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Year : 2020  |  Volume : 7  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 38-44

Problems and strain of caregivers of urban older adults: An exploration

Department of Geriatric Mental Health, King George's Medical University, Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Nisha Mani Pandey
Department of Geriatric Mental Health, King George's Medical University, Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jgmh.jgmh_38_19

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Background: Due to the ever-changing psychosocial priorities and changes in family paradigms, care of older adults (aged 60 years and above) is often being experienced difficult. However, studies have hardly been done in this direction to elicit caregivers' experiences. The present article explores the problems and strain faced by the caregivers of urban older adults and discusses the basic differences faced during care of the healthy (elderly with no discernable illness) and unhealthy (elderly with single or multiple morbidity[ies]) older adults. Methods: The data were extracted from an extramural ad hoc research project sponsored by the Indian Council of Medical Research. It was a cross-sectional study, in which 1163 caregivers, aged 18 years or more, were interviewed. They were asked to share experiences for caring their elderly. It was revealed that around 57% (n = 661) of caregivers were taking care of unhealthy (elderly with psychiatric disorders, physical diseases, organic disorders, or two or more morbidities) older adults, whereas 43% (n = 502) of caregivers were taking care of healthy older adults. The Problem Checklist and Strain Scale was administered and the obtained data were analyzed applying percentages, mean, standard deviation, and χ2 test. Results: The mean age of caregivers was 43.64 ± 13.8 years for males and 44.57 ± 12.42 for females; females outnumbered males (59.4%) as primary caregivers. Irrespective of health conditions, majority of the caregivers reported that they experienced problems (73.86%) and strain (70.59%) due to their caregiving responsibilities. The pertinent issues have been analyzed and discussed. Conclusion: Majority of the caregivers of older adults experience problems and strain, which is an alarming situation. This may further negatively affect the well-being and quality of life of the elderly. Therefore, there is a need to thoroughly study the caregivers' aspects and introduce remedial strategies so that the elderly and caregivers both can lead a better life.

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