Families and caregivers of older people: expectations, communication and care decisions.
Authors: Digby R, Bloomer MJ
While family caregivers may temporarily relinquish responsibility for daily care to health professionals for the period of hospitalization, new expectations and demands are placed upon them. Family caregivers can be asked to commit to new relationships with health professionals, contribute to care decisions and discharge planning. For the caregivers of older patients these new expectations may be challenging, and contribute to feelings of burden and increased stress. The aim of this qualitative descriptive study was to explore the experience of family caregivers when their relative is an inpatient in this outer Melbourne geriatric evaluation and management facility. This study found that the burden associated with the experience of caregiving continued despite the hospitalization of their relative. The challenges faced by families included communicating with health professionals, and being asked to contribute to care decisions, in particular those regarding discharge planning, and managing conflict. In conclusion, the issues and challenges faced by family caregivers needs to be acknowledged and considered as an extension of patient care planning.
PMID: 25632732 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]