Caregiver Gender

Profiles of caregivers of older adults show that the majority of these individuals are women, either spouses or daughters or daughters-in-law. In many of the intervention studies investigated, the majority of the samples were comprised of women caregivers and in certain studies, the interventions were exclusively geared towards female caregivers. In Pinquart & Sørensen (2006 )there was an important effect by gender of caregiver that was identified for, namely that interventions had a negative impact overall on SWB and that interventions generally reduced depression.  Whilst the latter finding is encouraging, the former shows that perhaps the intended effect of interventions may be reducing well-being instead of enhancing it, and thus warrants further careful exploration as to why this may be the case. Other interventions geared towards women caregivers do show positive effects, although caution is required given their limited generalizability. The findings that men and women have a differential awareness of illness symptoms and/or attitudes towards institutionalization (and its impact on caregiver well-being) reiterates the importance of careful assessment of a care recipients care options, and an assessment of caregiver needs and expectations of supportive interventions. A caregiver assessment tool developed by Guberman et al (2001) provides a Canadian example of the type of process required in consideration of particular caregiver dimensions (Guberman, Keefe, Fancey, Nahmiash, & Barylak, 2001)

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