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Print version ISSN 1134-928X


GONZALEZ-VALENTIN, Araceli  and  GALVEZ-ROMERO, Carmen. Socio-demographic characteristics of health and use of sanitary resources by elderly caregivers at home. Gerokomos [online]. 2009, vol.20, n.1, pp.15-21. ISSN 1134-928X.

The population of old people may suffer of chronic diseases , with increasing incapacity and high level of dependency, which keep them at home. The Health Care Services offer them attention through its specific programs, adapted to their true needs. Although, most of the care is given by the families, in general by a main caregiver, who supports the effects of it, physically and psychically. It's important to know the sociodemographic and clinical characteristics, as well as the factors which determine the health condition, and the use of health care resources of these caregivers when attending elderly with high level of dependence at home. A cross-sectional study of these caregivers was undertaken. The sociodemographic and clinical variables were studied, in relation to the care, perception of the health condition, psychopathologic status, overload, and use of the health care resources. The demographic profile of a caregiver in our area is a woman, married, unemployed, daughter of the impaired old person, with Primary Education, with an average age of 56 years old -the majority is between 47 and 63 years old-. Factors as the perception of the health condition, the age, and the family relation to the patient were shown as determinant. It was also obtained a significant relation between the Index variables of Katz, Lawton and Brody with Zarit's scale punctuation. Concerning the use of the health care resources, the statistics revealed prevailing the medical diagnosis of depression with its variables of using the emergency services and medical consultation from the caregiver.

Keywords : Caregivers; home care; overload; anxiety and depression; perception of the health condition; use of health care resources.

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