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Informal Caregiving

Caregiving Policies and Programs Aleesha M. Mullen University of Louisiana at Monroe Proposed Reference List & Outline: Topic: Care giving: The study of Informal Caregiving Outline: The Social Framework: Who are the Informal Caregivers? How does Caregiving affect their lives? The Ideological Framework: The Meaning of Informal Caregiving The Social Policy Options for Caregivers The values of Informal Caregiving Introduction This text will be exploring the profile of caregivers in today’s society.

The profile of a caregiver ranges from the working mother to the wife with three children.

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There are no boundaries that can fit into this profile. Along with this, the text will explain the ways in which informal caregiving will change a person’s life and how it affects them personally. The different programs and policies that contribute the caregivers in our society will be discussed in dept. These will include private sectors and government sectors that offer support to caregivers. There are always good reasons on why informal caregiving should be focused on as an important task.

For example, these caregivers come from a diverse demographic background, and their cultures, financial situations, and other aspects play a big role in how they provide care. This is why support should always be offered and administered to make sure the best value and quality of care is given. Therefore, in conclusion this text will be completed by expressing the values of informal caregiving and the changes that could be produced to help improve this line of work. The Profile of In Informal Caregiving

The term caregiver refers to anyone who provides assistance to someone else, who is, to some degree, handicapped, and unable to care for themselves. This could include persons providing care for: a husband or wife who has suffered a stroke, a spouse with Parkinson’s disease, a father-in law with cancer, a grandparent with Alzheimer’s disease, a loved one who is suffering from a traumatic brain injury, a friend with acquired immune deficiency syndrome or AIDS, a child dealing with muscular dystrophy, an elder who is very frail. All of these can demonstrate as a caregiver.

Many caregivers are unpaid individuals involved with assisting others who are u unable to perform certain normal activities. The caregivers range in gender, and age. The caregivers in our society today are majority women. There are an estimated 66% of caregivers who are female. Out of this percent, one-third takes care of two or more people, and the average age of a female caregiver is about forty-eight. (“Selected Caregiver Statistics”, n. d. para. 3). The interesting fact is there are usually more women who are caregivers and when a caregiver is thought of they think about an older female.

According to Gary Lee, Jeffery Dwyer, and Raymond Coward, “Analyses show that adult children are more likely to provide care to a parent of the same gender, and infirm elders are more likely to receive care from a child of the same gender. Because the substantial majority of elderly parents requiring care from children are mothers, this tendency toward gender consistency in the caregiving relationship partially accounts for the fact that daughters are more likely than sons to be involved in parent care. ” (Lee, Dwyer, Coward,. 1993). The tasks that are detailed in caregiving include bathing, toileting, and dressing.

Among the caregivers, majority of the women population have to handle these most difficult tasks. It can be difficult for caregivers to think about their selves as they have to spend time thinking about another person. Female caregivers are more likely to endure more stress than the male caregivers. Caregivers also have to provide a stressing number of hours to the needy, and this can play a large role on they deal with other issues of life. According to the graph presented below provided by, “Partnership for Solution”, shows the average number of hours caregivers provide, can range from about fifteen hours to thirty-five hours.

The ages range from fifteen years old to seventy-five years or older. Caregiving can affect and change a person’s life in a vast way. The act of providing care to an older family member is a highly personal activity. This is more than likely conducted in the privacy of a family’s home. Informal caregivers go about rescheduling their lives and daily activities to make sure that their loved ones receive the best care they possibly can. There are some caregivers who will go as far as quitting their jobs, or picking up a part-time job to take full advantage of the care they provide.

There are people at all points in their life that give and receive informal care. The most common type of relationship is the one between the child and the elderly parent. Along with this relationship, the young caregivers are the ones who are more likely to care for the other family members such as; aunts, and uncles. Takamura and Williams(1998) states, “Caregiving to other relatives declines through middle age as other familial responsibilities take hold, but increases in the late fifties and early sixties.

Over the age of 60, women frequently report providing care to a sibling” (Takamura & Williams, 1998. P. 7). During the middle age years there are usually life altering events that occur. For example, some women may have to deal with the natural act of menopause, and some male caregivers may have midlife crises. Middle age years are the times when the children are growing up or grandchildren are being born, and the immediate family needs the most attention. Although these are all factors that may yield a caregiver to give quality care to a loved one, there are other situations that might occur.

For example, there may be an ill child, or disabled child that a parent or loved one will have to provide care to. All ethnic groups have a certain way and culturist style of providing care. Both black and White Americans share equal amounts of time providing care, although, black women are more likely to be caregivers than white women. Black women may be also more likely to provide care to a disable relative other than an immediate family member than are white women. (Takamura & Williams, 1998. P. 8).

Caregiving affects many groups in many different ways and varies by marital status. Caregivers also tend to be a little healthier than the general population. This could be because they are more aware of the health of the people around them and they try to focus on their selves as much as they can. Being a caregiver makes a person more conscious about health. Even though, states early that many caregivers have less time to care for their selves, their consciousness of health is higher. Providing informal care to disabled or ill family or friend is an important normative experience.

Most Americans will become a caregiver as point of their life and many will provide informal care at multiple times in their live. Policies and Programs to Support Informal Caregivers Many of all of the types of carers previously listed are in the group of informal caregivers. It is true that these caregivers are not paid, but some are able to receive some sort of assistance from government agencies in different areas of our country. For example, Sweden is a country that focused on the informal caregivers and the things they need to provide quality care for their loved ones (Wacker & Roberto, p. 28). Wacker and Roberto also state, “Families provide direct and informal care to their elderly relatives, but the government also supports family caregivers through services that help carers directly and by providing compensation to carers”(Wacker. & Roberto p. 228). For example, there is a program entitled, Family and Informal Caregiver Support Program in Maryland, and Hawii. It was a developed explicity for innovative and evidence-based community projects that help friend and family care for chronically ill or disabled and moderate income older adults. (Jeanett Weinberg Foundation, 2012).

This is a great example to see how different areas of the world and of our society to offering the much needed support, even around the globe. In figure 1, it explains that Sweden focuses largly on the informal cargivers. Other countries are more focused on the government sectors of formal cargivng mainly due to the fact that a profit is involved. The Sweden government gives what is called, Carer’s allowance,to family who provide informal care to elderly recipient. These are what the Sweden’s government call, voluntary and nonprofit. As you can see in the figure as well the overnment of Sweden does provide help to the universal and local delivery of services for cargiving. It is always great to see the informal caregivers have a part in this government funding a well. Caregivers have to have some kind of support to be able to provide quality care. The question is, how do they receive this support and from where do they get it from? Service-based forms of support for carers help offer a large and import form of care. Service-based forms of support are typically emphasized on services that are available in all or most localities, or mainstream services.

However, there are certain policies that are referenced based on innovatory or special needs because this is the form that is more widely needed. When looking at service-based forms of support for carers, it is always important to understand the definition of what is meant by a service for carers (Twigg, 1992, p. 60). Twigg says that carers reside in an ambiguous position within the field of social care, being neither patients nor clients. The help that come from carers does so from services aimed primarily at the person they look after.

Therefore, the service provided is based on the personal need of the family member or person in need of care. Due to the close relationship between the cared-for person and the carer, there care needed for the care-for person is relevant to the carer. This means that what counts as a service for carers need to be foreseen widely. There are two main forms of service for carers (Twigg, 1992). The first is specific carer services. These are services that are unequivocally provided to carers, for example respite care and support groups. The second form of service is carer allocations.

Carers also receive help from some services that are aimed primarily at the person they look after. Sometimes the allocation is open, for example when a day care place is provided for the cared-for person with the intention of relieving the carer. Sometimes it happens less overtly, as a by-product of assistance to the cared-for person (Twigg, 1992, pp. 60-61). Both forms of service will be included when looking at service-based forms of support for carers. The research of this informal caregiving diffidently shapes policy and how programs are conformed for caregivers and the cared-for person.

The respite form of care is one that was developed due to the fact there was research completed. The conclusion for informal caregivers who have jobs, children and other daily activities to be completed, is respite care. This is the most important form of support and specifically for carers. This is a form that can be defined as ‘an interval of relief’ (Tinker et al. , 1998). Of course this can come in a number of forms, although the most commonly available are day care and short-term breaks. Other types of home care relief services and sitting are available, although not in all areas (Tinker et al. 1998). In addition to specific carer services, home care service and community nursing services are aimed primarily at the person that is being looked after. These are both forms of in-home assistance, and they cover a help with in housework, nursing task and personal care. Every service has to be evaluated annually or in intervals of time. Many evaluations of services are based on aces to services, the views of carers and the outcomes for the carer. The purpose of the evaluations of services is to draw some conclusions from the details about each service and examining the services as a whole.

Historically carers have had problems in being able to access community services. Community social services have been focused primarily on unsupported elderly people who live at home alone. This was a finding that was borne out by a number of studies undertaken during the late nineties. Davies et al. described this as reducing the ‘horizontal target efficiency’ of the service in that it reduced the proportion of people in high priority groups who received services (Davies et al. , 1990). Figure 1: Figure 2: References: Davies, B. , Ferlie E. , Hughes, M. and Twigg, J. (1990). Resources, Needs and Outcomes in Community-Based Care.

A comparative study of the production of welfare for elderly people in ten local authorities in England and Wales. PSSRU, University of Kent at Canterbury, Avebury. Lee, G. R,. Dwyer, J. W. , Coward, R. T. , (1993). Gender Differences in Parent Care: Demographic Factors and Same-Gender Preferences. Retieved from http://geronj. oxfordjournals. org/content/48/1/S9. short Partner for Solutions. (2004). Chronic Conditons: Making the Case for Ongoing Care. John Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD. (2004). Retrieved from http://www. caregiver. org/caregiver/jsp/content_node. jsp? nodeid=401 Roberto, K. amp; Wacker, R. (2011). Aging Social Policies: An International Perspective. SAGE Publication, Inc. , Thousand Oaks, CA. Takamura, J. , Williams, B. , (1998). Informal Caregiving: Compassion in Action. Retrieved from http://aspe. hhs. gov/daltcp/reports/carebro2. pdf Tinker, A. , Wright, F. , McCreadie, C. , Askham J. , Hancock, R. and Holmans, A. (1998). Alternative Models of Care for Elderly People. Age Concern Institute of Gerontology. Twigg, J. (1992). ‘Carers in the service system’. In Twigg, J. (ed. ). Carers: Research and Practice. London, HMSO. Loading… Loading… Loading… Loading…