A caregiver or carer in this text is defined as a person who helps another person who has impairments related to disabilities or old age as well as toddlers and minors in daily chores and activities. For caregivers who take care of a person with chronic illness or impairments, their around-the-clock duties include managing their medication and health management as well as all sorts of personal care such as toileting, bathing and feeding ( 游佩珊 , 2018) . Although government statistics on caregivers is unavailable, some scattered data illustrated that there are a huge number of hidden caregivers in the community ( 香港婦女中心協會 , 2011) . According to the Hong Kong Monthly Digest of Statistics (2015), there are at least 203,700 caregivers living with people with disabilities while 175,600 people are providing care for chronically ill patients at home. In addition, the Household Survey Report - Report No. 40 - Social and Population Status, Health Status and Self-care Capacity of the Elderly reveals that 133,400 senior citizens require help from others in daily activities. These statistics may not accurately reflect the number of caregivers of people with old age issues such as dementia, stroke or other geriatric problems are not included. In addition to ordinary toddlers and minors require babysitting and care, children and people with special education needs (SEN) need different sorts of care, particularly those who are under intensive training and education. To be more specific in the figures of SEN students, there is about 7,700 students from primary and secondary schools require different sorts of care according to Education Bureau statistics 2015/16. To sum up, there is a huge number of unsung heros providing cares of their love ones and contributing in the community in silence . Caregivers stress is not only asspcoated with physical and psychological wellbeing of caregivers and patients, but it also leads to social alienation as caregivers are usually trapped at home with patients for intensive care ( 謝樹基 , 2018) . Furthermore, as the majority of them are full-time caregivers, they have limited financial resources to cover the medical expenditures and make two ends meet. Caregiving of the aging population is no longer limited to the family responsibilities; government and many organizations recognize the needs of caregivers and develop various support and services to avoid caregiver burn-out and pre-mature institutionalization of people with disabilities or old age ( 智經研究中心 , 2016) .
Etters, L. et al. (2008). Caregiver burden among dementia patient caregivers: A review of the literature. Journal of the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners, 20(8), 423–428.
This study focuses on the relationships between caregiver burden with the characteristics of patient with dementia and their caregiver by reviewing peer-reviewed journals from 1996-2006 in nursing and other relevant journals. The characteristics of caregiving depends on the health of caregivers. The outcome of caregiving has a close relationship with gender, relationship with patient as well as the charecteristics of patients and caregivers. Among various interventions to alliviate caregiver burden, the results indicated that intervention requires a diversity of services so that caregivers could have a better quality of life as well as physical and psychological health. Decreaased caregiver burden at home can minimize the chance of institutionalization of dementia patients. CITATION
George, L. K. & Gwyther, L. P. (1986). Caregiver well-being: A multidimensional examination of family caregivers of demented adults. The Gerontologist, 26(3), 253–259.
This study focuses on the well-being of caregivers of aged family member with memory impairment in terms of physical and mental health, financial resources and social participation. The results revealed that these caregivers tend to have more challenges on mental health and social participation. Furthermore, the characteristics of caregiving are more related to the well-being of caregiver than to the needs of the patients. CITATION
Sörensen, S. et al. (2002). How effective are interventions with caregivers? An updated meta-analysis. The Gerontologist, 42(3), 356–372.
This article reviewed 78 studies on interventions for caregivers of the elderly to examine its effectiveness. Generally, these interventions can be helpful in terms of caregiver burden, depression, ability/knowledge as well as their subjective well-being and satisfaction.
Among these six types of interventions, psycho-educational and psycho-therapeutic intervention showed most effectiveness and consistency in short-term outcomes. CITATION
Revenson, T. A. et al. (2016). Caregiving in the illness context.
This book covers psychological researches on caregiver stress in order to review the personal, social and structual factors affecting the health and wellbeing of caregivers. Also, behavioral interventions are introduced to enhance their health condition. CITATION