Revista Egitania Sciencia - Volume 20 | ARTICLE

Title: THE CHARACTERISTICS OF THE OLDER DEPENDENT AND THE OVERLOAD ON THE INFORMAL CAREGIVER: A STUDY IN BELMONTE

Author: Julieta Martins (jujumartins81@hotmail.com) *, Cecília Fonseca (cfonseca@ipg.pt) **, Maria Barbosa (mhbarbosa@ipg.pt) **
* ACES Cova da Beira, UCSP Belmonte, Portugal, ** Unidade de Investigação para o Desenvolvimento do Interior (UDI), Instituto Politécnico da Guarda, Portugal
Publication: Revista Egitania Sciencia - Volume 20

Abstract:
The care provided informally by family members to a dependent elderly person (DE), often entails an intense burden for the Informal Caregiver (IC). In this research the objective is to investigate which factors, sociodemographic characteristics and clinical status of DEs, most influence the burden of ICs. A quantitative and transversal study was performed and based on a sample with 34 ICs and their respective DEs. The data collection instrument was indirect administration and it contained the General Questionnaires for IC and DE, the Scales Portable Mental Status Pfeiffer Questionnaire and Burden Interview of Zarit and Barthel Index. Data collection took place between November 2012 and February 2013, and all ethical procedures were fulfilled. The results reveal that the majority of the ICs sample had an intense or slight overload level, standing out from the CIs who care for DEs of male gender, unmarried, who receive a pension/retirement, exercised their professional activity in the secondary or tertiary sector, with a lower level of dependence and with clinically diagnosed diseases. It was concluded that the parameterization of Zarit's ESC in computer systems, used in health, would be an added value since it would allow an effective evaluation of the overload felt by CIs. In this way, it would be possible to identify CIs with overload and to develop intervention strategies in order to enhance their skills

Keywords: Informal caregivers, elderly dependents, burden




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