• burden;
  • caregivers;
  • carers;
  • dementia;
  • Japan;
  • Long-Term Care insurance;
  • service use

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.