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Review of informal care. Discovering the primary caregiver

Keywords: Caregivers , Home Care Services , Gender Identity , Frail Elderly , Disabled Persons.

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Abstract:

Introduction. The concept of informal care is complex and multidimensional. Caring involves tasks, relationships, feelings and costs. Women socialization as family welfare providers become them into “health agents” but not “health subjects”. Method. A cross-sectional study regarding the informal care situation during the last decade was performed. The profile of the caregiver and how this role had influenced in his the quality of life was analyzed. Several searches were performed at the following electronic databases: Cochrane Plus, Pubmed, OSM, ODS, RISG, IMSERSO, using the following terms: Gender identity, caregivers, inequality, and home care services. 40 articles were included. Results. The primary caregiver profile is a middle-aged woman, housewife, with low education level and ties of kinship with the person who is cared. It is the daughter who mostly takes this role, followed by the spouse. They perceive that their life is conditioned by this task. Care activity has important health implications for people who perform it, pointing out the negative impact on psychological health, which causes stress and anxiety and overload. Social support is directly related to psychological welfare, and it affects positively to their quality of life. Caring causes positive effects on the caregiver but they are rarely studied. Discussion. The landscape of care in the last ten years has changed a little. Formal services’ is minority. Studies focused exclusively on female caregivers generate biased information.

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