Monday, June 11, 2007

Family Caregiver - Use of community resources

In 2005 the Western Journal of Nursing Research published an article on the usage of community resources by family caregivers of loved ones with dementia. The results should be no surprise to anyone that is a caregiver.

Taking data from the National Caregiver Training Project,Karen M. Robinson (University of Louisville, School of Nursing), Kathleen C. Buckwalter (University of Iowa), and David Reed (University of Iowa, College of Nursing) separated the spouse and adult child caregivers into two groups based on the amount of resources that were used each week. They determined that 64% of the caregivers did not use professional services. 79% did not use respite services. And 65% did not use other services.

If the caregiver was a spouse the odds if them turning to community resources was even less than for adult children.

The study also stated that resource use was also related to the care recipient's problems with activities of daily living and frequency of memory and behavioral problems, but the study was not clear on if the effect was increased use or decreased likelihood of use. As a caregiver I an make a very good guess that they mean there was a significant decrease in the likelihood of the caregiver turning to community resources in a case where the care recipient needs help with more than one or two activities of daily living and/or with the increase of memory and behavioral problems.

If anyone knows of a more recent study on this I would love to hear about it, or a study on care recipients that are not affected by dementia. Thanks.

Robinson, Karen M., Buckwalter, Kathleen C., Reed, David
Predictors of Use of Services Among Dementia Caregivers
West J Nurs Res 2005 27: 126-140


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