Predictors of elders' and family caregivers' use of formal home services

S C Houde
Research in Nursing & Health 1998, 21 (6): 533-43
The purposes of this study were to examine the characteristics of care recipients, caregivers, and their relationship to predict the use of formal services in the home by functionally impaired elders, and to explore the effect of informal care on formal service use in the home. A secondary analysis of data from the informal caregiver questionnaire and the community survey of the 1989 National Long-Term Care Survey was performed using logistic regression analysis. Results showed that the utilization of formal services was less frequent as the hours of informal care increased. Care recipient characteristics that emerged as important predictors included residence in elder housing, recent hospitalization, gender, limitations in activities of daily living, recipient of Medicaid, age, quantity of informal care, and number of household members. Important caregiver characteristics included difficulty getting around outside, rearrangement of work hours, and bowel and bladder care performed by female caregivers. The findings from this study support the consideration of both care recipient and caregiver characteristics when predicting the utilization of formal service use in the home. Data also support the development of interventions to promote the caregiving process.

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