Assessing the Need for Caregiver Support in Saskatchewan, Canada: Gathering Perspectives and Setting Priorities
Keywords:caregivers, support interventions, older adults, focus groups
An ageing population corresponds with a need for informal caregivers. Caregiving burden is the most compelling problem affecting caregivers of older adults. Previous research efforts have explored predictors of caregiving satisfaction and interventions for caregiving support. Our study aimed to set priorities for the future development of interventions for caregivers in Saskatchewan. Our objective was to engage caregivers in setting priorities for accessible interventions and support. The specific research question we sought to answer was: “What do the experiences of caregivers have to offer in setting priorities for caregiver support?”
We conducted an environmental scan of caregiver intervention programming in Canada. We then held two focus groups with caregivers to older adults, defined as 55 years or older for this study. Twenty-three caregivers attended the first focus group, and 10 caregivers participated in the second. We used a qualitative descriptive approach and data were analyzed using thematic analysis.
Caregivers of older adults were eager to share barriers and facilitators of their role. Themes derived from data include: 1) lack of access; 2) conflict with self and others; 3) the burden of caregiving; and 4) declining health and wellness.
Caregivers may struggle to find resources to support them in their caregiving role. Findings from this study indicate that there is a need for more interventions to support caregivers. Furthermore, our data highlight what outcomes caregivers in Saskatchewan want from those interventions.
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