneities in the sample of convenience, this study suggests that family caregivers could benefit from additional support in providing care. Furthermore, research should be conducted to examine factors that contribute to formal caregivers’ increased satisfaction and decreased fatigue in an effort to inform family caregivers. 

Access source material through DOI

Exploring caregivers' perspectives on improving care for older people at the end of life in Thailand

Background: Older people in Thailand receive general medical and social care at the end of life, and many rarely access palliative services. In light of this, improving the quality of care for the ageing population relies on addressing the needs of family caregivers, who provide the majority of care in a home setting. Understanding caregivers' perspectives when caring for a friend or relative will help to improve the quality of care that they provide. Aim: To explore caregivers' perspectives on improving care for older people in Thailand in the palliative stage. Methods: A qualitative study using in-depth interviews and observation of 10 older people in the palliative stage and their caregivers was undertaken. Data were analysed using content analysis. Findings: Data analysis revealed three themes: caregivers cared to repay the older person's previous kindness, caregivers cared and changed their caregiving behaviour to minimise the older person's perception of being abandoned or being a burden, and to follow Thai ancestral traditions, so that the older person could die peacefully. Conclusion: This study provides specific instructions for those who provide care for older Thai people in the palliative stage. Finding ways to address caregivers' perspectives on improving care quality could enhance the experience of care recipients.

Access source material through DOI

Multi-part quality evaluation of a customized mobile application for monitoring elderly patients with functional loss and helping caregivers

Background: The challenges faced by caregivers of the elderly with chronic diseases are always complex. In this context, mobile technologies have been used with promising results, but often have restricted functionality, or are either difficult to use or do not provide the necessary support to the caregiver - which leads to declining usage over time. Therefore, we developed the Mobile System for Elderly Monitoring, SMAI. The purpose of SMAI is to monitor patients with functional loss and to improve the support to caregivers' communication with the health team professionals, informing them the data related to the patients' daily lives, while providing the health team better tools. Method: SMAI is composed of mobile applications developed for the caregivers and health team, and a web portal that supports management activities. Caregivers use an Android application to send information and receive care advice and feedback from the health team. The system was constructed using a refinement stage approach. Each stage involved caregivers and the health team in prototype release-test-assessment-refinement cycles. SMAI was evaluated during 18 months. We studied which features were being used the most, and their use pattern throughout the week. We also studied the users' qualitative perceptions. Finally, the caregiver application was also evaluated for usability. Results: SMAI functionalities showed to be very useful or useful to caregivers and health professionals. The Focus Group interviews reveled that among caregivers the use of the application gave them the sensation of being connected to the health team. The usability evaluation identified that the interface design and associated tasks were easy to use and the System Usability Scale, SUS, presented very good results. Conclusions: In general, the use of SMAI represented a positive change for the family caregivers and for the NAI health team. The overall qualitative results indicate that the approach used to construct the system was appropriate to achieve the objectives. 

Access source material through DOI

Caregiver Interventions for Adults Discharged from the Hospital: Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

OBJECTIVES: To review the evidence evaluating the effectiveness of informal caregiver interventions to facilitate the recovery of older people discharged from the hospital. DESIGN: Systematic review and meta-analysis. SETTING: Hospital and community. METHODS: Published and unpublished randomized and nonrandomized controlled trials assessing the effectiveness of informal caregiver interventions to support the recovery of older people discharged from the hospital were identified (to March 2019). The primary outcome was patient health-related quality of life (HRQOL). Secondary outcomes included patient function, caregiver burden, caregiver HRQOL, psychological distress, adverse events, and health resource use. Studies were critically appraised and meta-analyzed. PARTICIPANTS: Adults who had been admitted to the hospital. RESULTS: A total of 23 studies were eligible (4695 participants). The indication for hospital admission was stroke in 21 trials (91%). Interventions consisted of training and/or skills-based programs, with or without home visits/telephone follow-up. Caregiver interventions for patients following stroke may provide no benefit for patient HRQOL at 12 months (standardized mean difference =.29; 95% confidence interval = -.12 to.69; low-quality evidence). Caregiver interventions demonstrated benefit for caregiver burden and both patient and caregiver anxiety at 12 months. No consistent effect was found on functional outcomes, depression, HRQOL, adverse events, or health resource use measures. CONCLUSIONS: Informal caregivers who receive training to facilitate the recovery of older people discharged from the hospital following stroke may have a lower burden and reduced anxiety at 12 months compared with those who do not. However, the evidence was moderate to low quality. Further study is warranted to explore whether caregiver interventions can be modified for nonstroke populations such as those with hip fracture. 

Access source material through DOI

Progress and Policy Opportunities in Family Caregiver Assessment: Results From a National Survey

Family caregivers play an essential role in long-term services and supports (LTSS). Despite numerous calls for robust caregiver assessment policies to determine needs and treat them as partners in care planning, there has been limited information about whether or how states assess caregiver needs and strengths, or use caregiver information. Using cross-sectional survey data from the 2015 Process Evaluation of the Older Americans Act National Family Caregiver Support Program (NFCSP), this study analyzes caregiver assessment policies and practices in 54 State Units on Aging, 619 Area Agencies on Aging, and 642 local service providers. It examines whether and for what purposes caregiver assessments are used, what domains are included, and how well current policies conform to recommended practice. It also recommends that policy makers who influence NFCSP and other LTSS programs develop caregiver assessment practices using a multidimensional framework including more caregiver-focused domains and utilizing assessment data to measure program outcomes. 

Access source material through DOI

The impact of the absorbent products distribution system on family caregivers of older people with incontinence in Italy: Perception of the support received

Background: Urinary incontinence is a chronic, age-related disorder, likely to increase in the future due to global population ageing. In Italy, as in most countries, older people with incontinence are often cared for by family caregivers, whose burden might be worsened by the perception of receiving an inadequate support, due to the lack of customized services. The aim of this study was to evaluate the impact of the absorbent products distribution method on family caregivers' perception of the support received. Methods: The study compared the distribution of pads to homes and in pharmacy via a survey reaching 101 family caregivers of older people with incontinence living in two geographical areas of the Marche Region (Central Italy) with different distribution systems. The association between "Quality of perceived support" (the outcome variable) and two types of absorbent products delivery methods (i.e. pharmacy and home distribution) was analysed by means of a general linear model. Results: Findings show that family caregivers receiving pads at home (HODs) perceived a higher support than those gaining them at the pharmacy (PHADs) (respectively 68.1% vs 35%). The association between perceived support level and distribution system remained even after correction for confounding factors. 70.2% of PHADs reported "Poor well-being", versus only 53.7% of HODs. The latter are more satisfied with the type of products distribution and thus less inclined to experiment different systems for the supply of products for the urinary continence (e.g. by voucher). The results are virtually reversed among PHADs and the difference is statistically significant (p < 0.001). Conclusions: When family caregivers feel supported by a more customized service delivery system, their perception of the care-related burden is mitigated. Thus, it is important to consider the needs of both family caregivers and cared for older people, and not only of the latter for designing a more suitable distribution of absorbent products. The best solution could be leaving end-users the freedom to choose how they want to get products (e.g. voucher or personal budget). This requires a reorganization of the current pads delivery systems adopted by the Marche and by other Italian Regional Health Systems. 

Access source material through DOI

Redesigning care for older people to preserve physical and mental capacity: WHO guidelines on community-level interventions in integrated care

Islene Araujo de Carvalho and coauthors discuss the WHO guidelines on integrated care for older people.

Summary points:

  • Numerous underlying physiological changes occur with increasing age, and for older people, the risks of developing chronic diseases and care dependency increase.
  • Health systems are often better designed to respond to episodic health needs than to the more complex and chronic health needs that tend to arise with increasing age, and reprioritization is required to meet the needs of ageing populations.
  • Significant losses in capacity and care dependency in later life can be delayed or avoided if health interventions are introduced earlier in the process of functional decline.
  • We discuss the recommendations of the WHO Integrated Care for Older People (ICOPE) Guidelines, which provide evidence-based recommendations for managing declines in intrinsic capacity, developed with the Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development and Evaluation (GRADE) methodology.
  • Implementation of evidence-based interventions requires community-based assessment of an individual’s needs, development and implementation of a care plan, provision of monitoring and referrals as needed, and supporting caregivers.
Access source material through DOI

The design and methodology of a usability protocol for the management of medications by families for aging older adults

BACKGROUND: Health research apps often do not focus on usability as a design priority. This is problematic when the population of interest is disproportionately underrepresented as users of mobile apps, especially observed with aging older adults (> = 75). Challenges with the adoption of health information technology (HIT) among this group are exacerbated by poor design and user interface/experience (UI/UX) choices. This protocol describes the testing and evaluation process of one HIT app for the family-based collaboration platform InfoSAGE. METHODS: We aim to recruit twenty subjects from both informal family-caregivers and aging older adults to examine the usability of the InfoSAGE mobile medication manager. Participants will be audio and visually recorded, in addition to the use of screen capture recordings, while 'thinking aloud' as they complete eight common use-case scenarios. Multiple independent reviewers will code video and audio recordings for thematic analysis and use problems will be evaluated. Success and failure of each scenario will be determined by completion of sub-events. Time-to-complete analysis will be used to ascertain the learning curve associated with the app. DISCUSSION: Frequently observed problem areas will be used as the basis of further evolution of the app, and will further inform generalized recommendations for the design of HIT apps for research and public use. This study aims to improve the model of development for dual user populations with dissimilar technological literacy to improve retention and use. Results of this study will form the foundation of a design framework for mobile health apps.

Access source material through DOI

The caregiving dyad: Do caregivers’ appraisals of caregiving matter for care recipients’ health?

Caregiving experiences matter for caregivers’ own wellbeing, but few studies link caregivers’ burden and benefit perceptions with recipient outcomes. Following the stress process model, I prospectively explore how caregivers’ experiences shape recipients’ mental health. I match US National Health and Aging Trends Study and National Study of Caregivers, employing logistic regression on 781 older adult-informal caregiver dyads. I examine how caregivers’ appraisals shape recipients’ subsequent depression and anxiety, with caregiver mental health and recipient unmet care need as key covariates. Recipients receiving care from caregivers reporting predominantly benefits are less likely to become depressed than counterparts receiving care from persons reporting predominantly burden. Recipients receiving care from persons reporting benefits even alongside low or moderate burden are also less likely to become anxious. Recipient unmet care need, but not caregiver mental health, is associated with recipient mental health. Improving caregiver conditions may have benefits for both dyad members. 

Access source material through DOI

Coping and anxiety in caregivers of dependent older adult relatives

The aim of this study was to analyze the relationship between coping and anxiety in caregivers of dependent older adult relatives. A cross-sectional study was carried out in the province of Jaén (Andalusia, Spain). The convenience sample consisted of 198 family caregivers of dependent older adults. The main measurements were anxiety (Hamilton scale), coping (Brief COPE), subjective burden (Caregiver Strain Index), objective burden and sex of the caregiver. The main analyses were bivariate analysis using the Pearson correlation coefficient, and multivariate analysis using multiple linear regression. An independent regression model was developed for anxiety and each type of coping, adjusting for sex, subjective burden and objective burden. Our results demonstrate that anxiety was negatively associated with planning (partial r = -0.18), acceptance (partial r = -0.22) and humor (partial r = -0.20), and it was positively associated with self-distraction (partial r = 0.19), venting (partial r = 0.22), denial (partial r = 0.27) and self-blame (partial r = 0.25). Planning, acceptance and humor coping strategies may be protective factors of anxiety. Strategies such self-management, relief, denial and self-blame may be risk factors for anxiety.

Access source material through DOI

Comparing Assessments of Physical Functional Independence in Older Adults with Mobility Limitations

Objectives The aims of the study were (1) to assess the agreement and correlation between self-reported functional independence and observations of family caregivers in a heterogeneous population of community-dwelling older adults with disabilities and (2) to determine how self-reports and caregiver reports correlate with evaluator rated functional independence over time. Design Data were drawn from a larger, randomized controlled trial examining the effects of a caregiver-inclusive intervention on outcomes of care recipients and their family caregivers. Functional independence measures were obtained using a self-report version of the Functional Independence Measure (care recipient self-reported Functional Independence Measure, caregiver self-reported Functional Independence Measure) and the Functional Autonomy Measurement System (evaluator perspective). They were administered at baseline (preintervention) and after the intervention at 6, 22, and 58 wks. Results Bivariate correlation analyses of 90 dyads consisting of older care recipients and their family caregivers reported moderate to very strong correlations between the three functional independence measures across all time points (rS = 0.45-0.91, P &lt; 0.01). Bland-Altman analyses revealed a small systematic bias between care recipient and caregiver assessments of functional independence, with participants reporting higher scores across all time points (mean difference = 2.00-2.97). Conclusions There is substantial consistency among the self-assessed, caregiver-assessed, and evaluator assessed functional independence of older adults. Caregivers may be used as proxies for community-dwelling older adults without severe cognitive impairments with functional limitations. 

Access source material through DOI

Needs-focused interventions for family caregivers of older adults with cancer: a descriptive interpretive study

Purpose: Although family caregivers (FCs) of older adults with cancer (OACs) provide invaluable assistance by fulfilling multiple tasks along the cancer trajectory, evidence suggests that their needs are poorly assessed, and there is a scarcity of supportive interventions that influence their well-being. Viewing these issues as opportunities for improvement, we conducted this qualitative study to understand FCs’ needs and identify promising needs-focused interventions. Methods: This descriptive interpretive qualitative study was conducted in Quebec, Canada, in a French Canadian Oncology Clinic. Participants were FCs who were spouses or adult children (n = 25) of OACs aged 70 years or older. Data were collected via focus groups and were analyzed using an ongoing analytic process following each interview. Results: Three types of needs were of particular importance: information, relationships between FC and others, and care for oneself. The need for information was described in terms of the content, timeliness, and modalities in which information should be verbalized and delivered. The need for relationships specifically targeted health care providers (HCPs), family members, and OACs. The need to care for oneself was recognized as important throughout the cancer trajectory but also represented a challenge. Participants proposed innovative ideas for interventions, resources, and strategies for each type of need. Conclusions: According to our results, HCPs should systematically include FCs into OACs’ care plan through the use of concrete actions such as the “family systems approach” suggested by Duhamel, and integrate a systematic FC’s needs assessment.

Access source material through DOI

Moving beyond the first response phenomenon: Exploring carers’ views and experiences of being involved in research and development work

Purpose: In Sweden, the care of older people and people with disabilities is increasingly carried out by informal carers, often family members, who are unpaid and outside a professional or formal framework. While there is an increasing awareness of the role of carers within service systems and their own needs for support, their involvement in research is underexplored. The purpose of this paper is to explore carers’ views and experiences of involvement in research and development (R&D) work. Design/methodology/approach: A qualitative study was conducted, consisting of 12 individual interviews with carers from different local Swedish carer organizations. Findings: Core findings included carers’ discussions of the perceived challenges and benefits of their involvement in research, both generally and more specifically, in the context of their involvement in the development of a national carer strategy. Research limitations/implications: Limitations included the relative lack of male carer participants and the convenience sample. Practical implications: Authentic carer involvement in research demands a high level of engagement from researchers during the entire research process. The provided CRAC framework, with reference to the themes community, reciprocity, advocacy and circumstantiality, may help researchers to understand and interpret carer involvement in research and provide the prerequisites for their involvement. Originality/value: There is a dearth of studies that systematically examine carer involvement in research. This paper attempts to redress this gap by providing a nuanced analysis of carer involvement in R&D work from the perspective of carers themselves.

Access source material through DOI

The effectiveness of a life story program on stress reduction among Chinese American family caregivers of older adults

The study aims to examine the effectiveness of a life story program on reducing Chinese American family caregivers’ stress due to the burden of caregiving. This study conducted a quasi-experimental pre-posttest research design. A simple one-way ANOVA was performed to test the significance of the intervention on caregivers’ burden. The life story was not found to be directly statistically significant on reducing burden. However, through the life story intervention, it was discovered that among Chinese American family caregivers their perceived lower dependency of the care receiver, fewer needs of the care receiver and unknown time frame of continuation of care were statistically significant on the burden scale. The life story intervention improved family caregivers’ insight and judgment on the effect that care receivers’ needs and demands had on their continuation of caregiving. 

Access source material through DOI

Building Better Caregivers: A Pragmatic 12-Month Trial of a Community-Based Workshop for Caregivers of Cognitively Impaired Adults

Building Better Caregivers (BBC), a community 6-week, peer-led intervention, targets family caregivers of those with cognitive impairments. BBC was implemented in four geographically scattered areas. Self-report data were collected at baseline, 6 months, and 1 year. Primary outcome were caregiver strain and depression. Secondary outcomes included caregiver burden, stress, fatigue, pain, sleep, self-rated health, exercise, self-efficacy, and caregiver and care partner health care utilization. Paired t tests examined 6 month and 1-year improvements. General linear models examined associations between baseline and 6-month changes in self-efficacy and 12-month primary outcomes. Eighty-three participants (75% of eligible) completed 12-month data. Caregiver strain and depression improved significantly (Effect Sizes =.30 and.41). All secondary outcomes except exercise and caregiver health care utilization improved significantly. Baseline and 6-month improvements in self-efficacy were associated with improvements in caregiver strain and depression. In this pilot pragmatic study, BBC appears to assist caregivers while reducing care partner health care utilization. Self-efficacy appears to moderate these outcomes. 

Access source material through DOI

Recruitment of caregivers into health services research: Lessons from a user-centred design study

Background: With patient and public engagement in many aspects of the healthcare system becoming an imperative, the recruitment of patients and members of the public into service and research roles has emerged as a challenge. The existing literature carries few reports of the methods – successful and unsuccessful – that researchers engaged in user-centred design (UCD) projects are using to recruit participants as equal partners in co-design research. This paper uses the recruitment experiences of a specific UCD project to provide a road map for other investigators, and to make general recommendations for funding agencies interested in supporting co-design research. Methods: We used a case study methodology and employed Nominal Group Technique (NGT) and Focus Group discussions to collect data. We recruited 25 family caregivers. Results: Employing various strategies to recruit unpaid family caregivers in a UCD project aimed at co-designing an assistive technology for family caregivers, we found that recruitment through caregiver agencies is the most efficient (least costly) and effective mechanism. The nature of this recruitment work – thetimeandcompromises it requires – has, we believe, implications for funding agencies who need to understand that working with caregivers agencies, requires a considerable amount of time for building relationships, aligning values, and establishing trust. Conclusions: In addition to providing adaptable strategies, the paper contributes to discussions surrounding how projects seeking effective, meaningful, and ethical patient and public engagement are planned and funded. We call for more evidence to explore effective mechanisms to recruit family caregivers into qualitative research. We also call for reports of successful strategies that other researchers have employed to recruit and retain family caregivers in their research.

Access source material through DOI

Methods for involving people living with dementia and their informal carers as co-developers of technological solutions

This paper reports on the research methods used in five different projects aimed at supporting people living with dementia in their everyday lives and activities of daily living. In all five projects, people living with dementia and their informal carers were involved. Applied methods ranged from passive involvement in the form of observations to very active involvement consisting of consultation rounds and think-aloud sessions. The projects highlighted that people living with dementia can still contribute to the development of solutions that support them in the self-management of their symptoms and challenges, as well as technological solutions that support them in daily living. 

Access source material through DOI

Insights into the system of care of the elderly with mental disorders from the perspective of informal caregivers in Lithuania

Background: Changes in the demographics and respective growth of life expectancy and social needs make informal caregiving crucial component of comprehensive health and social care network, which substantially contributes to the health and well-being of the elderly. The purpose of this paper is to understand the system of care of elderly patients with mental disorders from the perspective of informal caregivers in Lithuania. Methods: We conducted five semi-structured focus group discussions with 31 informal caregivers attending to elderly patients with mental disorders. The data were audiotaped and transcribed verbatim. A thematic analysis was subsequently performed. Results: Five thematic categories were established: (1) the current state of care-receivers: Representation of the complexity of patients' physical and mental condition. (2) The current state of caregivers: Lack of formal caregivers' integration as a team; inadequate formal involvement of informal caregivers. (3) Basic care needs: The reflection of the group needs relating directly to the patient, care organisation and the caretaker. (4) The (non-) Readiness of the existing system to respond to the needs for care: Long-term care reliance on institutional services, lack of distinction between acute/immediate care and nursing, lack of integration between the medical sector and the social care sector. (5) Potential trends for further improvement of long-term care for the elderly with mental disorders. Conclusions: Strengthening of the care network for elderly patients with mental disorders should cover more than a personalised and comprehensive assessment of the needs of patients and their caregivers. Comprehensive approaches, such as formalization of informal caregivers' role in the patient care management and planning, a more extensive range of available services and programs supported by diverse sources of funding, systemic developments and better integration of health and social care systems are essential for making the system of care more balanced. 

Access source material through DOI

Implementation of a Psychosocial Intervention Program for Working Caregivers

The overall aim of this pilot study was to examine the feasibility and acceptability of a multicomponent, psychosocial intervention specifically designed to meet the unique needs of caregivers who are balancing caregiving duties with work responsibilities. Seventy-one family caregivers employed at a private, nonprofit institution in South Florida were randomized to either the Caregiver Workstation condition (n = 35) or a control condition (n = 36). Sixty-two caregivers completed the 5-month follow-up. Our results indicate that an intervention tailored to the time demands of a working caregiver is feasible, acceptable to caregivers, and has the potential to have positive long-term effects. Currently, there are limited data available regarding the benefits of employer programs for caregivers or the type of programs caregivers find most useful. This pilot study is the first step in developing a working caregiver intervention program that can be implemented on a broad-scale basis.

Access source material through DOI

Assessing Programs, Methods, and Policies to Engage and Empower Family Caregivers

This issue of Journal of Applied Gerontology includes an impressive collection of articles that highlight interventions, assess moderators, explore methodological approaches and emphasize the value of caregiver assessments, all within the context of supporting and empowering family caregivers. Recognition is growing of the sheer magnitude of caregivers (AARP Public Policy Institute estimates over 45 million) and the impact, both beneficial and challenging, of fulfilling this role. Several of these articles demonstrate that interventions designed to address caregivers’ varying needs, while remaining adaptable in their approaches, are likely to yield more positive participant outcomes. Each of these articles focuses on the caregivers’ needs while validating their caregiving experiences.

Access source material through DOI

Educating the next generation of family caregivers through the use of dynamic case studies

Between 2008 and 2016, students in an Introduction to Gerontology course were required to complete a dynamic case study project simulating caregiving arrangement decision making. Students were divided into groups representing typical multigenerational families and were required to determine how to develop caregiving arrangements to respond to an older family member’ s changing levels of need. The assignment concluded with students writing a final paper summarizing what they learned. This study examined the themes emerging from student group case study papers to gain an understanding of the challenges students face in understanding the dynamics of making family-based caregiving decisions. This is of particular importance as many students were seeking careers in human services and would be assisting clients in such decision-making processes, as well as involvement in decision making for their own family members. Themes that emerged from group papers and the implications related to gerontology education and policy are discussed. 

Access source material through DOI

Projecting future demand for informal care among older people in China : the road towards a sustainable long-term care system

The long-term care system in China relies heavily on informal care provided by family members. This study makes projections on the demand for informal care among Chinese older people between 2015 and 2035 and quantifies the level of long-term care resources needed to meet their needs. The data come from longitudinal information in a nationally representative sample, China Health and Retirement Longitudinal Survey 2011 and 2013. The macrosimulation approach (PSSRU model) and the Markov approach are integrated into one Bayesian modelling framework. The Monte Carlo simulation technique is used to capture parameter uncertainty. We project that the demand for informal care will increase from 41.3 million people (95 per cent CI: 39.9-42.7) in 2015 to 82.6 million people (95 per cent CI: 78.3-86.9) in 2035. The long-term care system faces unbalanced pressure of demand for informal care from different groups of older people. The projected demand is sensitive to changes in older people's disability trajectory and the availability of formal care provided by the government, but less sensitive to an increase in singleton households in the future. We discuss possible policy measures to alleviate the mounting pressure on the demand for informal care. 

Access source material through DOI

The dynamics of social care and employment in mid-life

This study investigates the relationship between the provision of informal care to older parents/parents-in-law and the employment status of adult children in mid-life. The study analyses unique panel data for a cohort of individuals born in 1958 in Britain, focusing on respondents at risk of providing care (i.e. with at least one surviving parent/parent-in-law) and in employment at 50. Logistic regression is used to investigate the impact of caring at 50 and 55 on employment status at 55, controlling for socio-demographic characteristics, the respondent's health status and their partner's employment status. Separate models examine (a) the likelihood of exiting the labour force versus continuing work, and (b) amongst those continuing in work, the likelihood of reducing hours of employment. Different types of care (personal, basic and instrumental support) are distinguished, along with hours of caring. The results highlight that providing care for more personal tasks, and for a higher number of hours, are associated with exiting employment for both men and women carers. In contrast, the negative impact of more intense care-giving on reducing working hours was significant only for men - suggesting that women may juggle intensive care commitments alongside work or leave work altogether. Facilitating women and men to combine paid work and parental care in mid-life will be increasingly important in the context of rising longevity. 

Access source material through DOI

Co-construction of an Internet-based intervention for older assistive technology users and their family caregivers: stakeholders’ perceptions

Purpose: Providing care to older adults using assistive technology can be challenging for family caregivers. To inform the development of an Internet-based intervention, this study aimed to identify older assistive technology users and family caregivers’ needs related to assistive technology procurement, and to explore how to offer remote support through an Internet-based intervention. Methods: Based on an iterative user-centered design approach, 30 semi-structured interviews were conducted with stakeholders about their experiences with assistive technology procurement/attribution and their perceptions of a proposed intervention. A modified content analysis approach was used, with a mix of emerging and a priori concepts. Results: Participants view assistive technology procurement as an ongoing cyclical process, with potential unmet needs at key moments before and after assistive technology procurement. Assistive technology user-family caregiver dyads needs focus on assistive technology information, access, assistive technology-person-context match, training and support. While participants felt there were benefits to the proposed intervention they also identified potential implementation barriers. Conclusion: Assistive technology Internet-based interventions dedicated to family caregivers should ensure systematic and tailored follow-up while integrating some form of human support. This study guides the prototype design of the proposed intervention towards a graded support approach, empowering assistive technology users and family caregivers to resolve assistive technology-related challenges. Implication for rehabilitation Providing home-based care to older adults using assistive technology (e.g., mobility aids, communication aids) can be challenging for family caregivers. Using a user-centered design approach, an Internet-based intervention is under development to support older assistive technology users and their family caregivers. Through interviews with diverse stakeholders, this study explores unmet needs related to assistive technology procurement and perceptions about the proposed intervention. 

Access source material through DOI

Assessing mechanisms of benefit in adult day programs: the adult day services process and use measures

Objectives: A limitation of adult day service (ADS) research is that there remains little understanding of how these community-based long-term care programs operate to benefit clients or family caregivers (i.e. the process of ADS use). The purpose of this study was to validate the ‘ADS Process and Use Measures’ (APUM) which were developed to assess such mechanisms. Method: Participant observation and semi-structured interviews in two ADS settings resulted in qualitative data to inform a conceptual model, subscales, and Likert-scale items. Three experts in ADS research reviewed the initial 129-item version of the APUM to establish content validity, and 27 family caregivers of current or prior ADS clients provided feedback on face validity of a subsequent 58-item version. Results: Principal components and confirmatory factor analyses on a sample of 269 family members of ADS clients recruited from 90 programs throughout the U.S. established a measure featuring 5 domains, 12 reliable subscales, and 49 items. Analysis of discriminant and convergent validity found that various subscales from four of the domains (Why ADS is Used, Events Prior to Use, Why ADS Does Not Work, and Pathways to Benefits) were significantly associated (p < 0.05) with family caregiver distress and ADS client quality of life variables. Conclusion: The ADS Process and Use Measures effectively assess mechanisms of program benefit and could help to enhance the overall quality of these critical community-based long-term care options for older persons and their families. 

Access source material through DOI

Global Convergence: Aging and Long-Term Care Policy Challenges in the Developing World

Aging around the world poses a global challenge in eldercare. This challenge is particularly felt in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs), where population aging outpaces the development of aged care policies and services. This Perspective highlights the phenomenon of global convergence in several unsettling trends and challenges shared across LMICs. These include the weakening of informal family care systems for the elderly, growing need for formal long-term care of the frail and disabled who can no longer be adequately supported by family members, and mounting pressures for policy responses to tackle these societal challenges. It is argued that policymakers should take a proactive stance. That is, when family care for the elderly falls short and family caregivers are increasingly under strain, the government should step in and step up support to fill in the gap by developing appropriate policies and a continuum of long-term care services that are accessible and affordable for the majority of older people in need. Three general principles are then suggested with regard to long-term care provision, financing, and quality assurance, which transcend national borders and can be used to guide long-term care policymaking across LMICs.

Access source material through DOI

Risk and protective factors associated with domestic abuse among older Chinese in the People's Republic of China

Objectives: To identify risk and protective factors associated with elder abuse among older Chinese with cognitive and physical impairment in the People's Republic of China (PRC). Methods: 1002 dyads of care recipients and family caregivers were interviewed. Results: The mutually reported rates were 9.7%, 0.8%, 33.2%, and 39.7% for psychological abuse, physical abuse, financial exploitation, and caregiver neglect respectively. Caregiver burden, care recipient neuropsychiatric symptoms, and cognitive impairments are prominent risk factors, while protective factors associated with multiple abuse subtypes include caregiver's use of emotion-focused and solution-focused coping, perception of familism, and premorbid relationship rewards. Distinct factors were observed for respective forms of abuse. Psychological abuse with family poverty; Caregiver neglect with caregiver's substance use and poor physical health; Financial exploitation with caregiver's neurotic personality, as well as care recipient's younger age, absence of chronic illness, and co-residence between the caregiver and care recipient. Discussion: Both similar and distinct factors were observed for different forms of abuse, potentially useful for designing prevention and intervention programs. 

Access source material through DOI

Coping strategies and psychological distress in family carers of frail older people: A longitudinal study

Background: Carers of dependent older people experience high levels of psychological distress. However, little is known about the effects of coping on carer distress over time. In this one year longitudinal study we investigated the relationship between distress, and coping strategies in a representative sample of family carers living in Spain. Methods: Primary carers of older people were recruited (N = 200). We used probability sampling and collected data via individual interviews from 2013 to 2015. Variables investigated included psychological distress, coping, and levels of objective and subjective burden. Panel data analysis was used to test a model of association of psychological distress, and coping strategies controlling for key confounders. Results: Acceptance and emotional support were the most frequently used strategies, whereas behavioural disengagement and humour were the least used. In the panel data regressions, positive reframing (B = -0.79, p < 0.001), self-distraction (B = -0.46, p = 0.034), substance use (B = 0.57, p < 0.001) and denial (B = 0.57, p = 0,049) were significantly related to psychological distress at one year follow-up. Limitations: Limitations include participant drop out and assessing substance use coping via a brief measure. Conclusions: Positive reframing and self-distraction were longitudinally associated with lower levels of carer psychological distress. Using denial and substance use coping increased distress long-term. Our results suggest that interventions that focus on positive reframing and assisting carers in decreasing dysfunctional coping may be useful therapeutic targets mitigating carer psychological morbidity. 

Access source material through DOI

Assistive robots for socialization in elderly people: results pertaining to the needs of the users

Background/aim: Technological solutions can support the elderly, improve their quality of life and reduce isolation and loneliness. The Euro-Japan ACCRA (Agile Co-Creation for Robots and Aging) project has the objective of building a reference co-creation methodology for the development of robotic solutions for ageing. The aim of this study is to provide a pilot qualitative analysis of the real needs of elderly people and their caregivers when exposed to conversational activities with robots and to identify priority needs that should be developed from end-user perspectives. Methods: A qualitative research design was adopted to define a pre-structured questionnaire that was administered to the elderly taking part in the piloting sessions. Three groups of end-users were included: subjects with an age ≥ 60 years, informal caregivers and formal caregivers. Results: The interviews were carried out in Italy and Japan. A total of 17 elderly and 36 caregivers were recruited. Common needs in the two sites were categorized into 3 groups: Communication; Emotion Detection and Safety. General robot acceptance level is good and perception is positive among participants in the pilot sites. Conclusion: A positive perception of the elderly on the application of a robotic solution was found and many are the needs that could be addressed by an appropriate and careful robotic development taking into account the real needs and capabilities of the involved subjects. 

Access source material through DOI

Give me a break: Design for communication among family caregivers and respite caregivers

This study focuses on solutions to issues that arise from gaps in communication between primary family caregivers of older adults and respite caregivers. We collected data through 18 semi-structured interviews with primary family and respite caregivers and qualitatively analyzed the interviews to extract common needs. Participants identified three main needs that our designs address: building trust through status updates, learning routines & care management, and accessing technology. Based on those needs, we designed a prototype of an application which connects primary family caregivers with respite caregivers and facilitates communication between the involved parties. This design can serve as a framework for future work designed to improve elder care in general, the well-being of caregivers, and the efectiveness of respite care. 

Access source material through DOI

Knowledge Gaps About End-of-Life Decision Making Among Mexican American Older Adults and Their Family Caregivers: An Integrative Review

Introduction: Mexican Americans (MAs) are the largest, fastest growing Latino subgroup in the United States, yet their use of hospice is limited. To better understand this disparity, the authors conducted an integrative review focused on MA caregiving families’ end-of-life (EOL) care decisions. Method: In this literature review, the authors content analyzed results and discussions of 22 research studies focused on EOL decisions, which sampled MA adults at least 50 years old and/or families. The authors used Whittemore and Knafl’s integrative review process, employing constructs from the Ethno-Cultural Gerontological Nursing Model. Results: Topics included attitudes toward hospice, life-sustaining treatment, advance care planning, EOL decision making, perceptions of a good death, and life-limiting illnesses. EOL research for MA caregiving families is meager, largely atheoretical, and rarely validated by subsequent studies. Discussion: Nursing research is needed to extend theory and policy in order to skillfully match EOL care with MA caregiving families’ needs.

Access source material through DOI

Development of a Brief Caregiver-centric Screening Tool to Identify Risk of Depression among Caregivers of Hospitalized Older Adults

Objectives: Caregivers of hospitalized older adults experience elevated levels of stress and are at risk of poor health outcomes. There is a lack of screening tools based on self-reported caregiver variables incorporating both protective and risk factors, for early identification of at-risk caregivers. This study reports the development of a caregiver-centric screening tool to identify risk of depression at admission and predicts 3-month risk of depression and quality of life amongst caregivers of older adults with an unplanned admission. Design, Setting and Participants: This prospective cohort study was conducted in the medical wards of a tertiary-care hospital from July 2015 to May 2017. We recruited family caregivers of patients aged 65 years and above who fulfilled the following criteria: a) unplanned admission, b) not residing in nursing homes; and c) requiring assistance in activities of daily living. Measurements: We examined 11 candidate caregiver variables (mastery, burden and nine demographic variables). Risk of depression (score ≥8 on Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS-D) depression subscale) was the primary outcome, and was assessed during the index admission. Logistic regression models were used to identify risk factors and risk scores (weights). The total risk scores were then stratified into three risk levels. Predictive validity of the screening tool was assessed using 3-months post-discharge risk of depression and health-related quality of life (HRQoL). Results: The study included 274 caregiver-patient dyads. The mean (SD) age of the caregivers was 59 (10) years with 33.6% caregivers screening positive for risk of depression. The final model comprised three caregiver variables: mastery, burden and education. The total risk scores ranged from 0 to 6 and showed good discrimination (AUC:0.82, 95% CI: 0.77 to 0.87). Caregivers were classified into low-risk (0–1 points), intermediate-risk (2–4 points), and high-risk (5–6 points) groups, with corresponding rates of risk of depression (HADS-D≥8) of 10.7%, 44.6% and 73.3%, during admission. Relative risk rates of the intermediate- and high-risk group using the low-risk group as reference were 4.16 and 6.84 respectively. At 3-months post-discharge, the rates of caregivers at risk of depression or having poor HRQoL also increased corresponding to the three risk levels as per baseline, supporting the predictive validity of the tool. Conclusions/Implications: The caregiver-centric tool is a novel, practical, self-administered, relatively brief caregiver-centric instrument that can be used for rapid screening and stratification of caregivers at risk of depression. Uniquely, the tool comprised of assessment of protective factor (mastery) in addition to risk factors to provide a holistic assessment of the caregiver. It can be incorporated as part of older adults’ admission evaluation so that prompt intervention can be rendered to their at-risk caregivers. 

Access source material through DOI

Time to move? Factors associated with burden of care among informal caregivers of cognitively impaired older people facing housing decisions: Secondary analysis of a cluster randomized trial

Background: Making health-related decisions about loved ones with cognitive impairment may contribute to caregiver burden of care. We sought to explore factors associated with burden of care among informal caregivers who had made housing decisions on behalf of a cognitively impaired older person. Methods: We conducted a secondary analysis within a cluster randomized trial (cRT) conducted in 16 publicly-funded home care service points across the Province of Quebec. The cRT assessed the impact of training home care teams in interprofessional shared decision making (IP-SDM). We assessed burden of care with the Zarit Burden Interview (ZBI) scale. We adapted Pallett's framework to inform our data analysis. This framework posits that factors influencing burden of care among caregivers fall within four domains: (a) characteristics of the caregiver, (b) characteristics of the cognitively impaired older person, (c) characteristics of the relationship between the caregiver and the cognitively impaired older person, and (d) the caregiver's perception of their social support resources. We computed the ZBI score and performed multilevel linear regression modelling. Results: Among 296 caregivers included in the dataset, the mean ZBI score was 29.8 (SD = 17.5) out of 88. The typical participant was 62.6 years old (SD = 11.7), female (74.7%), and caring for a mother or father (61.2%). Using multivariate analysis, factors significantly associated with caregiver burden mapped onto: caregiver characteristics (caregivers with higher burden were female, experienced higher decision regret and decisional conflict, preferred that their loved one move into the caregiver's home, into a private nursing home or a mixed private-public nursing home, and had made the decision more recently); relationship characteristics (spouses and children experienced higher burden); and caregiver's perception of social support resources (caregivers who perceived that a joint decision making process had occurred had higher burden). Conclusion: In line with the proposed framework used, we found that caregiver characteristics, relationship characteristics and caregiver's perception of social support resources were associated with burden of care. Our results will help design interventions to prevent and/or reduce caregivers' burden of care. Trial registration: NCT02244359. Date of registration: September 18, 2014. 

Access source material through DOI

The hidden patient: chronic physical morbidity, psychological distress, and quality of life in caregivers of older adults

Aim Increasing demands for care provision to older adults require good physical and mental health among caregivers. Few studies have examined the health status and correlates of quality of life among caregivers of older adults. The present study therefore sought to examine the prevalence of chronic physical conditions, psychological distress, and correlates of physical and mental quality of life among caregivers of older adults (≥60 years) in Singapore. Methods Participants were 285 informal caregivers who were providing care to an older relative. Participants were recruited at the Institute of Mental Health, Singapore, and they completed self-report measures on chronic physical morbidity, psychological distress, and physical and mental quality of life. Multiple regression models were constructed to examine correlates of physical and mental quality of life. Results More than half of the caregivers had at least one chronic physical condition (58.6%) and psychological distress (52.6%). Chronic physical morbidity, psychological distress, and secondary education status were associated with lower physical quality of life. Psychological distress, younger age, primary education status, and more time spent caregiving were associated with lower mental quality of life. Conclusion Poor physical and mental health among caregivers may impair their ability to provide adequate care to older adults with progressive medical needs. It is important for medical practitioners not to neglect the physical and mental health of caregivers through continued assessment of chronic physical morbidity, psychological distress, and quality of life.

Access source material through DOI

Caregivers for the elderly in Thailand: development and evaluation of an online support system

Informal caregivers are playing a major role in helping elderly people with their activities in daily life. The purpose of this work is to develop an Online Support System for Elderly Care (OSSEC) to provide services for informal caregivers in Thailand. The system has six modules which are: patient and caregiver profile manager, elderly care recommender applying case-based reasoning, daily care plan manager, elderly care activity notifier, elderly care information resource locator and caregivers’ social interaction platform. We have established the utility of OSSEC in enhancing the knowledge and ability of informal caregivers and in reducing their stress. In particular, we measured quantitatively the usefulness of OSSEC and evaluated user satisfaction as well.

Access source material through DOI

The relationship between formal and informal care among Chinese older adults: based on the 2014 CLHLS dataset

Background The substitute or complementary effect of formal care on informal care service used by the elderly has been tested in Western countries. However, this effect is excluded from the discussion in the Chinese context. The identification of the relationship between informal care and formal care may imply different directions in policy-making. Thus, this study contributes to understanding the relationship between informal care and formal care among Chinese older adults. Methods Using the dataset from the Chinese Longitudinal Healthy Longevity Survey (CLHLS) in 2014, this study uses regression models and instrumental variable (IV) method to examine the impact of formal care on informal care. Results The results primarily show that formal care does not substitute informal care among Chinese older adults. In fact, formal care is a supplement to informal care in China. Conclusion It is expected that informal care will become less available in the future in China. Thus, policymakers should be concerned about the underdevelopment of formal care for the elderly in China

Access source material through DOI

Optimizing Participation of Older Adults with Cognitive Deficits Post-stroke: Types of Help and Caregiver Burden

This longitudinal mixed-method study examined the types of help provided by caregivers to optimize participation of older adults with cognitive deficits post-stroke (care recipients), and how these types of help varied with caregiver's burden. Twelve family caregivers of care recipients post-stroke completed a burden questionnaire and semi-structured interviews one month, three months, and six months following care recipient's discharge home from acute care, rehabilitation, or day hospital. Care recipients completed cognitive tests and a social participation questionnaire. Types of help caregivers provided differed according to the amount of daily living support, degree of concern for care recipient's well-being, and impact on caregivers' social life. Interestingly, types of help fostering care recipient's social participation, self-esteem, and abilities were unrelated to a negative impact on caregivers' social life. Understanding how different types of help relate to caregiver burden could improve the types of help to optimize care recipients' social participation without overburdening caregivers

Access source material through DOI

Accuracy of Adult Children's Perceptions of Mothers' Caregiver Preferences

Background and Objectives Most older mothers have strong preferences regarding which offspring will serve as their future caregivers, and violation of these preferences has been found to have consequences for mothers' psychological well-being. However, no study has examined the accuracy of adult children's perceptions of their mothers' caregiver preferences. In this article, we compare mothers' stated preferences for particular caregivers with their adult children's perceptions of their mothers' preferences. Research Design and Methods Data were collected from 675 adult children and their mothers nested within 285 families as part of the Within-Family Differences Study. Results Only 44.6% of adult children accurately reported their mothers' preferences for particular offspring as caregivers. Consistent with our hypotheses, accuracy was higher when mothers and children shared values regarding filial piety, and lower when children were parents, had poor health, and lived further away. Surprisingly, primary caregivers were substantially less likely to accurately report mothers' caregiver preferences than were noncaregivers. This counterintuitive pattern can be explained by the finding that most mothers were cared for by children whom they did not prefer and may have therefore been reluctant to share their preferences with those caregivers. Discussion and Implications Given the negative psychological consequences for mothers whose caregiver preferences are violated, the high level of inaccuracy found among adult children has important implications when mothers face serious health events. These findings underscore the need for intervention efforts to encourage practitioners and clinicians to collect information directly from mothers regarding preferences for particular offspring as caregivers.

[Correction: In “Accuracy of Adult Children’s Perceptions of Mothers’ Caregiver Preferences,” DOI: 10.1093/geront/gny064, the sentence: “Seventy-five percent of the adult children for whom contact information was available agreed to participate, resulting in a final sample of 833 children nested within 277 families.” should read: “Seventy-five percent of the adult children for whom contact information was available agreed to participate, resulting in a final sample of 826 children nested within 360 families.”]

Access source material through DOI

Male/Female Differences in the Impact of Caring for Elderly Relatives on Labor Market Attachment and Hours of Work: 1997-2015

Objectives: Using representative samples of the Canadian labor market (N = 5,871,850), this study examined male/female differences in the impact of informal care on labor market attachment, and the extent to which differences in labor market participation and employment relationships explained these differences over a 19-year period. Methods: We examined four outcomes related to labor market impacts associated with caring for elderly relatives: leaving the labor market, working part-time, taking time off work in the previous week, and the amount of time taken off from work. Regression models examined differences between men and women, and the extent to which gendered labor market roles accounted for these differences. Results: We observed an increase in all labor market outcomes over the study period. Women were more likely than men to experience each outcome. Adjusting for labor market role variables did not change these estimates appreciably. After adjustment for differences in labor market roles women were 73% more likely to leave the labor market, more than 5 times more likely to work part-time, and twice as likely to take time off in the last week due to informal care. Further, for temporary absences to provide care, women took an average of 160 min more per week than men. Discussion: Taken together, these results suggest an increasing impact of informal care on labor market participation in Canada between 1997 and 2005, and it remains gendered. 

Access source material through DOI

Quality of life predictors in informal caregivers of seniors with a functional performance deficit - an example of home care in Poland

Background: There is insufficient research into informal caregivers' quality of life (QoL) in Poland. The purpose of this work is to study predictors that considerably affect QoL of informal caregivers (IC) providing home care for seniors with chronic diseases and a functional performance deficit. Materials and methods: In the cross-sectional research design, ICs were randomly chosen among the geriatric population receiving care in 5 primary health care settings. The WHOQoL-AGE questionnaire was used to assess QoL of ICs (n=138). The Barthel scale and Polish version of the Abbreviated Mental Test Score (AMTS) were applied to assess individuals with chronic diseases and functional and mental performance deficits (n=138). The Geriatric Depression Scale Short Form (GDS-SF) was used to measure the extent of risk of depressive symptoms in care-receivers. A hierarchical regression analysis was carried out to determine predictors of caregivers' QoL. Results: Mean values in the group of seniors provided with home care were as follows: the Barthel scale M=43.20, SD=27.06, the AMTS M=7.78 (SD=1.65), and the GDS-SF M=7.34 (SD=3.10). QoL of ICs (the WHOQoL-AGE) was M=70.14 (SD=15.31). Significant predictors of caregivers' QoL turned out to be support in care given by others β =0.605, p<0.001, experience in care β =-0.220; p<0.001, caregivers' health self-assessment β =0.174, p<0.001, and depressive disorders in care-receivers GDS β = −0.178, p<0.001. Conclusions: The QoL of ICs who provide care for individuals with chronic diseases and a functional performance deficit improves with an increase in the support they receive from others, their higher health self-assessment, and greater experience in care. An increase in depressive symptoms in care-receivers determines a lower level of caregivers' QoL.

Access source material through DOI

Care Stress Experienced by Caregivers of Elderly Individuals With Disabilities and the Coping Strategies Utilized: A Survey Study in the City of Nanjing, China

The objectives of this study were to (1) analyze the circumstances of caregivers of elderly individuals with disabilities; (2) present their levels of care stress; (3) examine family, market, and government factors that help reduce this care stress; and (4) identify the most effective method of alleviating stress for these individuals. Face-to-face interviews were conducted using standardized questionnaires. Caregivers experienced a moderate level of stress, which increased with time. Spouse caregivers experienced highest care stress, with psychological stress being greatest. All caregiver groups received different levels of care assistance from family, market, and government. Most received support from family, few paid for professional care market services, and most were unsatisfied with government care services. Stress was associated differently with care time, care assistance, and sociodemographic characteristics. Spouse caregivers, psychological counseling, and quality of public care services require further attention, with an integrated care system required to help alleviate care stress among caregivers.

Access source material through DOI

Caregiving for Older Adults with Limited English Proficiency: Transitioning from Hospital to Home

Background: Although the family caregiver workforce is increasingly diverse, little is known about culturally and linguistically diverse caregivers and patients for whom they care. Caregiver roles include communicating with health care teams on behalf of patients with language barriers.; Objective: Our objective is to describe characteristics and experiences of caregivers for patients with limited English proficiency (LEP) immediately following hospital discharge.; Design: Cross-sectional.; Participants: Primary informal caregivers for Chinese- and Spanish-speaking patients with LEP discharged from a large academic medical center's orthopedic surgery, general surgery, and cardiovascular inpatient floors from June 2012 to August 2013.; Main Measures: Bilingual-bicultural research assistants conducted baseline structured interviews with patients or surrogates in the hospital, and 3 weeks after discharge, gathering demographic and health information. They then interviewed by phone informal caregivers, identified by patients, to determine caregiving experiences.; Key Results: One hundred fifty-eight caregivers were interviewed post-discharge. Two-thirds (69.0%) were adults caring for parents or grandparents, and 20.9% were spouses or partners. Sixty-nine (43.7%) caregivers had LEP themselves, yet only 12% of patients reported having access to professional interpreters at the time discharge instructions were provided. Ninety percent reported performing three or more caregiving roles for the patient (helping at home, helping with medical decisions, helping with medical forms, helping communicate with medical staff, and talking with doctors about medical care). Forty percent reported moderate/high levels of perceived stress (some, most, or all of the time) caring for the patient. Multivariate regression revealed caregivers for Chinese-speaking patients, and those for patients discharged to another hospital were most likely to report moderate/high levels of perceived stress.; Conclusion: Culturally and linguistically diverse caregivers perform multiple roles caring for patients with LEP, often have LEP themselves, and experience notable levels of stress. These results also demonstrate an opportunity to expand the use of professional interpreters at hospital discharge to avoid communication errors.

Access source material through DOI

Economic costs of informal care for people with chronic diseases in the community: Lost income, extra welfare payments, and reduced taxes in Australia in 2015–2030

We estimated the economic costs of informal care in the community from 2015 to 2030, using an Australian microsimulation model, Care&WorkMOD. The model was based on data from three Surveys of Disability, Ageing, and Carers (SDACs) for the Australian population aged 15–64 years old. Estimated national income lost was AU$3.58 billion in 2015, increasing to $5.33 billion in 2030 (49% increase). Lost tax payments were estimated at AU$0.99 billion in 2015, increasing to AU$1.44 billion in 2030 (45% increase), and additional welfare payments were expected to rise from $1.45 billion in 2015 to AU$1.94 in 2030 (34% increase). There are substantial economic costs both to informal carers and the government due to carers being out of the labour‐force to provide informal care for people with chronic diseases. Health and social policies supporting carers to remain in the labour force may allow governments to make substantial savings, while improving the economic situation of carers.

Access source material through DOI

Perceptions of family caregivers on the implementation of the cordial older family nursing model: A qualitative study

Objectives: This study aims to understand the perceptions of family members as caregivers on the implementation of the cordial older family nursing model.; Method: This study used a qualitative phenomenological study with an in-depth interview. A total of 18 Participants were selected using a purposive sampling technique. The data from the participants was acquired through semi-structured interviews. Subsequently, the data were analyzed using the Colaizzi method. This study has obtained approval from the research ethics committee.; Results: This study highlighted five focal themes, include (1) expressed emotions among caregivers, (2) caregivers of the older persons, (3) the impact of the cordial older family nursing model, (4) caregivers' expression of gratitude toward the older persons, and (5) barriers to providing nursing through the cordial older family nursing model.; Conclusion: Family caregivers have some issues concerning how to provide care to older persons in wide-ranging activities. Post implementation of the cordial older family nursing model revealed that family caregivers showed positive values and attitudes such as emotional expression, types and means of care, and appreciation of the older persons.;

Access source material through DOI

Homebound Status and the Critical Role of Caregiving Support

The homebound population relies on both paid and family caregivers to meet their complex care needs. In order to examine the association between intensity of caregiving support and leaving the home, we identified a population of community-dwelling, homebound Medicare beneficiaries age ≥65 (n = 1,852) enrolled in the 2015 National Health and Aging Trends Study and measured the support they received from paid and family caregivers. Those who had ≥20 h of caregiving support per week had 50% less odds of being "exclusively homebound" (rarely or never leave home) (OR 0.56, p < .01). Policies that facilitate increased support for family caregivers and better access to paid caregivers may allow homebound individuals who would otherwise be isolated at home to utilize existing community-based long-term care services and supports.

Access source material through DOI

Predictors of Secondary Role Strains Among Spousal Caregivers of Older Adults With Functional Disability

Background and Objectives: Aging spouses commonly care for a partner with functional disability, but little is known about how spousal caregiving may impact different life domains. This study evaluated how caregiving characteristics are associated with secondary role strains among spousal caregivers. Research Design and Methods: This cross-sectional study examined 367 spousal caregivers and their partners from the 2011 National Health and Aging Trends Study and National Study of Caregiving. Hierarchical regressions were estimated to determine how caregiver background factors (sociodemographics, health conditions) along with primary objective (care activities, care recipient health conditions, and dementia status) and subjective (emotional caregiving difficulties, role overload) stressors are linked to care-related valued activity restriction, negative caregiving relationship quality, and care-related family disagreements. Gender differences were considered. Results: After accounting for all predictors, older caregivers and caregivers providing more help with activities of daily living and health system interactions (e.g., scheduling appointments) were more likely to report activity restriction, whereas caregivers with more emotional difficulties reported higher negative caregiving relationship quality. Role overload was positively associated with all three secondary strains. For husbands only, caring for a partner with more chronic conditions was linked to higher negative caregiving relationship quality and caring for a partner with dementia was associated with a greater likelihood of family disagreements. Discussion and Implications: Secondary role strains may develop through similar and unique pathways for caregiving wives and husbands. Further research is needed to identify those who could benefit from support in managing their care responsibilities alongside other life areas.

Access source material through DOI

Measuring triadic decision making in older patients with multiple chronic conditions: Observer OPTION

Objective: To develop a valid and reliable tool to measure triadic decision making between older adults with multiple chronic conditions (MCC), their informal caregivers and geriatricians. Methods: Video observational study with cross-sectional assessment of interaction during medical consultations between geriatricians (n = 10), patients (n = 108) and informal caregivers (68) by three calibrated raters at the geriatric outpatient department of two Dutch hospitals. The Observer OPTIONMCC instrument was developed, based on the 'Dynamic model of SDM in frail older patients' and the 'Observing Patient Involvement in Decision Making - 5 item scale' (Observer OPTION-5). Results: Factor analysis confirms that it is acceptable to regard the new scale as a single construct. The 7-item single factor solution explained 62.76% of the variability for geriatricians, 61.60% of the variability for patients and 54.32% of the variability for informal caregivers. The inter-rater ICC for the total Observer OPTIONMCC score was .96, .96, and .95 (resp. geriatricians, patients, informal caregivers), with values ranging from .60 to .95 for individual items, showing good levels of agreement. Conclusion and Practice Implications: We conclude that Observer OPTIONMCC is sufficiently valid and reliable to be used for the assessment of triadic SDM in populations of older patients with MCC.

Access source material through DOI

Female Family Caregivers' Experiences During Nursing Home Admission: A Phenomenological Qualitative Study

The experience of nursing home (NH) admission has a significant impact on older adults and their relatives. The aim of the current study is to describe the life experiences of female family caregivers (N = 20) after long-stay NH admission of their relative. A qualitative phenomenological approach was followed with purposeful sampling. Data were collected over 18 months using unstructured interviews, letters, and diaries and were analyzed using systematic text condensation analysis. Three themes emerged: The Value of Experience: Deciding on Admission and Defending One's Criteria; Living on Two Sides of the Same Coin; and Maintaining Contact. Results provide insight into female caregivers' experiences of NH admission, which may improve relationships established between female family caregivers and NH staff and help inform the decisionmaking process.

Access source material through DOI

Well‐being loss in informal care for the elderly people: Empirical study from China national baseline CHARLS

Introduction: Well‐being is an important component of health, while informal care plays a vital role in daily care of the elderly. However, the effects of informal care on the well‐being of the elderly remain unclear. This study was aimed to estimate such effects, in which well‐being was measured by 2 subjective indicators: happiness and life satisfaction. Methods: Potential endogeneity was purified using instrumental variables. Data were collected from national baseline China Health and Retirement Longitudinal Study (CHARLS). Results: Receiving informal care would decrease the elderly's happiness score and life satisfaction score significantly. The health produced from informal care cannot offset the health depreciation caused by aging. Discussion To improve the well‐being of the elderly, caregivers have more to do and policymakers can design designated care policies based on our results.

Access source material through DOI

Spousal Caregivers Are Caregiving Alone In The Last Years Of Life

Caregiving in the last years of life is associated with increased depression and negative health outcomes for surviving spouses, many of whom are themselves in poor health. Yet it is unclear how often spouses are caregiving alone, how they differ from supported spouses, and whether lack of support affects postbereavement outcomes. We hypothesized that spouses who were solo caregivers--that is, the only caregivers (paid or unpaid) who provided assistance with a spouse's selfcare or household activities--would experience more depression after bereavement than supported spouses would. Using information from the Health and Retirement Study, we found that 55 percent of the spouses of community-dwelling married people with disability were solo caregivers. Solo caregiving was even common among people who cared for spouses with dementia and those with adult children living close by. Bereavement outcomes did not differ between solo and supported caregiving spouses. Caregiving spouses are often isolated and may benefit from greater support, particularly during the final years before bereavement. While some state and federal policy proposals aim to systematically recognize and assess caregivers, further innovations in care delivery and reimbursement are needed to adequately support seriously ill older adults and their caregivers. Ultimately, the focus of serious illness care must be expanded from the patient to the family unit.

Access source material through DOI

Work-Related Opportunity Costs Of Providing Unpaid Family Care In 2013 And 2050

Older Americans living in the community who need help with functional limitations overwhelmingly rely on unpaid care, which is often provided by working-age family members. This study assessed the impact of unpaid family caregiving on the likelihood of working and hours worked for caregivers and calculated the related cost of forgone earnings in 2013 and 2050. The current economic cost is about $67 billion, which by midcentury will likely double to $132-$147 billion, fueled primarily by the growth of the disabled older population and the increased share of better-educated caregivers. Average opportunity cost per caregiver will likely increase by 8-20 percent and per US resident by 54-72 percent. Future policy action could benefit from accounting fully for the economic costs in addition to the benefits of unpaid caregiving, which would help better define the scope and size of programs needed to support caregivers. 

Access source material through DOI

The relationship between elder care-giving and labour force participation in the context of policies addressing population ageing: A review of empirical studies published between 2006 and 2016

This paper systematically reviews empirical research published between 2006 and 2016 on the relationship between informal care-giving to elders and labour force participation (LFP). It does so in the context of Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development policy responses to population ageing. In this context, conclusions regarding the LFP and care-giving relationship should at least be applicable to the sub-population of working-aged individuals who are most likely to provide informal elder care. Currently, these are women in mid-life and the recipients of their care are mostly extra-residential parents. The review's key conclusion is that mid-life women care-givers of elderly parents are significantly likely to reduce their working hours and also to work fewer hours relative to their non-care-giving counterparts. In drawing this conclusion, the review shows that studies finding only modest care-giving effects on LFP either do not adequately control for care-giving intensity or their conclusions apply to sub-populations less likely to be affected by policies addressing population ageing.

Access source material through DOI

Older persons’ experiences of adapting to daily life at home after hospital discharge: a qualitative metasummary

Background Researchers have shown that hospitalisation can decrease older persons’ ability to manage life at home after hospital discharge. Inadequate practices of discharge can be associated with adverse outcomes and an increased risk of readmission. This review systematically summarises qualitative findings portraying older persons’ experiences adapting to daily life at home after hospital discharge. Methods A metasummary of qualitative findings using Sandelowski and Barroso’s method. Data from 13 studies are included, following specific selection criteria, and categorised into four main themes. Results Four main themes emerged from the material: (1) Experiencing an insecure and unsafe transition, (2) settling into a new situation at home, (3) what would I do without my informal caregiver? and (4) experience of a paternalistic medical model. Conclusions The results emphasise the importance of assessment and planning, information and education, preparation of the home environment, the involvement of the older person and caregivers and supporting self-management in the discharge and follow-up care processes at home. Better communication between older persons, hospital providers and home care providers is needed to improve the coordination of care and facilitate recovery at home. The organisational structure may need to be redefined and reorganised to secure continuity of care and the wellbeing of older persons in transitional care situations.

Access source material through DOI

What Are the Characteristics of Caregivers Logging in for Support Services?

Background and Objectives: Online service delivery options have the potential to increase access to informational resources among caregivers to older adults. However, it is unknown which caregivers will use online-delivered services over usual service delivery modes (e.g., by phone) when both options are available in social service settings. This is important for service providers to know when making decisions that best serve their communities. Research Design and Methods: Guided by Andersen’s model of health service utilization, we used step-wise logistic regression models to compare the characteristics of caregivers who used an online information service called FCA CareJourney (FCA CJ) with those who accessed the same services using the usual mode of service delivery (N = 540). Online and usual-care services were available through two social service organizations in California. Results: In all, 13.7% of clients used FCA CJ to receive services online. Enabling characteristics were the main predictors of using online-delivered services. Caregivers employed part-time had 3.82 times the odds of using online-delivered services compared to those employed full-time (odds ratio [OR] = 3.82; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.58–9.22). Caregivers who learned about services from health care providers had 2.91 times the odds of using FCA CJ as those who learned about services through social services (OR = 2.91; 95% CI: 1.28–6.62). Even among those who learned about services online, 62.2% still accessed services using usual delivery modes. Discussion and Implications: Based on differences in the characteristics of caregivers using different service delivery modes and the low uptake of online-delivered services, we suggest online service delivery should supplement, not replace, usual delivery modes in social service settings. At the same time, user rates of online service delivery are likely modifiable. Given the potential for online-delivered programming to expand access to information services for caregivers, we recommend further examination into the effects of marketing online service delivery options to caregivers in novel ways

Access source material through DOI

Pilot Study of a Transitional Intervention for Family Caregivers of Older Adults

Objective : To conduct a formative evaluation of a transitional intervention for family caregivers, with assessment of feasibility, acceptability, appropriateness, and potential benefits. Methods : The intervention aimed to provide emotional support, information on community resources, and information and support for development of coping skills for the caregivers of patients aged 65 and older who were to be discharged home from an acute medical hospital admission. We used a one-group, pre- and three-month post-test study design. Results: Ninety-one patient-caregiver dyads were recruited. Of these, 63 caregivers (69%) received all five planned intervention sessions, while 60 (66%) completed the post-test. There were significant reductions in caregiver anxiety and depression following the intervention, and high rates of satisfaction. Discussion: This transitional intervention should be further evaluated, preferably with a control group, either as a stand-alone intervention or as one component of a comprehensive transitional intervention for older patients and their caregivers.

Access source material through DOI

Caring for a frail older person: the association between informal caregiver burden and being unsatisfied with support from family and friends

Background/objective: although informal caregivers (ICG) find caring for a relative mainly satisfying, it can be difficult at times and it can lead to a state of subjective burden characterised by -among others- fatigue and stress. The objective of this study is to analyse the relationship between perceived social support and subjective burden in providing informal care to frail older people. Methods: a descriptive cross-sectional study was conducted using data from a large nationwide longitudinal effectiveness study. Pearson correlations were calculated between the variables for support and burden. Logistic regression models were applied to determine the association between being unsatisfied with support and burden, taking into account multiple confounding variables. Results: of the 13,229 frail older people included in this study, 85.9% (N = 11,363) had at least one informal caregiver. Almost 60% of the primary informal caregivers manifested subjective burden, measured with the 12-item Zarit-Burden-Interview (ZBI-12). The percentage of informal caregivers that were unsatisfied with support from family and friends was on average 11.5%. Logistic regression analysis showed that being unsatisfied with support is associated with burden (OR1.85; 95%CI1.53–2.23). These results were consistent for the three groups of impairment level of the frail older persons analysed. Conclusions: the association between perceived social support and subjective caregiver burden was explored in the context of caring for frail older people. ICGs who were unsatisfied with support were more likely to experience burden. Our findings underline the importance of perceived social support in relation to caregiver burden reduction. Therefore efforts to improve perceived social support are worth evaluating.

Access source material through DOI

End‐of‐life priorities of older adults with terminal illness and caregivers: A qualitative consultation

Background: As older adults approach the end‐of‐life (EOL), many are faced with complex decisions including whether to use medical advances to prolong life. Limited information exists on the priorities of older adults at the EOL. Objective: This study aimed to explore patient and family experiences and identify factors deemed important to quality EOL care. Method: A descriptive qualitative study involving three focus group discussions (n = 18) and six in‐depth interviews with older adults suffering from either a terminal condition and/or caregivers were conducted in NSW, Australia. Data were analysed thematically. Results: Seven major themes were identified as follows: quality as a priority, sense of control, life on hold, need for health system support, being at home, talking about death and competent and caring health professionals. An underpinning priority throughout the seven themes was knowing and adhering to patient's wishes. Conclusion: Our study highlights that to better adhere to EOL patient's wishes a reorganization of care needs is required. The readiness of the health system to cater for this expectation is questionable as real choices may not be available in acute hospital settings. With an ageing population, a reorganization of care which influences the way we manage terminal patients is required.

Access source material through DOI

Training family to assist with physiotherapy for older people transitioning from hospital to the community: a pilot randomized controlled trial

Objective: To investigate the safety and effectiveness of augmenting physiotherapy with family-assisted therapy, to inform a future, fully powered trial.; Design: Parallel pilot randomized controlled trial.; Setting: Transition Care Program.; Participants: Thirty-five older adults with multimorbidity, recently hospitalized, with a mean age of 84.1 years (SD = 6.1 years) and mean Modified Barthel Index of 67.8 units (SD = 19.2 units), and 40 family members.; Interventions: The control group ( n = 18) received usual physiotherapy care. The experimental group ( n = 17) received usual physiotherapy care and family-assisted therapy from a family member trained by a physiotherapist.; Main Measures: Primary outcomes were falls-related self-efficacy measured by the Short Falls Efficacy Scale - International and falls during the intervention period. Secondary outcomes included daily steps, EQ-5D-3L (three-level version of the EuroQoL five-dimensional health-related quality of life questionnaire) and ICECAP-O (ICEpop CAPability measure for Older people), Modified Barthel Index and Modified Caregiver Strain Index.; Results: There were no between-group differences for falls-related self-efficacy. Relative to the control group, the experimental group was observed to have a reduced risk of falling (relative risk = 0.38, 95% confidence interval (CI) = 0.09-1.60) and a reduced falls rate (incidence rate ratio = 0.22, 95% CI = 0.04-1.20) was of borderline statistical significance. The experimental group walked a mean of 944 daily steps more than the control group (95% CI = 139-1748) and had a significant reduction in activity limitation. There were no between-group differences for quality of life or caregiver strain.; Conclusion: Augmenting physiotherapy with family-assisted therapy is feasible for older people transitioning from hospital to the community. A fully powered randomized controlled trial is indicated.

Access source material through DOI

Caregiving, ethnicity and gender in Māori and non-Māori New Zealanders of advanced age: Findings from LiLACS NZ Kaiāwhina (Love and Support) study

Objective: This study investigates sex and ethnicity in relationships of care using data from Wave 4 of LiLACS NZ, a longitudinal study of Māori and non‐Māori New Zealanders of advanced age. Methods: Informal primary carers for LiLACS NZ participants were interviewed about aspects of caregiving. Data were analysed by gender and ethnic group of the LiLACS NZ participant. Results: Carers were mostly adult children or partners, and three‐quarters of them were women. Māori and men received more hours of care with a higher estimated dollar value of care. Māori men received the most personal care and household assistance. Carer employment, self‐rated health, quality of life and impact of caring did not significantly relate to the gender and ethnicity of care recipients. Conclusions: Gender and ethnicity are interwoven in caregiving and care receiving. Demographic differences and cultural expectations in both areas must be considered in policies for carer support. 

Policy Impact: Female predominance in caregiving is a robust finding in ageing studies. That men, particularly Māori men, received more informal care suggests that more research is needed to tease out influential demographic and cultural factors, to underpin equitable carer support services.

Access source material through DOI

Family Caregiving Situations and Engagement in Advance Care Planning

Background: Family members are involved in the decision-making process of advance care planning (ACP). However, there is limited evidence about how family caregiving situations affect engagement in ACP. Objective: To understand how agreement on caregiving situations and caregiving burdens are predictive of engagement in ACP of older adults. Design: Cross-sectional secondary data. Setting/Subjects: Subjects were nationally representative of adults ages 65 or older from the National Health and Aging Trends Study. Measurements: Informal engagement in ACP was measured based on whether respondents had discussed an end-of-life care option. The study involving formal engagement in ACP asked whether respondents have completed durable powers of attorney or living wills. Family members' agreement on caregiving situations and caregiving burdens were used to measure caregiving situations. We also include sociodemographic and health-related variables. Results: Higher levels of disagreement between family members concerning care for older adults were associated with engagement in formal ACP (odds ratio [OR] = 0.5); there were higher levels of caregiver burdens with engagement in formal ACP (OR = 1.1). The factors of being age 85 or older (OR = 2.2) and having fallen down in the previous year (OR = 1.9) were also related to formal engagement in ACP. Being white and having high school diplomas were associated with both informal and formal engagement in ACP. Conclusions: Caregiving situations may affect care recipients' decision-making regarding informal and formal engagement in ACP in different ways, suggesting different intervention strategies for different types of ACP.

Access source material through DOI

Care for Caregivers: Understanding the Need for Caregiver Support

Most long‐term care for older adults in the United States is provided by informal caregivers (Ahmad, [Ahmad, K., 2012]), the majority of whom experience an intense range of emotions from satisfaction to loneliness. Counselors must consider this emerging population of caretakers and learn methods to encourage clinical services to address their need for support. This article delineates experiences and challenges of informal caregivers and provides suggestions for effective clinical services for caregiver populations.

Access source material through DOI

Characteristics and Difficulties of Informal Caregivers in Assisting Elderly People

Objective: This study aims to identify the informal caregivers' difficulties in assisting the elderly patients of the Programa Saúde da Família [Family Health Program] in Bambuí city, Minas Gerais State, Brazil. Methods: This is a transversal research, approved by the Certificado de Apresentação para Apreciação Ética (CAAE) [Certificate of Presentation for Ethical Appreciation] No. 0146.0.213.000-11. Seventy elderly people and their informal caregivers were interviewed and the collected data were analyzed. Results: The treatment of cognitive disorders in the elderly (32.9%) and the lack of knowledge about the health care delivered (20%) were the main difficulties stated by the caregivers. These results also showed a bivariate relationship with "difficulty during care": the caregivers who stated that they slept less (≤ 6 hours/night) (%), "did not have a caregiver course" (%) and did not have "leisure activity" (%); regression: individuals who affirmed that they had not completed a course for caregivers of the elderly. Conclusion: It was settled that actions aiming to support the informal caregiver in face of the numerous difficulties faced in the care of the elderly are essential.

Access source material through DOI
Original source (some source materials require subscription or permission to access)

A responsibility that never rests - the life situation of a family caregiver to an older person

Background: When the ageing population increases, the burden and responsibility of close family members will likely increase. Those closely related who assume a great responsibility can be significantly affected in health, well‐being and daily life. Aim: This study aims to describe the life situation when family caregivers are imposed responsibility for an older person with complex care needs in their own home. Methods: In this Swedish qualitative study, ten family caregivers were strategically selected in order to achieve variations in the life situation. A reflective lifeworld research design based on phenomenological philosophy was used throughout the data collection with the lifeworld interviews and the analytic process. Findings: In terms of extensive responsibility, the life situation is complex and involves emotions that are difficult to manage. In essence, a paradoxical life situation is described which is experienced as both voluntarily and nonchosen at the same time. The responsibility never rests. The essential meaning is further illustrated with three constituents: loss of freedom, contradictory feelings and affected relationships. Conclusion: A life situation with extensive responsibility for an older family member interferes with the whole life situation with an impact on health and relationships with other people. The findings are crucial for professional caregivers in order to capture the nature of family support in a way that enables a meaningful life for both the family caregiver and the older person being cared for. Knowledge of this will give professional caregivers an increased awareness of the life situation of family caregivers and provide a better understanding of the support they are longing for, and, in some countries, such as Sweden, also are entitled to by law.

Access source material through DOI

The art of maintaining everyday life: collaboration among older parents, their adult children, and health care professionals in reablement

Background: A shift in the work-divide among generations and an ageing population have altered the balance of care and support between families and welfare states. Although state policy has increasingly acknowledged that older adults ageing in place receive support from family members, how adult children perceive their collaboration with their parents and health care professionals in reablement services remains unclear. The aim of this study is to identify how adult children perceive the collaboration between older parents, family members, and health care professionals in reablement services. Methods: This study has a qualitative research design with a constructivist grounded theory approach. In total, 15 adult children - 6 sons, 8 daughters, and a daughter-in-law, aged 47-64 years - whose parents had received reablement services, participated in in-depth interviews. Results: Our findings clarify how children and their older parents' reablement services can collaborate to support how the adult children manage and maintain both their own and their parents' everyday lives. The core category derived from our data analysis was the art of maintaining everyday life, with four subcategories indicating the different dimensions of that process: doing what is best for one's parents, negotiating the dilemmas of everyday life, managing parents' reablement, and ensuring the flow of everyday life. Conclusion: To promote collaboration among older adults, their children, and health care professionals in reablement, health care professionals need to proactively involve older adults' family members in the reablement processes, particularly because older adults and their children do not always express all of their care-related needs to reablement services. 

Access source material through DOI

Women Caring for Our Aging in Place Seniors Will Lose Out because of U.S. Immigration Policies

Most older people experiencing chronic health problems, physical disabilities, and memory losses are still able to age in place in their own homes. However, they often need help from others to enjoy healthy, active, and independent lives. They turn mostly to family members, mainly women and usually their daughters, daughters-in-law or wives. But caring for frail elders has become more demanding and complex, and these family members often feel physically and emotionally overwhelmed and burnt out. They concede that they cannot do it alone. Others find it more difficult to hold full-or even part-time jobs. Hiring home (direct) care workers to assist their loved ones can be an effective solution to ease their caregiving responsibilities. However, these personal care aides, home health aides, and nursing assistants are already in short supply. Moreover, going forward the aging of the baby boomer population will result in an even greater demand for their services even as these jobs are often unattractive to American-born workers and turnover is high. This country's immigration policies will make it even more difficult for women caring for older persons to hire these workers. Over 25 percent of home care workers are low-skilled immigrants or foreign-born. However, the Trump administration's policies reduce the number of immigrants entering the U.S. and specifically choke off the various pathways that enable low-skilled persons to be hirable in the home care sector. Female caregivers seeking relief from their caregiving responsibilities will lose out unless we remove these immigration barriers.

Access source material through DOI

Do Family Caregivers Offset Healthcare Costs for Older Adults? A Mapping Review on the Costs of Care for Older Adults With Versus Without Caregivers

Background and Objectives: Older adults face significant long-term care and health care costs. But some of these costs can potentially be offset through family caregivers who may serve as substitutes for formal care or directly improve the care recipient’s health and reduce health care utilization and expenditures. This article reviews the current literature to determine whether it is possible through existing work to compare the costs of care for individuals with versus without family caregivers and, if not, where the data, measurement, and other methodological challenges lie. Research Design and Methods: A mapping review of published works containing information on health care utilization and expenditures and caregiving was conducted. A narrative approach was used to review and identify methodological challenges in the literature. Results: Our review identified 47 articles that met our criteria and had information on caregiving and health care costs or utilization. Although findings were mixed, for the most part, having a family caregiver was associated with reduced health care utilization and a decreased risk of institutionalization however, the precise difference in health care expenditures for individuals with caregivers compared to those without was rarely examined, and findings were inconsistent across articles reviewed.  Discussion and Implications: The number of family caregivers providing care to loved ones is expected to grow with the aging of the Baby Boomers. Various programs and policies have been proposed to support these caregivers, but they could be costly. These costs can potentially be offset if family caregivers reduce health care spending. More research is needed, however, to quantify the savings stemming from family caregiving.

Access source material through DOI

End-of-Life Preparations Among LGBT Older Canadian Adults: The Missing Conversations

LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender) older adults are more likely than their heterosexual peers to age with limited support in stigmatizing environments often poorly served by traditional social services challenging their preparedness for end of life. Fourteen focus groups and three individual interviews were conducted in five Canadian cities with gay/bisexual men (5 groups 40 participants), lesbian/bisexual women (5 groups 29 participants), and transgender persons (3 interviews, 4 groups 24 participants). Four superordinate themes were identified: (a) motivators and obstacles, (b) relationship concerns, (c) dynamics of LGBT culture and lives, and (d) institutional concerns. Several pressing issues emerged including depression and isolation (more common among gay and bisexual men), financial/class issues (lesbian and bisexual women), and uncomfortable interactions with health-care providers (transgender participants). These findings highlight the challenges and complexities in end-of-life preparation within LGBT communities.

Access source material through DOI

Factors Associated with Receipt of Training Among Caregivers of Older Adults

This study uses data from the 2015 National Health and Aging Trends Survey to investigate whether family and unpaid caregiver characteristics are associated with the receipt of caregiver training.

Access source material through DOI

Connecting Caregivers to Support: Lessons Learned From the VA Caregiver Support Program

Development and evaluation of supportive caregiver interventions has become a national priority. This study's aim was to evaluate how caregivers participating in the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Caregiver Support Program (CSP) use and value supportive services. Qualitative semi-structured interviews ( N = 50 caregivers) were the core of a mixed-methods design, and surveys ( N = 160) were supplemental. Caregivers who had used CSP services valued emotional, functional, and health care navigational support, calling support groups and the program coordinator their "lifeline." However, many described a lack of connection with the program-not knowing about or successfully engaging in program services-and needed more information about available resources. Caregivers in rural areas or caring for individuals with specific diseases reported needing tailored services to meet their unique needs. Policy makers and practitioners should proactively promote supportive services for caregivers. Future research should explore strategies for reducing barriers to accessing tailored support to meet the needs of a diverse caregiver population.

Access source material through DOI

Health effects of caring for and about parents and spouses

Informal caregiving is a potentially attractive alternative to formal care but may entail health costs for the caregiver. We examine the mental and physical health impact of providing informal care and disentangle the caregiving effect – the effect of caring for someone in need – from the family effect – the effect of caring about someone in need. We account for the main sources of endogeneity in the caregiving decision using Arellano-Bond difference GMM models. We use four waves (2010–2013) of panel data from the Dutch Study on Transitions in Employment, Ability and Motivation (STREAM). We find that caregiving harms the mental health of caregivers the effect is more prominent for spousal caregivers. On top of this, a negative health shock of a family member also has a direct negative effect on mental health, providing evidence of a family effect. Our findings thus highlight that the total effect of having a sick relative may be underestimated when the family effect is not adequately accounted for. As the caregiving effect differs substantially between various types of caregivers, policies to cushion these effects should specifically target those subgroups of caregivers that carry the largest burden of informal caregiving.

Access source material through DOI

Who provides care in the last year of life? A description of care networks of community-dwelling older adults in the Netherlands

Background: Home-based care networks differ in size and composition, but little is known about the characteristics of care networks for those nearing the end of their lives. This study aimed to identify different types of home-based care networks of community-dwelling older adults in the Netherlands and to assess the association between care network type and the health status and socio-demographic characteristics of care recipients. Methods/design: We used data from participants of the Longitudinal Aging Study Amsterdam (2001–2013) with chronic diseases or functional limitations who died within 12 months of their last interview and received home based personal and/or household care (n = 146). Latent Class Analysis was used to model distinct end-of-life care networks among this pooled cross-section of older people whose characteristics imply care needs. The Akaike information criterion was used to determine the optimal model. Associations between network type and care recipient characteristics were explored using conditional inference trees. Results: We identified four types of care networks; a partner network (19%) in which care was mainly provided by partners, with little care from private caregivers or professionals, a mixed network (25%) in which care was provided by a combination of children, professionals and/or other family members, a private network (15%) in which only privately paid care was provided, and a professional network (40%) in which care was mainly provided by publicly paid professionals, sometimes with additional care from family or privately paid caregivers. Care networks near the end of life showed similar characteristics to those identified for older people more generally, but care seemed to be more intensive in the last year of life compared to the years preceding it. End-of-life care networks were mostly related to age, educational level and partner status. Formal care substitutes informal care whenever there is no partner or child present and able to provide care. Conclusion: Our findings indicate that personal and household care can be quite intensive in the last year of life, especially for partner caregivers. To prevent caregiver burden, it is important that professionals make sure partner caregivers receive adequate and timely support to cope with the care situation.

Access source material through DOI

Family Caregiving in Serious Illness in the United States: Recommendations to Support an Invisible Workforce

Family caregivers provide the vast majority of care for individuals with serious illness living in the community but are not often viewed as full members of the healthcare team. Family caregivers are increasingly expected to acquire a sophisticated understanding of the care recipient's condition and new skills to execute complex medical or nursing tasks, often without adequate preparation and support, and with little choice in taking on the role. This review draws on peer‐reviewed literature, government reports, and other publications to summarize the challenges faced by family caregivers of older adults in the context of serious illness and to identify opportunities to better integrate them into the healthcare workforce. We discuss promising approaches such as inclusion of family caregivers in consensus‐based practice guidelines; the “no wrong door” function, directing consumers to needed resources, regardless of where initial contact is made; and caregiver‐friendly workplace policies allowing flexible arrangements. We present specific recommendations focusing on research, clinical practice, and policy changes that promote family‐centered care and improve outcomes for caregivers as well as persons with serious illness.

Access source material through DOI

Racial Differences in Caregiving: Variation by Relationship Type and Dementia Care Status

Objective: To examine differences between White and African American caregivers in strain, health, and service use in a population-based sample of informal caregivers for older adults. We also assessed whether relationship type (parent, other family, friend) and dementia care status (yes or no) were moderators of any racial differences. Method: We examined 887 informal caregivers via covariate-adjusted 3 × 2 × 2 factorial ANOVAs. Results: After covariate adjustment, there were few significant racial differences in caregiving strain, health, and service use. Dementia caregivers reported greater strain, and there were three-way interactions among relationship type, dementia care status, and race for physical strain and emotional stress. Discussion: Previous findings suggesting substantial racial differences in caregiver strain, which have primarily come from convenience samples that combined care relationship types, were not replicated. Racial and ethnic differences in caregiving may be context-specific. Historical changes in caregiving should be examined in future research.

Access source material through DOI

Do Income Supplemental Programs for Older Adults' Help Reduce Primary Caregiver Burden? Evidence from Mexico

In countries such as Mexico without formal public long-term care policies, informal care becomes the main source of support for older adults. Alternative social programs, such as supplemental income programs, for older adults could alleviate caregiver burden, especially if supplemental income were to be used for paid care or to compensate non-paid family caregivers. This work is the first to analyze the effects of a supplemental income program for older adults on primary caregiver burden. To identify how such a program might affect caregiver burden, we analyze rich panel data on 433 adults 70 years and older in two communities, one receiving a supplemental income program and the other not, in Yucatan, Mexico. Data were collected in 2008 and 2009 among treatment and control groups before and 6 months after program introduction. We employ a difference-in-differences approach. In our sample, most care is provided by non-paid female caregivers. We find that individuals in both the treatment and control groups received fewer hours of care over time. The decrease was lower for older adults who received the supplemental income, but the difference with those who did not was not statistically significant. We also observe few changes on caregiving burden; even after program introduction, more than 98% of caregivers remained unpaid and the same primary caregiver remained. Altogether, our work suggests supplemental income programs have negligible effects on caregiving, making evident the urgent need for other strategies to support non-paid caregivers who bear most of the burden for old-age care in Mexico.

Access source material through DOI

Life course trajectories of family care

More than 30 years ago, Elder theorised multiple life-course trajectories in domains such as family and work, punctuated by transitions that create the structure and rhythm of individual lives. We argue that in the context of population ageing, family care should be added as a life-course domain. We conceptualise life courses of family care with core elements of 'care as doing' and 'care as being in relationship', creating hypothetical family care trajectories to illustrate the diversity of life-course patterns of care. The framework provides a basis for considering influences of care on cumulative advantage/disadvantage for family carers.

Access source material through DOI

Perceived reliability of assistance among American older adults: a study of kin and non-kin help

As a neglected dimension of the quality of care, assessments of caregiver reliability by older adults receiving help contributes to the better understanding of unmet needs for assistance in everyday life. This study examines how the numbers and composition of helpers - both potential and actual - relate to older Americans' reports of the reliability of assistance. According to the 2008 US National Elder Mistreatment Study (<i>n</i> = 2,176), the potential network, proxied by marital status and household size, was not a significant predictor of unreliable care, nor was the actual number of caregivers. We distinguish four types of helping sources: kin-only; exclusively informal non-kin (eg friends, neighbours); exclusively formal (paid); and mixed type. There was a higher risk of unreliable care among respondents relying exclusively on informal non-kin assistance compared with exclusively kin help. Kin-only provided more reliable care than informal non-kin but were no more reliable than formal or mixed types.

Access source material through DOI

The availability of carers for older disabled people in Spain: demographic insights and policy implications

The growth of the older population with care needs, together with the decrease of the population traditionally providing such care, are the most frequently cited consequences of demographic change affecting long-term care policies. This study examines the changes in the availability of carers in Spain (1998-2018) using survey data. Results point to a decrease of potential carers in terms of intergenerational care, but also to an increase of potential carers among older people of the same generation.

Access source material through DOI

Personhood, identity and care in advanced old age by Paul Higgs and Chris Gilleard

How does society collectively envision what ‘old age’ looks like, and what does this vision mean for how we plan for, support and conceptualise care? This book explores the concepts and practices of care in relation to what Higgs and Gilleard describe as the social imaginary of the fourth age: a collective representation of later life composed of those elements most feared about ‘extreme’ older age, namely, physical and cognitive decline, infirmity, and, ultimately, failure. They begin by outlining how the social imaginary of the fourth age has emerged in contrast to that of a third age of ‘successful aging’, wherein an older individual is imagined to be able to exert autonomy, retain productivity and continue an active lifestyle.

Access source material through DOI

Physical and mental health of Chinese grandparents caring for grandchildren and great-grandparents

The increasing worldwide prevalence and intensity of grandparenting has attracted an attention to its health implications for caregivers against the backdrop of population aging. Thanks to prolonged life expectancy and reduced infant mortality, extended families that comprise four generations, co-residential or not, are no longer rare in China. The current study examines health consequences when Chinese grandparents provide care to not only grandchildren but also their own elderly parents or parents-in-law (i.e., great-grandparents). Drawing on data from the 2011–2013 China Health and Retirement Longitudinal Study (CHARLS), mental health was captured by levels of life satisfaction and depressive symptoms, and physical health was measured by levels of high sensitivity C-reactive protein (CRP), hypertension, high-risk pulse rate, and diabetes. Overall grandparents who cared for grandchildren only had better mental and physical health, compared with non-caregivers. There was some evidence that the 'sandwich' grandparents who cared for both grandchildren and great-grandparents reported greater life satisfaction, fewer depressive symptoms, and reduced hypertension compared with non-caregivers. The health advantage of caregiving was most pronounced in urban grandfathers whose caregiving conformed to the norm of filial piety and who did so most likely to seek emotional reward instead of an intergenerational time-for-money exchange. In contrast, rural grandmothers were the most vulnerable group and their health disadvantage seemed to arise from caring for great-grandparents. These findings highlight the importance of rural-urban context and gender role in studying the health effects of intergenerational caregiving on Chinese grandparents. • About 30% of the Chinese elderly are grandparents in four-generation families. • The majority of them care for grandchildren, great-grandparents, or both. • Urban grandfathers enjoy health benefits from intergenerational caregiving. • Rural grandmothers suffer health risks from intergenerational caregiving.

Access source material through DOI

Ageism in informal care network members of older women

Objectives: Negative attitudes toward aging are common among formal healthcare providers, but have been infrequently assessed among informal caregivers providing assistance to older adults. The current study sought to identify factors associated with ageism toward older women.; Design: Multivariate hierarchical linear regression modelSetting:Lower-income neighborhoods in an urban setting in the Midwestern USAParticipants:144 care network members of White and African American women aged ≥ 65 years Measurements: Age Group Evaluation and Description (AGED) Inventory assessed attitudes toward older women; CES-D scale measured depressive symptoms; Intergenerational Affectional Solidarity Scale assessed relationship closeness.; Results: In bivariate analyses, African American caregivers endorsed more positive attitudes toward older women. In the multivariate regression model, attitudes toward older women were associated with care recipient health (β = 0.18, p < 0.05) and relationship closeness with the care recipient (β = 0.23, p < 0.05). However, these associations were fully mediated by care recipient-specific attitude ratings by the care network member. The association between person-specific attitudes and general attitudes was uniquely directional.; Conclusions: Findings from the present study are consistent with past research suggesting that 'ageism' may, at least in part, derive from bias against perceived poor health. Further, our findings of an association between attitude toward the care recipient and attitudes toward older women in general provide support for cognitive psychology theory which emphasizes the role of personal experience in stereotype formation through the availability heuristic. The current study underlines the necessity for development of interventions to address ageism in informal caregivers.

Access source material through DOI

Caregiver Reward and Burden: Differing Constructs in Family Members Providing Care for Medically Ill Homebound Older Adults

Objective: This study examined the relationship between caregiver burden and reward and how each relates to factors, such as depression, within the caregiving dyad.; Method: A total of 101 older adults and their primary family caregivers were recruited upon enrolling in home health care services. Patients were assessed for sociodemographic information, depression, disability, pain, and caregiver support at baseline and at 8 weeks. Caregivers were assessed at baseline for sociodemographic information, depression, caregiver burden, caregiver reward, and caregiving tasks they provide.; Results: Burden and reward were significantly inversely correlated, but differentially associated with distinct patient and caregiver variables. Patients whose caregivers reported higher baseline levels of caregiver reward were more likely to have lower depression scores at follow-up.; Discussion: Given that different aspects of patients and caregivers influence reward and burden, assessing caregivers for both burden and reward may better target caregiver interventions at the individual and family levels, particularly for older adult depression.

Access source material through DOI

Levels of Satisfaction, Workload Stress and Support Amongst Informal Caregivers of Patients Receiving or Not Receiving Long-Term Home Nursing Care in Poland: A Cross-Sectional Study

The role of informal caregivers was included in the Assumptions of the Long-Term Senior Policy in Poland for 2014-2020. The document acknowledged the necessity of diagnosing the needs of informal caregivers of elderly people and to implement systemic solutions that would enable the provision of assistance for them. In response, this study aimed to describe the situation of caregivers of patients receiving versus patients not receiving Long-Term Home Nursing Care (LTHNC; i.e., a formal program including regular visits by a nurse specializing in home care) in terms of caregiver socio-demographic characteristics, health self-assessment, work overload, satisfaction derived from being a caregiver, and the quality of perceived support. A cross-sectional study was conducted using the Carers of Older People in Europe (COPE) Index in 2015 in the north-eastern part of Poland involving 170 caregivers of patients supported with LTHNC and 86 caregivers of patients staying at home and not receiving LTHNC. We found that caregivers for patients receiving LTHNC were significantly less overloaded with care work than caregivers for patients without LTHNC support (p < 0.001). LTHNC support was also related to the level of satisfaction with providing care: Caregivers for patients receiving LTHNC were significantly more satisfied with performing their role and felt greater support than caregivers for patients without LTHNC (p < 0.001). Our study provides evidence for a positive relationship between LTHNC and the situation of informal caregivers of dependent elderly people at home. A formal program of visits by a nurse specializing in long-term home care may facilitate the provision by caregivers of better informal care to patients staying at home.

Access source material through DOI

CE: Original Research: New Acute Symptoms in Older Adults with Cognitive Impairment: What Should Family Caregivers Do?

The authors assessed the frequency with which family caregivers of older veterans with cognitive impairment sought guidance for new physical or behavioral symptoms and described the characteristics of such events, including the diagnoses and advice given. Background: When older adults with cognitive impairment develop new physical or behavioral symptoms, their family caregivers face a difficult decision: whether and when to seek professional medical care. Most family caregivers lack formal training in assessment and may have difficulty making such decisions. The Veterans Health Administration's home-based primary care (HBPC) program, which is widely available, offers community-dwelling frail veterans and their family caregivers guidance, with the goal of reducing hospitalization and institutionalization in long-term care facilities. Objective: This study sought to assess the frequency with which family caregivers of cognitively impaired older adults sought prehospital guidance from health care professionals when that resource was available to them, and to describe the characteristics of such events. Methods: This study used a retrospective chart review of patients who were enrolled in the Orlando Veterans Affairs Medical Center HBPC program for at least one month between October 1, 2013, and September 30, 2014; had a diagnosis indicative of cognitive impairment (Alzheimer's disease, vascular dementia, or mild cognitive impairment); had a dedicated family caregiver; and were not enrolled in hospice care. Data were collected from data collection templates and nurses' narrative notes. Univariate descriptive analyses were conducted regarding the type of staff contacted by family caregivers, the presenting diagnoses, the guidance offered by staff, and the number of unplanned acute care encounters. Results: Among the 215 patients studied, there were 254 unplanned acute care encounters (including ED visits followed by discharge to home and ED visits resulting in hospital admission). Family caregivers sought guidance from a health care professional 22% of the time before such an encounter. The presenting clinical issues were most often new problems (43%) that included falls, feeding tube problems, fever, new pain, rash or other skin problems, and unexplained edema. Overall, 25% of all unplanned acute care encounters were for reasons considered potentially avoidable. About half of the patients who were subsequently hospitalized had symptoms of delirium, indicating that their illness had significantly advanced before presentation. Conclusions: It's important for health care professionals to ensure that family caregivers of cognitively impaired older adults can access professional guidance readily when facing decisions about a loved one's care, especially when there is an acute onset of new symptoms. Teaching caregivers how to recognize such symptoms early in order to prevent exacerbations of chronic illness and subsequent hospitalization should be a high priority. Our findings underscore the need to do so, so that caregivers can best use the resources that HBPC programs have (or ought to have) in place, in particular 24/7 guidance and decision assistance.

Access source material through DOI

Are the Elderly Perceived as a Burden to Society? The Perspective of Family Caregivers in Belgium and Kenya: A Comparative Study

Introduction: It is estimated that 70% to 80% of informal care for frail and disabled elders is provided by family caregivers (FCGs).; Aim: To better understand how caregiving for the elderly has affected FCGs lives and to compare the perspective of these caregivers in Belgium and Kenya.; Method: Semistructured interviews were undertaken with 15 FCGs in Kenya and 15 FCGs in Belgium. Interpretative phenomenological analysis was used to identify themes.; Results: Themes discovered in the experience of family caregiving included profile of the care receiver, impact of caregiving on the FCG, cultural values and norms, challenges in caregiving, coping strategies and caregiver well-being.; Discussion: FCGs in both Kenya and Belgium identified experiencing serious concerns. In Kenya, the lack of resources and formal structures play a more important role than in Belgium. Despite this difference, culture-specific views and norms are paramount to explaining the FCG experience in the two countries.

Access source material through DOI

How to relieve stress in adult child caregivers of the older adults with disabilities: a survey study from the city of Nanjing, China

The care of older adults with disabilities (OADs) in China is mostly provided by their adult offspring. As the population continues to age, carer stress will increase. A survey of 900 adult child caregivers of OADs was conducted in Nanjing City, Jiangsu Province, China, and used to investigate the status and stress levels of caregivers in order to explore effective support for offspring caregivers and suggest improvements to the social care system. Multiple linear regression models were used to examine the effects of coping strategies on carer stress. Caregivers experienced stress at moderate or high levels due to physical, psychological, financial, and work issues. Stress was significantly associated with OADs' health status and self-care ability, and the amount of care time. Caregivers sought help from their families to care for elderly parents, which significantly relieved stress. The purchase of social care services and professional medical services for OADs significantly reduced stress; however, for elderly persons with high self-care ability, the purchase of social care services increased caregiver stress, while government-subsidized family nursing allowances reduced it. It is necessary to focus on the role of family care to stimulate mutual family support, and to integrate society and government support systems.

Access source material through DOI

Relationships and burden: An empirical-ethical investigation of lived experience in home nursing arrangements

Quantitative research has called attention to the burden associated with informal caregiving in home nursing arrangements. Less emphasis has been placed, however, on care recipients' subjective feelings of being a burden and on caregivers' willingness to carry the burden in home care. This article uses empirical material from semi-structured interviews conducted with older people affected by multiple chronic conditions and in need of long-term home care, and with informal and professional caregivers, as two groups of relevant others. The high burden of home-care arrangements is unanimously stressed by all three groups involved in the triangle of care. An empirical-ethical investigation of what can be legitimately expected from family members and informal caregivers, informed by Frith's symbiotic empirical ethics approach, was undertaken. Key tenets from the special goods theory and nursing professionalism are used as analytical tools. The study concludes that the current situation may hinder professional development and can reinforce feelings of being a burden to relevant others.

Access source material through DOI

The relationship between perceived social support and depressive symptoms in informal caregivers of community-dwelling older persons in Chile

Aim: Depression among caregivers of older persons is a serious concern, but it is often overlooked and neglected in developing countries. The aim of this study was to examine the relationship between perceived social support and depression in informal caregivers of community-dwelling older persons in Chile.; Methods: We analyzed cross-sectional secondary data on 377 dyads of community-dwelling older persons and their informal caregivers from a nationwide survey in Chile. The Duke-UNC Functional Social Support Questionnaire (FSSQ) was used to measure caregivers' perceived social support, and the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale assessed their depression.; Results: In this study, 76.9% of the caregivers perceived a high level of social support, and 46.9% were assessed as having depression. Based on multivariable analysis, factors that decrease the likelihood of being depressed are a high level of social support (odds ratio (OR) = 0.311, 95% confidence interval (CI): 0.167-0.579) and having taken holidays in the past 12 months (OR = 0.513, 95%CI: 0.270-0.975). Factors that increase the likelihood of being depressed are being a female caregiver (OR = 2.296, 95%CI: 1.119-4.707), being uninsured (OR = 4.321, 95%CI: 1.750-10.672), being the partner or spouse of the care recipient (OR = 3.832, 95%CI: 1.546-9.493), and the number of hours of care (OR = 1.053, 95%CI: 1.021-1.085).; Conclusion: Higher levels of perceived social support and holidays were associated with lower levels of depression. However, being female, being the care recipient's partner or spouse, being uninsured, and having long care periods had detrimental effects. Interventions to preserve and enhance perceived social support could help improve depressive symptoms in informal caregivers. Additionally, support should be available to caregivers who are women, uninsured, and the care recipient's partner or spouse, as well as those who provide care for long hours, to ensure they have respite from their caregiving role.

Access source material through DOI

Foreign Domestic Workers and Eldercare in Singapore: Who Hires Them?

In Singapore, policy makers expect families to remain actively involved in the care of their frail older relatives, as manifestly expressed in its Many Helping Hands approach to long-term care. To enable families to fulfill this expectation, the government has enacted policies that encourage the hiring of foreign domestic workers (FDWs) to complement or supplement informal caregiving efforts. Using the Andersen Behavioral Model, we were interested in identifying caregiver and care receiver characteristics that might predict the hiring of FDWs. With data from a convenience sample of 488 informal caregivers, we ran logistic regression regressing the hiring of an FDW on various predisposing, enabling, and need factors. Of interest, enabling factors such as household income, housing type, and educational level were predictive of hiring an FDW in the home. Only one need factor, time spent in caregiving, was predictive of the increased likelihood to hire an FDW. Policies that encourage the marketization of care are likely to favor those with financial means and inadvertently ignore the caregiving burdens of lower income families. In addition, we suggest research and policies to ensure the well-being and protection of FDWs who have become a key component of the long-term care policy and practice in Singapore.

Access source material through DOI

Family caregivers' perceptions of maltreatment of older adults with dementia: findings from the northwest of Spain

Dementia is a neurocognitive disorder that implies a risk factor of maltreatment by family caregivers. In this study, we analyzed both informal caregiver's perceptions of maltreatment and aspects of the caregiver and caregiving behavior that may be associated with maltreatment. We conducted five focus groups (FGs) in three Spanish cities: Segovia, Soria and León. The themes that were identified were related to two levels of maltreatment: (a) relational and (b) institutional. At the relational level, we observed the justification of maltreatment of Older Adults with Dementia (OAswD) by family caregivers during the occurrence of behavioral symptoms. At the institutional level, we noted that lack of support from the government was considered a type of maltreatment. These themes suggest that policy issues related to healthcare should be considered.

Access source material through DOI

Multifactorial Examination of Caregiver Burden in a National Sample of Family and Unpaid Caregivers

OBJECTIVES To examine factors associated with caregiver burden from a multifactorial perspective by examining caregiver and care recipient characteristics and a full range of caregiving tasks. DESIGN Nationally representative surveys of community‐dwelling older adults and their family caregivers residing in the United States. SETTING 2011 National Health and Aging Trends Study and National Study of Caregiving. PARTICIPANTS Community‐dwelling older adults and their family caregivers. MEASUREMENTS Caregiver burden, comprising emotional, physical, and financial difficulties associated with caregiving. RESULTS: An estimated 14.9 million caregivers assisted 7.6 million care recipients. More than half of caregivers reported burden related to caregiving. In a multivariable regression model, caregivers who assisted with more activities of daily living and instrumental activities of daily living, health management tasks, and health system logistics were more likely to experience burden, as were female caregivers, adult child caregivers, caregivers in poor health, caregivers with anxiety symptoms, and those using respite care. Dementia was the only care recipient characteristic associated with burden. CONCLUSION: Caregiver characteristics and provision of caregiving tasks determine caregiver burden more than care recipient characteristics. Absence of an association between type of a care recipient's chronic conditions and burden, except for dementia, suggests that the tasks that caregivers who assist older adults with a variety of health conditions undertake shape the experience of caregiving. 

Access source material through DOI

Needs and preferences of informal caregivers regarding outpatient care for the elderly: a systematic literature review

Background: Informal caregivers are an essential pillar for ensuring and maintaining the outpatient care of the frail elderly. Due to demographic changes, including an increase in the number of people in need of care as well as changing social structures (full-time employment of women, increasing number of single households, etc.) these informal care structures are fraught by considerable challenges. To support and facilitate informal caregivers in their role of nursing, it is important to identify their preferences, needs, and thus create a preference-oriented system.; Methods: A systematic review was conducted to identify preferences and needs regarding the organization of informal care. The database searches were performed by using EMBASE, Scopus and Dimdi.; Results: A total of 44 studies were included in the present review. Studies from 17 different countries provide broad international perspectives. Besides the preferences for long-term care structure, the following four principal topics were identified: (1) informational needs; (2) support needs; (3) organizational needs, and (4) needs for societal recognition.; Conclusion: To meet the current challenges in the outpatient or home-based care of elders, it is essential to strengthen the role of informal caregivers. Therefore, it is necessary to adopt and further develop informal care structures according to the needs of informal caregivers. However, demographic, financial and cultural aspects of each country need to be considered as these may influence the preferences and needs of informal caregivers.

Access source material through DOI

Caregivers of older adults with dementia and multiple chronic conditions: Exploring their experiences with significant changes

Family caregiving is considered a social transition as changes in the health of the care recipient create a process of transition for the caregiver when they are more vulnerable to threats to their own health. Family and friend caregivers take on many responsibilities and experience high levels of burden when caring for community-dwelling older adults living with dementia and multiple chronic conditions. However, little is known about the changes they experience in their caring roles or how they cope with these changes. This qualitative descriptive study was part of a larger mixed methods randomized controlled trial evaluating a web-based caregiver support toolkit. Multiple semi-structured phone interviews were conducted with caregivers of older adults with dementia and multiple chronic conditions. Content analysis was used to generate thematic descriptions. Six themes were generated and grouped into two categories. Significant changes experienced by caregivers are described by the following themes: 'everything falls on you - all of the responsibilities,' 'too many feelings' and 'no time for me.' The themes describing how caregivers coped with these changes include: seeking support, self-caring, and adapting their caregiving approach. Study results indicate that caregivers of older adults with dementia and multiple chronic conditions experienced many changes in their caregiving journey resulting in increasing complexity as they tended to the care recipients' declining health and well-being. These caregivers used several creative strategies to cope with these changes. Health care providers should consider both the caregiver and care recipient as clients in the circle of care, and facilitate their linkage with health and community support services to help address the increasing complexity of care needs.

Access source material through DOI

Intergenerational Ambivalence and Dyadic Strain: Understanding Stress in Family Care Partners of Older Adults

Objectives: The present study used Pearlin, Mullan, Semple & Skaff's (1990) caregiving stress process model as a framework to examine the comparative influence of two stressors: (a) intergenerational ambivalence as a unified construct and (b) dyadic strain, which is one isolated component of intergenerational ambivalence. Methods: Participants were 120 women providing healthcare and medication assistance to an earlier generation family member with physical and/or cognitive impairments. Results: Hierarchical regression confirmed that intergenerational ambivalence explained perceived stress in family care partners, beyond the variance accounted for by other commonly reported stressors such as length of caregiving experience, memory/cognitive and functional impairments of the care recipient, caregiver overload, family conflict and financial strain. Further analyses revealed that examining dyadic strain apart from intergenerational ambivalence may more accurately explain the influence of ambivalence scores on care partners' perceived stress. Conclusions and Clinical Implications: The comparative influence of dyadic strain versus ambivalence suggests that stress-reducing interventions may benefit from a focus on reducing care partners' experiences of negative strain in the dyadic relationship rather than managing ambivalence.

Access source material through DOI

Influence of caregiver burden on well-being of family member caregivers of older adults

Background: Caregiving to older adults is one of the most important social issues associated with aging. While caregiving provides a suitable care and supportive environment for older adults, changes in the lives of caregiving family members also affect their health. The aim of this study was to examine the effect of care burden on the well-being of family members providing care for older adults.; Methods: The study used a cross-sectional design. The study sample included 363 family caregivers of older adults. Socio-demographic questionnaire form, Burden Interview and Caregiver Well-Being Scale were used as data collection tools. Multiple linear regression analysis was performed to explore the predictors of well-being in the family caregivers of older adults.; Results: The caregiver burden mean score was 32.63 ± 15.72 and Caregiver Well-Being Mean score was 159.38 ± 24.55. Caregiver burden, perceived health status of the older adults, marital status, perceived health status of caregiver and social support of caregiver were found to be statistically significant predictors of well-being in family member caregivers of older adults. Caregiver burden level was found to be the strongest predictor of well-being in the family caregivers of older adults.; Conclusion: Results showed that caregiver burden had an important effect on well-being of the caregiver. For this reason caregiver burden should be considered during interventions for improving well-being in family caregivers of older adults. Findings of our study revealed the necessity of showing special attention to caregivers by healthcare professionals and the importance of conducting interventional studies that aim to reduce caregiver burden in order to promote well-being.

Access source material through DOI

Self-Compassion, Health Outcomes, and Family Carers of Older Adults: An Integrative Review

Objectives: This review sought to synthesize published evidence about the role of self-compassion on health outcomes for family carers of older adults, to describe the current state of knowledge.; Method: Using an integrative review method that permitted any research design, eight databases were searched. Extensive searching of gray literature sources was also undertaken. Studies included in the review underwent processes of methodological quality assessment (Mixed Methods Appraisal Tool - Version 2011), data extraction, analysis, and syntheses.; Results: Four studies were included: two randomized controlled trials, a descriptive cross-sectional survey, and a qualitative study. There was preliminary evidence to show the potential of self-compassion to help family carers cope and reduce levels of burden. However, efficacy of self-compassion interventions to improve family carer health outcomes could not be determined.; Conclusions: Self-compassion in family carers of older adults is a new and emerging research area, and there is very little published evidence about how self-compassion might be developed to improve health outcomes for family carers.; Clinical Implications: To inform clinical understanding within this population, future quality research is needed, particularly regarding proof-of-concept, moderating effects of carer and care recipient factors, reliability of self-compassion measures, and the development and testing of self-compassion based interventions.

Access source material through DOI

The imperative of caring for the dependent elderly person

This text presents an overview of aging in Brazil and information that highlights the need to create instruments to deal with the exponential increase of the elderly population, particularly those who lose their physical, cognitive, mental/emotional, and social autonomy. Examples of public policies created by European countries, notably Spain, show how they act to protect the most vulnerable individuals and provide support to their families, especially to the informal caregivers. The whole process of protection for the long-lived is perceived as a form of social solidarity in which the State and sub-national entities, society, the families and the elderly people themselves participate.

Access source material through DOI
Original source (some source materials require subscription or permission to access)

Physical, emotional and social burden of elderly patients' informal caregivers

Objective: Assess the burden and identify the burden-related factors in home-baded informal caregivers of bedridden elderly attended by the Family Health Strategy. Methods: Analytical, cross-sectional study involving 208 informal caregivers. The data were collected between February and July 2017 by applying the characterization script and the Informal Caregiver Burden Assessment Questionnaire. For analysis purposes, the Statistical Package for the Social Science, version 20.0 was used. Descriptive (central trend and dispersion, absolute and relative frequency measures) and inferential (Mann-Whitney and Kruskal-Wallis tests; Spearman correlation test) statistics were applied. Results: The mean total burden score was 71.1 (±26.3). A statistically significant difference was observed in the total burden and domain scores according to the variables: marital status of caregiver, degree of kinship with the elderly and all clinical variables of the caregivers. A positive correlation was registered between the burden and the caregiver's age and between the burden and number of daily hours spent on care. Conclusion: The burden was higher for the partners, caregivers with comorbidities, pain related to the activity performed and caregivers who considered their health as regular.

Access source material through DOI

Interventions to address burden among family caregivers of persons aging with TBI: A scoping review

Purpose: To capture the scope of literature exploring interventions for caregivers of aging persons with TBI. Methods: A scoping review of peer reviewed literature was conducted in two phases. Phase I: Searching seven databases, two independent raters screened articles using a set of predetermined criteria. Included articles were reviewed, and categorized according to common themes. Phase II: Five stakeholders were engaged in a consultation. A content analysis was performed by extracting statements from each interview using an inductive strategy, and organizing each into themes. Findings: A total of 11 articles were included in the final analysis. Inter-rater reliability was assessed at both the title and abstract search [98.8% agreement; k = 0.3425 (95% CI,.246 to.439), p < .05]; and the full-text review [83% agreement; k = 0.542 (95% CI, 0.340 to 0.745), p < .05] phases. Seven articles identified potential interventions, and four identified and evaluated an intervention. Interventions targeted subjective burden (n = 4) and objective burden (n = 4), with caregiver knowledge and skill development (n = 3) classified as a sub-category of objective burden. Stakeholders overwhelmingly emphasized the need for interventions to reduce objective burden. Implications: Included articles were primarily composed of levels six and seven evidence, suggesting that this literature is in an early stage of development. Future research should emphasize the development and evaluation of interventions to reduce objective burden.

Access source material through DOI

Geographical proximity and depressive symptoms among adult child caregivers: social support as a moderator

Objectives: This study examined whether geographical proximity is a predictor of depressive symptoms, and whether family and friend support can moderate the relationship between geographical proximity and depressive symptoms. Method: A survey of 557 adult child primary caregivers was conducted in Shanghai, China in 2013. Geographical proximity was measured as a categorical variable: coresidence, short distance (less than 30 minutes' travel time), and long distance (more than 30 minutes' travel time). Family and friend support were assessed using the Multidimensional Scale of Perceived Social Support. Depressive symptoms were evaluated using the Center on Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale. Multiple regression analyses and interaction terms were used to test the moderating roles of family and friend support. Results: Adult child caregivers who live more than 30 minutes away from care recipients experienced higher depressive symptoms than coresiding caregivers (β =.114, p <.01). Family support (β = −.408, p <.05) and friend support (β = −.235, p <.05) were protective factors that lessened depressive symptoms for long-distance adult child caregivers. Conclusion: This study adds spatial dimension to caregiving literature and extends stress process theory. These findings have important implications for service planning and social support for adult child caregivers.

Access source material through DOI

Relational aspects of mastery for frail, older adults: The role of informal caregivers in the care process

Frail, older care recipients are often thought of as individuals with a decreased mastery of everyday life skills. Various authors have proposed to acknowledge a relational dimension of mastery, defined as the ability to maintain control over one's life with the help of others. This study explores how frail, older adults experience relational aspects of mastery and the role of their informal caregivers in maintaining these aspects of mastery over the care process. Qualitative interviews (N = 121) were conducted in 2016 with potentially frail, community-dwelling older adults participating in the Detection, Support and Care for Older people: Prevention and Empowerment (D-SCOPE) project. A secondary analysis of 65 interviews reveals that, according to frail, older adults, informal caregivers contribute in various ways to the preservation of their mastery. This differs across the four elements of care: caring about (attentiveness), taking care of (responsibility), care-giving (competence), and care-receiving (responsiveness). However, in some cases, older adults experienced a loss of mastery; for example, when informal caregivers did not understand their care needs and did not involve them in the decision, organisation, and provision of care. A relational dimension of mastery needs to be acknowledged in frail, older care recipients since stimulating mastery is a crucial element for realising community care objectives and person-centred and integrated care.

Access source material through DOI

Caring for the elderly at work and home: Can a randomized organizational intervention improve psychological health?

Although job stress models suggest that changing the work social environment to increase job resources improves psychological health, many intervention studies have weak designs and overlook influences of family caregiving demands. We tested the effects of an organizational intervention designed to increase supervisor social support for work and nonwork roles, and job control in a results-oriented work environment on the stress and psychological distress of health care employees who care for the elderly, while simultaneously considering their own family caregiving responsibilities. Using a group-randomized organizational field trial with an intent-to-treat design, 420 caregivers in 15 intervention extended-care nursing facilities were compared with 511 caregivers in 15 control facilities at 4 measurement times: preintervention and 6, 12, and 18 months. There were no main intervention effects showing improvements in stress and psychological distress when comparing intervention with control sites. Moderation analyses indicate that the intervention was more effective in reducing stress and psychological distress for caregivers who were also caring for other family members off the job (those with elders and those "sandwiched" with both child and elder caregiving responsibilities) compared with employees without caregiving demands. These findings extend previous studies by showing that the effect of organizational interventions designed to increase job resources to improve psychological health varies according to differences in nonwork caregiving demands. This research suggests that caregivers, especially those with "double-duty" elder caregiving at home and work and "triple-duty" responsibilities, including child care, may benefit from interventions designed to increase work-nonwork social support and job control.

Access source material through DOI

Caring by telecare? A hermeneutic study of experiences among older adults and their family caregivers

Aims and Objectives: To obtain a deeper understanding of the persistent use of telecare for older adults and their family caregivers.; Background: Telecare is seen as part of the solution in home care services for ageing in place. Previous studies have shown that telecare is a complex intervention, and there is still a poor understanding of older adults' and their family caregivers' experience with the use of telecare.; Design: This study used a qualitative hermeneutic research approach.; Method: Interviews were conducted with 18 older adults and follow-up interviews were conducted with 15 participants after 5-6 months of use. In addition, interviews were conducted with seven close family caregivers. The COREQ checklist was used.; Results: The older adults expressed increased safety, security and independence. Although some of them experienced challenges, they continued to use the services. Furthermore, the findings revealed needs that telecare could not cover. Family caregivers reported that telecare eased their concern for a time. However, they felt increased responsibility which led to ambivalent feelings between wanting to comply with the older adults' desire to live at home and the stress and concern this caused.; Conclusion: Telecare does improve care offered by home care services. However, it must be considered in the context of assistance and other measures and be provided in response to each individual's specific needs. Family caregivers may benefit from telecare, but telecare may also add to their care burden.; Relevance To Clinical Practice: There is a need for increased knowledge and information about telecare and for follow-up from home care services. Family caregivers are important for promoting sustainable use, but a support system and better cooperation with home care services is needed.

Access source material through DOI

Understanding Caregiver Quality of Life in Caregivers of Hospitalized Older Adults With Cancer

BACKGROUND/OBJECTIVES: Caregivers of older adults with cancer assist both with cancer care and other health issues, which may make them vulnerable to consequences of caregiving. Hospitalization may represent a time when a caregiver's ability to provide care at home is exceeded. We sought to characterize caregivers of hospitalized older adults with cancer, determine their quality of life (QOL), and identify factors associated with caregiver QOL. METHODS: Patients (n = 100), aged 65 years and older, with an unplanned hospitalization and their caregivers were included. Caregivers completed a questionnaire about their health, social support, caregiving relationship, QOL (Caregiver Quality of Life Index‐Cancer [CQOLC] tool), and patient function. Patient medical history was obtained via chart review. The association between patient, caregiving, and caregiver factors and CQOLC was determined using multivariate linear regression. RESULTS: Most patients (73%) had metastatic/advanced disease, and 71% received treatment for their cancer within 30 days of hospitalization. Median Karnofsky Performance Status (KPS) was 60%, and 89% required help with instrumental activities of daily living, as reported by caregivers. Median caregiver age was 65 years (range = 29‐84 years). The majority (60%) had no major comorbidities and rated their health as excellent/good (79%), though 22% reported worsening health due to caregiving. Caregivers had a median Mental Health Inventory‐18 score of 70 (range = 0–97), a median Medical Outcomes Study (MOS)‐social activity score of 56 (range = 0–87.5), and a median MOS‐Social Support Survey score of 68 (range = 0–100). Caregivers provided a median of 35 hours of care per week (range = 0‐168 hours of care per week). Mean CQOLC was 84.6 ± 23.5. Lower caregiver QOL was associated with poorer caregiver mental health, less social support, and poorer patient KPS (P < .05). CONCLUSION: Caregivers of hospitalized older adults with cancer are older but generally in good health. Those with poorer mental health, less social support, and caring for patients with poorer performance status are more likely to experience lower QOL. 

Access source material through DOI

Interdependence in Health and Functioning Among Older Spousal Caregivers and Care Recipients

Older spousal caregiving relationships involve support that may be affected by the health of either the caregiver or care recipient. We conducted a longitudinal analysis using pooled data from 4,632 community-dwelling spousal care recipients and caregivers aged ⩾50 from the 2002 to 2014 waves of the Health and Retirement Study. We specified logistic and negative binomial regression models using lagged predictor variables to assess the role of partner health status on spousal caregiver and care recipient health care utilization and physical functioning outcomes. Care recipients' odds of hospitalization, odds ratio (OR): 0.83, p <.001, decreased when caregivers had more ADL difficulties. When spouses were in poorer versus better health, care recipients' bed days decreased (4.69 vs. 2.54) while caregivers' bed days increased (0.20 vs. 0.96). Providers should consider the dual needs of caregivers caring for care recipients and their own health care needs, in adopting a family-centered approach to management of older adult long-term care needs.

Access source material through DOI

The Perceived Caregiver Burden Among Turkish Family Caregivers Providing Care for Frail Older Adults

Purpose: The older population has reached to 8.5%, and the prevalence of frailty is reported as 39.2% in Turkey. The purpose of the study was to assess caregiver burden in families who care for frail older adults in Turkish culture.; Method: This descriptive study was conducted in Turkey between June and October 2017. Frail older adults who had no severe cognitive impairment were included. Data were measured using the Older Adult Information Form, Edmonton Frailty Scale, Caregiver Information Form, and Zarit Burden Interview.; Results: In total, 131 older person/caregiver dyads were analyzed; the Zarit Burden Interview mean score was 37.59 ± 18.20. Caregivers with less education and providing care more than 8 hours experienced a higher burden ( p < .05). The severity of frailty significantly correlated with the caregiver scores ( R = .36, p < .01).; Conclusion: The caregiver burden in Turkish family caregivers was found mild to moderate and correlated with the degree of frailty. Policymakers should focus on culture-specific formal caregiver services.

Access source material through DOI

Estimating Informal Caregiving Time from Patient EQ-5D Data: The Informal CARE Effect (iCARE) Tool

Background: Families and friends provide a considerable proportion of care for patients and elderly people. Caregiving can have substantial effects on caregivers' lives, health, and well-being. However, because clinical trials rarely assess these effects, no information on caregiver burden is available when evaluating the cost effectiveness of treatments. Objective: This study develops an algorithm for estimating caregiver time using information that is typically available in clinical trials: the EQ-5D scores of patients and their gender. Methods: Four datasets with a total of 8012 observations of dyads of caregivers and a gamma model with a log-link estimated with the Bayesian approach were used to estimate the statistical association between patient scores on the EQ-5D-3L dimensions and the numbers of hours of care provided by caregivers during the previous week. The model predicts hours of care as mean point estimates with 95% credible intervals or entire distributions. Results: Model predictions of hours of care based on the five EQ-5D dimensions ranged from 13.06 (12.7-14.5) h/week for female patients reporting no health problems but receiving informal care to 52.82 (39.38-66.26) for male patients with the highest level of problems on all EQ-5D dimensions. Conclusions: The iCARE algorithm developed in this study allows researchers who only have patient-level EQ-5D data to estimate the mean hours of informal care received per week, including a 95% Bayesian credible interval. Caregiver time can be multiplied with a monetary value for caregiving, enabling the inclusion of informal care costs in economic evaluations. We recommend using the tool for samples that fall within the confidence intervals of the characteristics of our samples: men (age range 47.0-104.2 years), women (age range 55-103 years).

Access source material through DOI

Including and Training Family Caregivers of Older Adults in Hospital Care: Facilitators and Barriers

Background: Despite the role caregivers play in the delivery of care, the interactions and training methods used with caregivers during an inpatient stay are not clear.; Purpose: The purpose was to examine interactions and training methods used with caregivers during hospital care.; Methods: A mixed-methods case study was conducted. Observations were summarized and interviews were analyzed using thematic analysis.; Results: The frequency of caregiver engagement varied at different points in the care process but was highest among observations during the stay care point. Providers were most commonly using written and verbal instructions to train caregivers. Three themes emerged from the interviews and were described to be both facilitators and barriers to caregiver involvement: experience, time, and relationship.; Conclusions: High-quality person and family-centered care depends upon coordinated efforts among health care systems, providers, patients, and caregivers. Future caregiver initiatives should aim to decrease disengagement, increase assessment, and broaden the use of training methods.

Access source material through DOI

Shifts in Family Caregiving--and a Growing Care Gap

As baby boomers approach old age, many factors may be driving a growing divide between the demand for family caregivers and the number of available caregivers. This article highlights trends in family caregiving and changing patterns of family life that challenge the family's capacity to carry out its traditional functions in long-term services and supports (LTSS), describes the high cost of LTSS (including out-of-pocket spending), illuminates the future care gap, and explains the implications of these trends in the context of providing and paying for LTSS.

Original source (some source materials require subscription or permission to access)

Paid Family Leave: An Emerging Benefit for Employed Family Caregivers of Older Adults

As our population ages, the ability to take time off to care for an ill family member or close friend without losing income or a job is a growing social, health, and economic issue for American families. Therefore, the need for paid family leave policies for workers with caregiving responsibilities is an important topic for employers and policymakers, in the clinical care of older adults, and at kitchen tables across the United States. Despite this growing need, paid family leave is not available to most workers, and there is no national paid family leave policy. Health care and social service providers have a role in ensuring that family members of their patients with a serious health condition or disability are aware of the potential availability of paid family leave benefits in the states and businesses that provide them. Building a better system of care for older adults means changes not only in health care settings and in long-term services and supports, but in workplaces too. This article describes the challenges faced by workers with family caregiving responsibilities, explains why paid family leave matters, indicates which states have adopted these protections, and reviews research on existing paid family leave policies. Finally, actions by clinicians and other stakeholders are offered to advance awareness about paid family leave benefits, including coverage for workers with care responsibilities for older people.

Access source material through DOI

Caring for the seniors with chronic illness: The lived experience of caregivers of older adults

Background Caregivers of the elderly with chronic illnesses are exposed to the burden associated with their caregiving activities. This study described the lived experience of caregivers of older adults in Nigeria. Methods A qualitative design guided by interpretive phenomenology informed the design of the research, whereby 15 in-depth interviews were conducted with caregivers of older adults with chronic illnesses. The interview sessions were audiotaped and transcribed verbatim and analysed using constant comparison analysis method. Results Fifteen caregivers, from different parts of Osun State, Nigeria, took part in the in-depth interviews. The caregivers were aged between 19 and 70 years, ten were women, five of them had secondary education, seven were self-employed and six were in a spousal relationship. The study uncovered four interrelated themes with explanatory subthemes—commitment to preservation of life (managing challenges associated with daily routine, problem with mobility, bathing and grooming, feeding, and problem with hygiene) (ii) denial (refusal to accept that burden exists) , other things suffer (disruption of family process, suffering from poor health and social isolation), (iv) reciprocity of care (pride in caregiving, caregiving as a necessity and not by choice, and law of karma). Conclusion This study provides insight into the burden of care of older adults with chronic illness. Caregivers' commitment to preserving life makes them provide assistance whose performance even run contrary to their own wellbeing. Intervention programme should be designed to support the caregivers thereby improving their wellbeing. 

Access source material through DOI

Burden and Coping Ability of Individuals Caring for Chronically Ill Older Adults in Nigeria: A Mixed Methods Study

Family members play key roles in the care of older adults with chronic illness. However, little is known about the negative consequences of caregiving in Sub-Sahara Africa. The current study examined the influence of caregivers' burden and coping ability on the health-related quality of life of caregivers of older adults with chronic illness. An exploratory sequential mixed methods study was conducted among 16 family members. Findings showed that caregivers experienced severe burden, coped moderately with the burden, and had poor quality of life. Furthermore, directed content analysis of the in-depth interviews uncovered six major themes: (a) Being Pulled in Opposite Directions, (b) Experiencing Poor Health, (c) Receiving Support From Family and Friends, (d) Turning to God for Help, (e) Seeking Relief for Aching Bodies, and (f) Seeking Remedies for Sleeplessness. The current findings may have implications for designing programs that aim to improve the well-being of caregivers.

Access source material through DOI

Outcomes of a Problem-Solving Medication Management Intervention for Informal Caregivers

Older adults with memory loss often require assistance from caregivers to manage their medications. This study examined the efficacy of a problem-solving-based intervention focused on caregiver medication management, problem solving, self-efficacy, and daily hassles. Caregiver health-related quality of life (HRQoL) and patient health care utilization were secondary outcomes. Totally, 83 patients (age 79.9±8.8 years) and their informal caregivers (age 66.9±12 years, female 69.9%, White 85.5%) were randomized; data collection occurred at baseline, 8, 16, and 24 weeks. Linear mixed modeling showed significant decreases in medication deficiencies which were sustained over time. No significant changes in caregiver problem solving, daily hassles, or patient health care utilization occurred between groups or over time. In addition, caregiver self-efficacy and mental HRQoL decreased in both groups. Physical HRQoL decreased in the intervention group, yet increased in the usual care group. Future research should investigate these outcomes in larger and more diverse samples.

Access source material through DOI

Informal and formal care preferences and expected willingness of providing elderly care in Germany: protocol for a mixed-methods study

Introduction: In Germany, the number of elderly people in need of care is expected to increase from 2.4 million in 2015 to 3.2 million in 2030. The subsequent rise in demand for long-term care facilities is unlikely to be met by the current care structures and available staff. Additionally, many Germans still prefer to be cared for at home for as long as possible. In light of recent changes, such as increasing employment rates of women and growing geographical distances of family members, informal caregiving becomes more challenging in the future. The aim of this study is to explore preferences for informal and formal care services in the German general population, as well as the expected willingness of providing elderly care.; Methods and Analysis: A mixed-methods approach will be used to explore care preferences and expected willingness of providing elderly care in the German general population. A systematic literature review will be performed to provide an overview of the current academic literature on the topic. Qualitative interviews will be conducted with informal caregivers, care consultants and people with no prior caregiving experiences. A labelled discrete choice experiment will be designed and conducted to quantitatively measure the preferences for informal and formal care in the German general population. People between 18 and 65 years of age will be recruited in cooperation with a (regional) statutory health insurance (AOK Lower Saxony). A mixed multinomial logit regression model and a latent class finite mixture model will be used to analyse the data and test for subgroup differences in care preferences.; Ethics and Dissemination: The study has been approved by the Committee for Clinical Ethics of the Medical School in Hannover. Data will be treated confidential to ensure the participants' anonymity. The results will be discussed and disseminated to relevant stakeholders in the field.; Trial Registration Number: DRKS00012266.

Access source material through DOI

The Experience of Adult Children Caregiving for Aging Parents

When the normal progression of life for an aging person is interrupted by a decline in physical and or mental abilities, adult children are often suddenly faced with assuming care of their parent(s). Currently, adult child caregivers of aging parents work up to 100 hours per month at caregiving. Most existing literature is focused on informal caregivers, which can consist of spouses, relatives, and friends' caregiving for persons with debilitating illnesses. Despite the amount of time dedicated to parental caregiving, little is known about the experience of this exclusive caregiver group. The aim of this study was to explore and describe the experience of adult children caregiving for aging parents at any stage of health. A qualitative phenomenological approach was used to interview six daughters and one daughter-in-law. Themes were identified and presented through the use of narratives and poetry. The participants expressed they felt unprepared for caregiving and their culture had a direct impact on the expectations of caregiving. A myriad of unpleasant emotions and loss were voiced, yet their outlooks remained extremely positive. The overall health of adult child caregivers needs to be supported to prepare them for what lies ahead with caregiving. Caregivers report their loved one(s) required several hospitalizations, which lead to performing medical/nursing tasks at home. Nursing then has a unique opportunity during discharge preparation, to identify those who need community, state, and faith-based services. Replication is needed to address the limitation of the number of participants, ethnic, and gender diversity. 

Access source material through DOI

Understanding the integration of family caregivers in delirium prevention care for hospitalized older adults: a case study protocol

Aim: To understand family caregiver involvement in delirium prevention care for older adults hospitalized for orthopedic surgery hospitals and family caregiver integration by nurses.; Design: Multiple-case study.; Methods: The model of Care Partner Engagement was selected as theoretical framework. Eight cases will comprise an older adult hospitalized a family caregiver and a ward nurse. They will be recruited with a non-probability sampling on two orthopedic surgery wards in two hospitals. Semi-structured interviews with participants will be audiotaped. Sociodemographic data will be collected. These data, researcher field notes and interview transcripts will be subjected to within- and across-case thematic analysis. Regional ethics committee approved the study protocol in August 2018.; Discussion: The study will allow surgical nursing teams to gain a better understanding of the issues and possibilities regarding family caregiver integration in delirium prevention care for older adults.; Impact: Integration of family caregivers in care to prevent older adults' delirium is a challenge for nurses. In practice, this study will allow to gain a better understanding of the integration of family caregivers in care to prevent older adults' delirium, the factors that influence it and the ways to improve it. In research, results will be used to develop an intervention whose aim would be a better integration of family caregivers into delirium prevention care that can be tested in the future. 

Access source material through DOI

We Are Caregivers: Social Identity Is Associated with Lower Perceived Stress among Rural Informal Caregivers

Informal caregivers often experience high stress levels with little support, especially in rural settings. With a mixed-methods approach, this research explored experiences of rural informal caregivers, including how social identification as a caregiver, social interactions, and formal and informal coping support related to perceived stress. Major focus group themes (n = 8) included lacking available services, balancing challenges, unmet practical needs, and strong community identity. Survey data (n = 22) revealed that perceived coping support (e.g., having someone to turn to), social interactions, and caregiver identity (e.g., perceiving the role as important to one's self-concept) were associated with lower life upset stress, but only caregiver identity was associated with managing the personal distress and negative feelings associated with caregiving stress. Results suggest that, although available rural services may fall short, other options might alleviate caregiver stress, including facilitating access to coping support, encouraging social interactions, and enhancing caregiver social identity.

Access source material through DOI

Needs Assessment for Turkish Family Caregivers of Older Persons with Cancer: First-Phase Results of Adapting an Early Palliative Care Model

Background: Although palliative care is expanding globally for patients with serious illness, Turkey has not had widespread integration of early concurrent oncology palliative care. Hence, adapting and testing models of concurrent oncology palliative care for Turkish patients is imperative. Furthermore, it is critical that these care models also address the needs of family caregivers.; Objective: To assess needs and elicit suggestions that would inform the adaptation of the ENABLE (Educate, Nurture, Advise, Before Life Ends) evidence-based early palliative care model for Turkish family caregivers of older persons with cancer.; Methods: Formative evaluation study. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 25 primary family caregivers of older individuals with cancer. Thematic analyses yielded themes in four domains: meaning of caregiving, effect of caregiving, education and consulting needs, and preferences about the delivery of the ENABLE model of palliative care support.; Results: Caregivers described the impact of the cancer on their daily lives and responsibilities in the areas of physical, psychological, work, social, and family life. Caregivers emphasized their needs for information about symptoms, physical care, cancer pathology, and prognosis. Regarding the ENABLE model of early concurrent palliative care, participants wanted encounters to be in-person with educational material support that was simple and focused on disease information (prognosis, medication, handling emergency situations), psychological support, caring, nutrition, and acquiring community services.; Conclusion: Themes from this study will be used to modify the ENABLE intervention protocol for future pilot and efficacy testing in Turkish caregivers.

Access source material through DOI

Is training for informal caregivers and their older persons helpful? A systematic review

Background: The steady increase in the number of people suffering from chronic diseases and increasing life expectancy raises new demands on health care. At the same time, the need for informal caregivers is increasing. This study aims to perform a systematic review of the methodologies used to identify effect of different types of training on informal caregivers and their older persons.; Methods: MEDLINE (PubMed), CINAHL and Ovid were searched from December 2016 and April 2017. The following keywords were used; "informal caregiver", "training" "elderly", older persons". Identified publications were screened by using the following inclusion criteria; systematic reviews, randomized controlled trials, prospective cohort and multicentre studies, English language full text journals, samples or interventions that included caregivers of older persons and published in last 10 years.; Results: Twenty four studies (12 randomised control trials, 8 intervention studies and 4 systematic reviews) were included. Most of the randomized controlled trials involved both caregivers and elderly. Pretests and post-tests were used in intervention studies (5 out of the 8 studies). ICT-based, psychosocial interventions on family caregivers' education program for caregivers were applied. Caregivers following a supportive educative learning had a significantly better quality of life.; Conclusions: The findings of this systematic review suggest that support interventions for caregivers can be effective in reducing caregivers' stress, with a consequent improvement of the quality of care. However, results are based on relatively small studies, reporting somewhat controversial findings supporting the need to perform further research in this field.

Access source material through DOI

Does Caregiving Strain Increase as Patients With and Without Dementia Approach the End of Life?

Context. Family caregivers play critical and demanding roles in the care of persons with dementia through the end of life. Objectives. The objective of this study was to determine whether caregiving strain increases for dementia caregivers as older adults approach the end of life, and secondarily, whether this association differs for nondementia caregivers. Methods. Participants included a nationally representative sample of community-living older adults receiving help with self-care or indoor mobility and their primary caregivers (3422 dyads). Older adults' death within 12 months of survey was assessed from linked Medicare enrollment files. Multivariable logistic regression was used to assess the association between dementia and end-of-life status and a composite measure of caregiving strain (range: 0–9, using a cut point of 5 to define “high” strain) after comprehensively adjusting for other older adult and caregiver factors. Results. The prevalence of dementia in our sample was 30.1%; 13.2% of the sample died within 12 months. The proportion of caregivers who experienced high strain ranged from a low of 13.5% among nondementia, non–end-of-life caregivers to a high of 35.0% among dementia caregivers of older adults who died within 12 months. Among dementia caregivers, the odds of high caregiving strain were nearly twice as high (aOR = 1.94, 95% CI: 1.10–3.45) for those who were assisting older adults nearing end of life. Among nondementia caregivers, providing care near the end of life was not associated with high strain. Conclusion. Increased strain toward the end of life is particularly notable for dementia caregivers. Interventions are needed to address the needs of this population.

Access source material through DOI