Community-Based Social and Health-Care System for Informal Caregivers Abstract


Community-BasedSocial and Health-Care System for Informal Caregivers


Informalcaregiving poses various emotional, physical and relationship issuesto the providers. In fact, studies indicate that many Americansprefer to take their elderly informal home care services where theycan receive professional health care services. Unfortunately, somecommunities prefer informal care of the elderly as their culturedemands so. On the other hand, lack of palliative and rehabilitativeservices in numerous low and middle-income countries make severalfamilies opt to make care of their aged loved ones. To increase thefamilies that have adopted informal caregiving services, as well asimprove therapy patients receive at their homes, respite care hasbecome popular therapy delivery option. Voluntary and experiencedhealthcare professional teams visit patients at their home places toprovide medical services. Respite service is intervention servicesthat informal caregivers acquire from professionals intending tostand in for them for a short term as they take a break from lookingafter their loved ones. This caregiving approach is likely toincrease the number of families using the arrangement as it offersguidance and assistance to care professionals (Campen et al., 2012 p.46). The objective of this essay is designing a community-basedsocial and healthcare system that would encourage additional familiesto adopt the therapy.

Caregivingservices involve providing voluntary support and assistance to bothacquaintances and family members suffering from developmental,physical or psychological requirements. The care mainly comes inthree options that include informational, emotional and instrumentalcaring. In the USA, caregiving service is significant as there aremany elderly people living with terminal illnesses associated withcausing disabilities. For example, gout, high blood pressure, anddiabetes diseases are some of the primary causes of disabilitiesamong the aged. In many cases, close relatives and friends to theelderly persons often shoulder the burden of providing supportiveservices such as bathing, laundry services, and cooking. In fact,caregiving service providers are primary pillar for providingcommunity-based social and health-care system. Unfortunately, variousstudies have identified unique challenges facing informal caregivers.For instance, various studies have indicated that informal caregiverssuffer from inescapable psychological stress while others claim thatnon-caregivers are happier compared to caregivers. However, thereexists desirable community-based social and healthcare system thatcan encourage the people with aged loved ones to embrace informalcaregiving services.

Asthe world has attained improved health care and changing healthpatterns, life expectancy is increasing drastically. As a result,caregiving services are becoming is increasingly becoming marketable.In fact, Brinda et al. (2014, p. 12) asserts that inadequatestate-financed care services for the elderly has made caregivingservices provided by family members and friends a cornerstone intaking care of the elderly persons. The meaning of caregiving variesfrom one research to another substantially. However, in this study,the meaning would be referring to behaviors aimed at assisting thepeople in need. The group in need would refer to aged and dependentpersons while the informal care providers would be referring tofriends and family members dedicated to taking care of their lovedones. The objective of designing a specialized caregiving system isensuring that people with loved ones will not feel overburdened bytaking care of their loved ones. Seeking help is a challenging task,especially, when an individual is not sure about the nature ofsupport that would complement his or her needs.

AdultDay Health Care (ADHC) Centers

Oneof the best community-based social and healthcare systems that canincrease the number of informal caregivers using the service includesestablishing Adult Day Health Care (ADHC) Centers. The centers aresecure and dynamic surroundings where aged persons meet every day forinteraction and engagement in various activities. As the veteransenjoy the company of their colleagues and engaging in interestingrecreational activities, caregivers can engage in their personalduties. Experienced generative professionals manage the ADHC Centershence, they evaluate rehabilitation needs for the elderly, and thenassist them in maintaining or reclaiming her personal dignity andindependence (Campen et al., 2012, p. 47). Caregivers can arrange tobe taking their loved ones to the center in the morning and pickingthem in the evening during regular work hours. On the contrary, theymay choose to book them in the facilities from Monday to Friday sothat they can relax when at work. According to attachment theory,generative individuals prefer support services provided by theirloved ones to assistance health care professionals provide. Thismakes it imperative to integrate professional care with informalcaregiving (Lawford et al., 2013, p. 1848). ADHC Centers emphasize onfriendship qualities such as conflict management, shared recreation,and stimulation. Managers in the facilities base their operations onthe attachment theory that primarily include intimate exchange,validation, helping and empathic behaviors. Lawford et al. (2013, p.1849) asserts that caregiving in the facilities can be more effectiveif the services are separated from women and department. Similarly,local ADHC Centers should feature unique and separated activitiestailored to suit both aged men and women. Establishment of thisservice is bound to increase the number of informal caregivers usingit relatives and friends can delegate the responsibility of takingcare of their loved ones to skilled professionals when they are goingto work or a leaving for a vacation.

Home-BasedPrimary Care (HBPC)

Anotherefficient community-based social and healthcare system that wouldsuit many informal caregivers is Home-Based Primary Care (HBPC). Thearrangement is most suited for families’ whose veterans requireprofessional health care services, and they are suffering fromdiseases that make it hard for them to travel. Therapists visit thepatients’ home, either or daily or as regular as necessary. Themain services the healthcare professionals provide include puttingtogether tasty and nutritious meals suited for patients, managingmedication, as well as offering primary nursing care (Robinson etal., 2013, p. 504). In some cases, the service may include mentalhealth treatment services, physical rehabilitation, and referrals tocommunity and veteran association services. Informal caregivers arelikely to embrace the using HBPC as it can save them the difficultiesof transferring bedridden veterans from home to medical centers forroutine checkups. Brown and Brown (2014, p. 74) claims that unpaidinformal caregivers that tend to their disabled, sick and elderlyrelatives, friends and significant others are vulnerable healthdisorders and psychological disorders. Besides, they are susceptibleto death associated with emotional and physical burden of the sickpersons. In fact, organizations such as the National Family CaregiverSupport Program (NFCSP), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention(CDC) and the Family Caregiver Alliance (FCA) have publishedinformation indicating that informal caregiving often have negativeconsequences. The authors point out that NFCSP reduces negativeconsequences associated with the treatment using strategies likerespite care, personal counseling and support teams (Brown &ampBrown, 2014, p. 97). Numerous empirical studies indicate that unpaidcaregiving may affect an individual’s wellness and healthnegatively. However, the caregiver’s burden significantly reduceswhen they can access HBPC as therapists can identify their lovedone’s issues and address them accordingly (Brown &amp Brown 2014,p. 98).

HomeHospice Care (HHC)

HomeHospice Care (HHC) is another efficient informal respite servicesthat are appropriate for family members responsible for taking careof loved ones suffering from a terminal disease that is at advancedstages. The service complements the services of the informalcaregivers through providing supportive and comfortable services forboth the primary caregiver and the elderly patients at their homes.Home Hospice Care therapists often understand the challengescaregivers are facing hence, they customize a treatment and careapproach tailored to assist patients to pass the last stage safely. Ateam containing interdisciplinary volunteers and health careproviders offer the services in the course of challenging and sadmoments. The team can dedicate as much time as a caregiver, familymembers or a patient needs. According to Brinda et al. (2014, p. 2),inadequate state-sponsored care services have made informalcaregiving services by family members a core alternative for elderlycare in several many Low and Middle-Income Countries (LMICs) such asIndia. However, the burden of informal caregiving is extremely highamong the low and middle-income families as individuals responsiblefor taking care of their loved ones often dedicate their entire timeto looking after the elderly. In India, informal caregiving serviceis substantially high compared to formal health care services indeveloped countries such as the United States (Brinda et al., 2014,p. 9). However, limited income makes low-income families that cannotafford to pay formal caregiving services to allocate one individualto looking after their elderly loved one. Some Indian families in theUnited States prefer informal caregiving service, despiteavailability of formal caregiving service providers, as their culturerequires family members to take care of their aged loved ones. Inpatriarchal societies, gender stereotypes and inequality make womencarry the greatest caregiving burden. As a result, men alienatethemselves in supporting the elderly hence, women experience thephysical and emotional burden of taking care of family memberssuffering from terminal illnesses. Quality HHC can save informalcaregivers from regular emotional and relationship breakdowns throughrelieving them of their duties occasionally (Brinda et al., 2014, p.10).

Insummary, research on caregiving research is still on its earlyestablishment stages. However, researchers have already established avarious unique characteristics associated with caregivers such assuffering from stress and inability to form healthy relationships insome cases. In fact, many caregivers suffer from stress, depressionand anxiety among other mental health issues. Campen et al. (2012)notes that caregiving has substantial effect on emotional and longterm relationship of the service providers such that an individualmay be unable to form healthy relationships even after they stopproviding the service to the patients. As a result, researchersrecommend that caregivers should consider taking occasional leave andpsychotherapy as a precaution for ensuring healthy life.


Caregivingservices to the elderly loved ones is costly, and challengingobligation that can make individuals providing the service sufferfrom physical, emotional and relationship issues. However, theservices are necessary for patriarchal societies that associatecaregiving duties to women. In the United States, many people preferto book their patients informal caregiving facilities since they areaffordable and efficient. However, the attachment theory argues thatinformal caregiving is valuable in some societies, as the patientfeel more comfortable when they are under their loved ones’ care,as they understand their needs comprehensively. However, caregivingburden can strain therapists to the extent of affecting their healthnegatively. To avoid burning out informal caregivers, respiteservices provide innovative strategies for allowing family members abreak from the routine duties. Interdisciplinary volunteer, relative,and friends can help to relieve primary informal caregivers of theirroutine burdens. Some of the common social and community healthcareservices that are making the therapy approach widespread in theUnited States and across the world include community-based social andhealthcare systems, Home-Based Primary Care, and Home Hospice Care.The services allow caregivers to have a break from the burden oftaking care of their loved ones, an approach that has encouragednumerous families with aged loved ones to adopt the therapy provisiontechnique.


CampenC., Boer A.H. &amp Iedema, J. (2012). Are informal caregivers lesshappy than noncaregivers? Happiness and the intensity of caregivingin combination with paid and voluntary work. ScandinavianJournal of Caring Sciences,27, 44–50

Brinda,E.M., Rajkumar, A.P., Enemark, U., Attermann, J. &amp Jacob K.S.(2014). Cost and burden of informal caregiving of dependent olderpeople in a rural Indian community. BMCHealth Services Research,14(207).1-18. doi:10.1186/1472-6963-14-207

BrownS.L. &amp Brown R.M. (2014). Informal Caregiving: A Reappraisal ofEffects on Caregivers. SocialIssues and Policy Review, 8(1),74—102.

Lawford,H.L, Doyle A.B. &amp Markiewicz, D. (2013). The Association betweenEarly Generative Concern and Caregiving with Friends from Early toMiddle Adolescence. JYouth Adolescence 42:1847–1857.DOI 10.1007/s10964-012-9888-y

RobinsonK.M, Buckwalter K. &amp Reed, D. (2013). Differences betweenDementia Caregivers Who are Users and Nonusers of Community Services. PublicHealth Nursing,30(6), 501-510. DOI: 10.1111/phn.12041.

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