Many family caregivers aren’t prepared for the challenges the job presents, the researchers added.
They studied 99 caregivers in New York City who were tending to family members who suffered a stroke or other brain injury. Caregivers were studied both while they were receiving help from a certified home health agency and after the agency’s services were ended.
This study showed that “even while services are in place, family caregivers provide the vast majority of care,” Carol Levine, study author and director of the Families and Health Care Project at the United Hospital Fund, said in a prepared statement.
When the home health agency’s services end — usually because Medicare will not pay for long-term care that does not involve certified nursing or therapy — most family-member caregivers are not prepared for their duties.
“They are doing most of the work but are not really ready to take on all of the care themselves, and certainly do not get enough advice on where to get assistance,” said Levine.
Results of the study showed that many of the caregivers said they experienced feelings of anxiety, isolation and depression, which could affect their ability to care for their sick family member.