The significance of family caregivers today

Jana Konečná, Zdeňka Mikšová
Palacký University in Olomouc, Faculty of Health Sciences, Department of Nursing, Olomouc, Czech Republic

Korespondenční autor: Jana Konečná (jana.konecna@upol.cz)

ISSN 1804-7181 (On-line)

Full verze:
Full version

Submitted:16. 1. 2016
Accepted: 20. 4. 2016
Published online: 30. 6. 2016

Summary

Family care is defined as an informal type of lay care that is based on the principles of solidarity and love for the next of kin. The significance of this type of care is currently rising among the elderly in connection with the rising demographic increase in the number of older adults. Care for the elderly within families has a number of benefits, but there are also drawbacks that need to be eliminated. The major benefit for the elderly is being able to live at home in a stress-free environment. The major drawbacks lie in the physical and psychological strain for the caregiver, the financial burden for the family, a disrupted cohabitation, and disrupted relationships between the care provider, the care recipient and the family. Consequently, state social and health policy should support family care not only financially with available services, but also with moral appreciation. The system is still recipient-oriented rather than focusing on the family caregiver. Support for family caregivers has a positive effect, namely in long-term care on the overall health of the older person, as well as on the national economy. The information obtained was gathered from electronic databases: EBSCO, PubMed, BMČ, Google Scholar, etc. The inclusion criteria for the theoretical overview was a search period of 2005–2015 and availability of full texts. The keywords used were: family caregiver; role of caregiver; elderly; strain; burden. The exclusionary criteria were abstracts, articles related to childhood, etc. The aim of the article is to describe the current situation of family care and family caregivers in the Czech Republic. Summarized information can be useful for health and social services, and in particular for the necessary support and assistance to family caregivers.

Keywords: family caregiver; role of caregiver; elderly; strain; burden

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