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Informal Long-Term Care for the Elderly in Chile: The Experience of Family Caregivers

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Abstract

Background: The Chilean population is aging, a successful outcome of social, political and economic factors that have contributed to the decline in mortality rates, the increase in life expectancy and a reduction in fertility rates. Elderly long-term care (LTC) in Chile is informal, relies on the families, mostly on women. This new reality of an aging population presents also a potential LTC care crisis: the higher demand for elderly care, the decrease in family size, the change in the family structure, and the increase in women’s participation in the labor market, will bring about a lower number of potential caregivers with less time available to devote to caring tasks. Methods: This research aims to provide a picture of the informal elderly LTC and understand the caregivers’ perceptions towards care. Secondary-quantitative data and primary-qualitative data was used to accomplish the objectives. Quantitative data comes from the National Study of Dependency and qualitative data from unstructured interviews to informal caregivers. Results: The informal caregivers are mostly women (86%), most of them daughters, followed by wives. The majority of caregivers are between 35 and 54 years old. Caregivers report being overwhelmed in their situation, feeling alone; they do not receive support nor have access to holidays or be able to take leave from their tasks. Conclusions; Elderly LTC in Chile happens inside families with an overwhelming pressure to caregivers. More research is needed to advance in policies that alleviate the burden to families and to supervise or promote a good quality of LTC.
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Dates and versions

hal-02900953 , version 1 (16-07-2020)

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  • HAL Id : hal-02900953 , version 1

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Josefa Palacios. Informal Long-Term Care for the Elderly in Chile: The Experience of Family Caregivers. IAGG-ER8th congress "Unlocking the Demographic Dividend", Apr 2015, Dublin, Ireland. ⟨hal-02900953⟩
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