The purpose of this paper is to explore the following questions. First, what are the experiences of family caregivers in caring for community-dwelling stroke survivors? Second, what services help or do not help the caregivers in managing their caregiving role?
A qualitative study was conducted with a total of six focus group interviews with 29 stroke caregivers selected using convenience sampling in a local community centre. All interviews were recorded and transcribed for content analysis.
The results pointed to three main themes working together to facilitate desirable outcomes in caregiving and prevent elder abuse: factors contributing to caregiver stress and factors that have a buffering effect on caregiver stress and unmet needs identified from caregivers’ experiences.
The authors found that there were a number of factors contributing to caregiver stress. The findings matched with the concept that caregiver stress should not be considered as the primary cause of elder abuse. Findings provided information for further research to investigate positive coping and adjustment for stroke survivors, caregivers and their families.
Policy makers and service providers may consider specific policies and tailor-made services to enhance the effectiveness of current practice. The themes emerging from the study could be further reviewed in a longitudinal way to explore the cost-effectiveness, the outcomes and trajectory of interventional programmes.
Education would be essential to let the public understand caregivers’ difficulties and needs. Prevention of elder abuse may be approached with a range of risk factors for both perpetrating and being elder abuse victim.
From the findings of the study, the authors found that there were service gaps within policy and interventions. Concrete suggestions for improving the public's attitude and public facilities/transport for the disabled were captured in the study. In addition to personal resilience, caregivers had a strong wish for a supportive environment and services that would facilitate a better caregiving outcome.
The SKH Lady Maclehose Centre, Hong kong.
Chow, C. and Tiwari, A. (2014), "Experience of family caregivers of community-dwelling stroke survivors and risk of elder abuse: a qualitative study", The Journal of Adult Protection, Vol. 16 No. 5, pp. 276-293. https://doi.org/10.1108/JAP-03-2014-0007
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