After the Hospitalization is Over: A Different Perspective on Family Care of Older People

Rosalie A Kane, James R Reinardy, Joan D. Penrod, Shirley Huck

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

26 Scopus citations

Abstract

Using open-ended questions administered at 6 weeks, 6 months, and 12 months after hospital discharge, this study followed in depth the primary family caregivers of 307 older people hospitalized for stroke or hip fracture. Families were varied in how they organized themselves to provide care in this period. Many primary caregivers, often themselves over age 65, expended 20 hours a week or more in care for their relatives, who used relatively few formal home-care services. The immediate post-hospital period is dynamic, often characterized by multiple moves among hospital, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes and home. Substantial hands-on family care occurs at all time periods even when the relatives were in nursing homes. Almost all family caregivers derive some satisfaction from their role, though many also report negative effects of caregiving on their lives. Difficulties and challenges for caregivers related less to specific task performance than to dealing with feelings, managing time, and adjusting to changing relationships. The type of stresses reported differed for those family caregivers who were experienced in the role compared to those who recently began giving care to the care receiver after the current hospitalization.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)119-141
Number of pages23
JournalJournal of Gerontological Social Work
Volume31
Issue number1-2
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 20 1999

Keywords

  • Discharge planning
  • Family caregivers
  • Post-acute care

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