Factors related to feelings of burden among caregivers looking after impaired elderly in Japan under the Long-Term Care insurance system

Authors

  • YUMIKO ARAI md , phd,

    1. Research Unit for Nursing Caring Sciences and Psychology, National Institute for Longevity Sciences (NILS), Obu,
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  • KEIGO KUMAMOTO phd,

    1. Research Unit for Nursing Caring Sciences and Psychology, National Institute for Longevity Sciences (NILS), Obu,
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  • MASAKAZU WASHIO md , phd,

    1. Research Unit for Nursing Caring Sciences and Psychology, National Institute for Longevity Sciences (NILS), Obu,
    2. Department of Public Health, School of Medicine, Sapporo Medical University, Sapporo,
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  • TERUKO UEDA bsc ,

    1. Research Unit for Nursing Caring Sciences and Psychology, National Institute for Longevity Sciences (NILS), Obu,
    2. Faculty of Service Industries, Department of Health and Social Services, University of Marketing and Distribution Sciences, Kobe,
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  • HIROKO MIURA phd,

    1. Research Unit for Nursing Caring Sciences and Psychology, National Institute for Longevity Sciences (NILS), Obu,
    2. Faculty of Health Science, Kyushu University of Health and Welfare, Nobeoka,
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  • KEI KUDO md , phd

    1. Research Unit for Nursing Caring Sciences and Psychology, National Institute for Longevity Sciences (NILS), Obu,
    2. Research Unit for Public Health, Miyagi University, Sendai, Japan
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Dr Yumiko Arai, Research Unit for Nursing Caring Sciences and Psychology, National Institute for Longevity Sciences (NILS), 36-3 Gengo Morioka-cho, Obu-shi, Aichi 474-8522, Japan. Email: yarai@nils.go.jp

Abstract

Abstract  Since the 1970s, the burden of caregiving has been the subject of rather intense study, a trend that will continue with the rapid graying of populations worldwide. Since the Long-Term Care insurance system began in 2000, few cross-sectional studies have attempted to identify factors related to the feelings of burden among caregivers looking after the impaired elderly in Japan. In the present report, among 46 pairs of caregivers and impaired elderly, the elderly receiving regular nurses’ visits in Kyoto Prefecture, Japan were assessed for problems with activities of daily living, the severity of dementia, the presence of behavioral disturbance, and cognitive impairment. The caregivers were asked to complete questionnaires in relation to their feelings of burden and caregiving situation. The results indicated that caregivers of impaired elderly with behavioral disturbances were more likely to feel a ‘heavier burden.’ Those temporarily relieved of caregiving three or more hours a day were less likely to experience ‘heavier’ caregiver burden than those who were not. Moreover, caregivers who found it ‘inconvenient’ to use care services tended to be more likely to feel a ‘heavier’ caregiver burden than those who did not. Recourse to respite services, which are ideally positioned to help, proved inconvenient because of their advance reservation system. More ready access to respite services in emergencies could do much to reduce caregiver burden.

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