Differences between and within genders in caregiving strain: a comparison between caregivers of demented and non-caregivers of non-demented elderly people

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Abstract

Differences between and within genders in caregiving strain:a comparison between caregivers of demented and non-caregivers of non-demented elderly people

Fifty-two caregivers for demented and 66 non-caregivers for non-demented elderly were investigated both within a gender and between genders. All participants were relatives and a burden questionnaire was used. The results showed that there was not always a difference between the caregivers for demented and the non-caregivers for non-demented elderly which may indicate that being a relative, even to a non-demented elderly, has obviously its own problems and importance. However, results showed more significant differences between female caregivers and female non-caregivers than between male caregivers and male non-caregivers, with females caring for a demented elderly suffering most strain. Their strain was exhibited by health problems, conflicts in the family, strained relations with family and others, a less positive outlook and limits in social support because of the caregiving situation. When investigating the group of male caregivers and male non-caregivers, it was found that males caring for a demented elderly person experienced a lack of positive outlook and a need for social support. The elderly person's residence in the group of caregivers for demented elderly people and in the group of non-caregivers for non-demented elderly people did not, however, appear to indicate any significant differences.

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