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Reasons behind providing care for older persons.

INTRODUCTION: There is a global increase in the ageing population, and Malaysia is expected to become an ageing country. As elderly individuals experience deterioration in physical and cognitive functions, they often require longterm care from caregivers. This study aims to investigate the reasons why caregivers provide care for older adults at home.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: A qualitative phenomenological approach was employed, and semi-structured face-to-face interviews were conducted with 12 caregivers. Thematic analysis was used to identify patterns and themes in the data.

RESULTS: Four master themes emerged from the analysis of the reasons for providing care to the older person by caregivers: personal factors needed by the elderly, personal factors of the caregivers, support from family members and friends, and environmental factors. Caregivers were motivated by the medical conditions of the older person, caregivers' sense of duty, and the desire to repay their elderly for their past care. Additionally, religious beliefs also played a role in motivating caregivers. Financial stability, knowledge and experience in caregiving, and the absence of other suitable caregivers were additional factors influencing caregiving decisions. Caregivers received support from family members, friends and sometimes hired help.

CONCLUSION: Cultural values, religious beliefs, and gender roles influence caregiving attitudes, emphasising the need for comprehensive understanding. Invaluable findings highlight the pressing need to comprehend the intricate dynamics, informing the development of tailored support systems. The study reveals that caregiving at home for the elderly is shaped by personal, social and environmental factors. Insight into these dynamics is crucial for robust support systems. By addressing the dimensions of caregiving, policymakers, healthcare professionals and society can better support caregivers in their essential role.

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