Older Adult Caregivers and Their Stroke Surviving Partner in a Home Setting

By: Kanvee Viwatpanich  

In order to explore the life situation of older adult caregivers, the mixed method was applied using questionnaires, medical screening tests (357 cases), and in-depth interviews (40 cases) in 20 provinces across Thailand. The majority of older adult caregivers were females. Due to the demanding needs for home-based care, the most prevalent of the reported conditions was musculoskeletal (89.36%) followed by cholesterol (68.35%), diabetes (63.87%), and hypertension (63.03%). In addition, 24.93% of the caregivers were going through chemotherapy or rehabilitation. Of the total, 10.36% were either injured or partially disabled due to a fall and accident. Experiences of ischemic stroke (5.6%) as well as Bell’s palsy (0.28%) were also reported. Nearly half (49.02%) indicated suffering from moderate depression, and 38.38% were evidently afflicted by mental distress. Furthermore, 35.85% had signs of cognitive impairment. Half of the caregivers reported low levels of health, subjected to at least 6 kinds of medical conditions, yet providing care for 7.2 hours a day on average. The qualitative investigation confirmed the extent of their limitations ranging from; (1) lack of medical knowledge to sustain home based care (2) impact of aging and depriving health (3) lack of medical accessibility in healthcare system (4) lack of family and social support and (5) the impact of social and family responsibility. In a bid to improve their quality of life, they suggested having frequent family visits and social supports, home visits by health personnel, increased health rights in universal health care scheme, and increased social pension and welfare.

Medical Perspectives on Aging, Health, Wellness
Paper Presentation in a Themed Session

Kanvee Viwatpanich

Associate Professor , Social Gerontology , Chulabhorn International College of Medicine, Thammasat University, Thailand