Burdens of Family Caregiving at the End of Life

Kelli I Stajduhar

Abstract


A patient’s ability to be cared for and to die at home is heavily dependent upon the efforts of family caregivers. Considerable stresses are associated with such caregiving, including physical, psychosocial and financial burdens. Research has shown that unmet needs and dissatisfaction with care can lead to negative outcomes for caregivers. While many family caregivers also report caregiving as life-enriching, some report that they would prefer alternatives to care at home, primarily because of these associated burdens. Little is known about which interventions are most effective to support family caregivers ministering palliative care at home. Well-designed studies to test promising interventions are needed, followed by studies of the best ways to implement the most effective interventions. Clinically effective practice support tools in palliative home care are warranted to identify family caregiver needs and to ensure that patients and their family caregivers have a choice about where care is provided.

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.25011/cim.v36i3.19722

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