Objectives: This study examined the outcomes of informal caregiving for community-living impaired elderly at home with a conceptual framework of human capital theory. With the human capital theory, the unpaid contributions of informal caregivers are a social good, and investments in increasing the informal caregiver resources or capital may yield better Caregiving outcomes. Methods: Four groups of human capital factors were applied: caregiver personal resources, social resources, health insurance coverage, and care-recipient’s contributions to the caregiver. Their effects were examined on caregiving outcome measures: hours of assistance provided, ADL and IADL assistance provided, and care-recipient perceived health -after controlling for both caregiver and care-recipient sociodemographic and health factors. Analysis of the 200 pairs of informal caregivers and their elderly care-recipients aged 65+ years with chronic impairment, drawn from the 2011 list of the National Health Insurance system. The results: The data which were collected through face-to-face interviews, showed that the care-recipients were advanced in age and had a considerable physical as well as cognitive impairment; the caregivers were mostly middle-aged. Their provision of care was in direct response to the care-recipients’ needs. ADL of the elderly care-recipients were significantly related to the ADL , IADL and hours of assistance provided. The elderly ADL and IADL impairment of care-recipients were significantly related to IADL assistance provided. None of the sociodemographic characteristics of the elderly were significantly related to IADL assistance provided. Burden also had a strong relationship with IADL assistance provided. Hours of assistance were significantly related to the elderly care-recipient’s ADL, and IADL impairment. However, cognitive impairment was not significantly related to hours of assistance. Conclusion: Results found that reducing caregiver burden, providing respite services to caregiver, providing better health care coverage, facilitating coordination among various informal caregivers, and promoting the helpfulness of care-recipients could help caregivers carry the responsibilities of care as well as enhance care-recipient quality of life.
|Keywords:||Informal Caregiving, Care-recipient, ADL, IADL, Burden, Cognitive Impairment|
Assistant Professor, Department of Gerontology and Healthy Ageing, School of Public Health, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Tehran, Iran (Islamic Republic of)
Senior Lecturer, Discipline of Behavioural and Social Sciences in Health, , Faculty of Health Sciences, , University of Sydney, , 75 East Street, Lidcombe NSW 1825, , Australia, University of Sydney, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Iran (Islamic Republic of)