Caregiver Role Strain

Topics: Family, Caregiver, Family Caregiver Alliance Pages: 3 (1000 words) Published: July 14, 2012
Caregiver Role Strain

Caregiver Role Strain
Family caregivers provide more than 80% of the long-term care for older adults in this country (Messecar, 2008). An estimated 22 million families provide care to a dependent elder in the home setting, and by 2025, it is estimated that the number of dependent elders in the U.S. will rise to 62 million people. Yet, estimates suggest that as many as 50% of caregivers experience symptoms of depression which is considerably higher than the 10% estimate for depression found in the general population (Clark & Diamond, 2010). Caregiving is an experience that can cause a variety of emotions for the families involved. For some people, it can be a very positive, fulfilling experience, and for others, the challenges of their role can create obstacles in their daily life that lead to negative feelings about the situation and the person for whom they are providing care. Caregiving can be difficult, time-consuming work added on top of job and other family responsibilities, and if caregivers suffer negative consequences from their caregiving role and these are not mitigated, increased morbidity and mortality may result for caregivers. To better understand how caregiving affects people, it is necessary to look at how each person becomes a caregiver and what roles are taken on by that person (Szakaly, 2011). We will also look at how nurses can identify and assist patients who either have or are at risk for caregiver role strain. Depending on the caregiving decisions made within a family and the availability of family members to participate in caregiving, situations may arise that require role changes (Szakaly, 2011). Role reversal occurs each time aging parents are cared for by their adult children. Though adult children may not feel out of place providing care, particularly if they have raised children, some older adults experience awkwardness when exchanging roles with their children. This awkwardness is one of the...
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