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Health of informale female caregivers of dependent older adults

( vol-11,Issue-7,July 2024 ) OPEN ACCESS
Author(s):

Maria Regina Teixeira Ferreira Capelo, Rita Maria Baptista Lemos Silva, António José de Olim Marote Quintal, Christina César Praça Brasil, João André Ferreira Capelo, Ellen Synthia Fernandes de Oliveira, Raimunda Magalhães Silva

Keywords:

Caregiver´s health, frail older adult, informal caregivers.

Abstract:

To describe the self-perceived health of informal female caregivers when caring for dependent older adults at home. Methods: This descriptive, exploratory, quantitative-qualitative included ten females with a mean age of 54 years residing in a Portuguese insular context. The data collection tool was a questionnaire survey with one open-ended question about feelings and a scale about symptoms. Results: Ethical and moral issues, the duty to reward those providing care, the nobility of caring, and benefits for the dependent older adults sustain positive feelings, while negative feelings concern caregivers, namely, routine changes, misunderstanding, distress, anguish for witnessing irreversible transformations of the person cared for, and harm to health. The perceived physical and psychological symptoms (in descending order per the observed means) were tiredness, physical and mental exhaustion, general fatigue, decreased strength and endurance, nervousness, irritability, anxiety and insomnia, back pain, stomach pain, and depression. Conclusions: This study did not explore the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic situation on the health of the participants but showed that caring for dependent older adults at home strongly impacts the life and health of informal caregivers. The feelings and symptoms perceived by informal caregivers can also affect the lives of dependent older adults. An accurate assessment of the event in the region is crucial to increase effective public policies aimed at informal caregivers, a group increasingly essential in an aging contemporary society.

Article Info:

Received: 07 May 2024, Receive in revised form: 12 Jun 2024, Accepted: 22 Jun 2024, Available online: 02 Jul 2024

ijaers doi crossref DOI:

10.22161/ijaers.117.1

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