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長期照顧者 Long-term Caregiver

簡介 Introduction

照顧者是指照顧殘疾人士、長者及幼童的起居飲食的人士。以殘疾人士的照顧者為例,他們大多需廿四小時為殘疾者提供醫療的支援及管理,以致個人的照顧,包括:如廁、洗澡及餵食(游佩珊, 2018) 。 雖然政府沒有就照顧者提供統計資料,但香港婦女中心協會 (2011) 由 零散的資料中,可反映社會上有為數不少的照顧者。根據《 2015 年香港統計月刊專題文章:殘疾人士及長期病患者》的資料,香港至少有 203,700 名與殘疾人士同住的照顧者及 175,600 名與長期病患者同住的照顧者。 而《主題性住戶統計調查報告書 - 第四十號報告書 - 長者的社會與人口狀況、健康狀況及自我照顧能力》中反映,有 133,400 名居家長者需要別人幫助起居生活。這些數據都未能全面反映認知障礙症、中風或其他老年問題的照顧者的數字。除了一般的幼童及兒童需要關顧外,有特殊學習需要 (SEN) 的兒童及人士 ( 尤其是幼年及在學期 ) 更需要各種不同的照顧。具體來說,教育局 2015/16 年度統計數字顯示,有特殊學習需要 (SEN) 的學生約有 7,700 人。總括而言,數以萬計的照顧者一直默默地為家人及社會付出。 照顧者壓力不但影響受助者及照顧者的身心健康,照顧者往往因困在家裡照顧家人要困在家中,形成社會的隔離 ( 謝樹基 , 2018) 。此外,他們不少為全職照顧者,財政資源有限,受助者的醫療開支及平日生活費都顯得緊絀。人口老年化令照顧重任不能限於家人所負擔,政府及不同的組織都著力就照顧者的需要,提供不同的支援及服務,減輕照顧者的重擔,並減輕提早將受助者送往院舍的需要 ( 智經研究中心 , 2016) 。

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) .

作者/Author: Carmen K.M. Yau

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