Use of home care services effectively reduces feelings of burden among family caregivers of disabled elderly in Japan: preliminary results

Authors

  • Keigo Kumamoto,

    1. Department of Gerontological Policy, National Institute for Longevity Sciences (NILS), National Center for Geriatrics and Gerontology (NCGG) Obu-shi, Aichi, Japan
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  • Yumiko Arai,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Gerontological Policy, National Institute for Longevity Sciences (NILS), National Center for Geriatrics and Gerontology (NCGG) Obu-shi, Aichi, Japan
    • Department Head, Department of Gerontological Policy, National Institute for Longevity Sciences (NILS), National Center for Geriatrics and Gerontology (NCGG), 36-3 Gengo Morioka-cho, Obu-shi, Aichi 474-8522, Japan.
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  • Steven H. Zarit

    1. Department of Human Development & Family Studies, Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA, USA
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Abstract

Background

Relatively few observational studies have been conducted on the impact of home care services on burden or other aspects of the caregiver's experience.

Objectives

To examine whether the use of care services reduces the feelings of burden among family caregivers in Japan. Specifically, the study was aimed at testing the following three hypotheses: (1) The severity of impairment and the dementia among the disabled elderly increases the feelings of burden among family caregivers and the support from family members decreases burden: (2) the amount of services used by older people and their caregivers is affected by the severity of dementia and ADL deficiencies among the disabled elderly and the amount of support from family members: and (3) controlling for severity, the use of care services under the LTC insurance program serves to reduce the feelings of burden among family caregivers.

Methods

A structural equation model using the data obtained from 82 pairs of community-dwelling disabled elderly and their principal family caregivers. The model included the following variables: age of the disabled elderly; the severity of ADL deficiency and behavioral disturbances; use of formal (public) care services; support from family members; and feelings of burden among family caregivers.

Results

The structural equation model revealed that, after controlling for the effects of severity on service use, home care services effectively reduce feelings of burden among family caregivers.

Conclusions

The findings suggest that care services provided under the LTC insurance have been successfully reducing burden among family caregivers in the study area. Copyright © 2006 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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