Friday, April 22, 2011
Reluctant End-of-Life Caregivers: Would You Do It Again? (Research, Video 3:10)
Most people don’t set out to become caregivers. Some enjoy nurturing loved ones and find the caregiving experience challenging, but rewarding. Few people talk about caregivers who feel depressed, guilty, trapped in a hole with no way out except the death of persons in their care. Maybe they were the only sibling living near the parent, the only relative or friend with resources to provide care, or the only person willing to step up when others refused. Whatever their reasons, they became caregivers reluctantly, never fully embracing the responsibility, and made the most of the situation. If they had a choice, would they do it again? Some say they would not.
In a study reported in the “Journal of Pain and Symptom Management,” factors associated with an unwillingness to become caregivers again were reviewed. Former caregivers of palliative care patients were interviewed. Comparisons between those who would do caregiving again and those who would not were made with these results:
1) One in 13 (7.4%) former caregivers indicated that they would not provide such care again.
2) One in six (16.5%) would only "probably care again."
3) Increasing age and lower levels of education controlling for spousal relationship lessen the willingness to care again.
4) Despite most active caregivers being willing to provide care again, a
proportion would not.
This Visiting Nurse Service of New York video titled “How to Relieve Stress When Caring for an Aging Parent or Spouse” presents ways to cope with caregiver stress.