Idosos que cuidam de outros idosos: um estudo sobre sobrecarga e fragilidade
Macedo, Marcela Naiara Graciani Fumagale
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In the national context, the family is the primary source of support for the older adult. As a result of population aging and the diversity of family arrangements, the number of older people caregivers of other dependent older adults increases. The task of caring may arise suddenly, without prior instruction or support from third parties, resulting in intense burden, especially for older adult caregivers. Scholars claim that this psychological tension can culminate in the development of frailty. Both burden and frailty can impact the quality of life of those involved and interfere in the quality of care offered, especially in contexts of high social vulnerability. With the early identification of both conditions, interventions can be thought out in order to reduce spending on health services and improve the quality of life of these individuals. Objective: analyze the relationship between burden and frailty of older adults who take care of others older adults registered in Family Health Units (FHU) with a high social vulnerability context. Method: a cross-sectional, quantitative study conducted in a municipality in the interior of São Paulo. This is a larger study, in which 65 older adults aged 60 years or older, registered in FHUs and caring for the older adults participated. Data were collected at the household of the older adult caregiver, from July 2019 to March 2020, by previously trained researchers. The following instruments were used for data collection: questionnaire to characterize the older adult caregiver and the context of care, the Zarit Burden Scale, and the frailty phenotype proposed by Fried. Descriptive and correlational analyses were performed. The differences between the groups were estimated using Pearson’s Chi-square, Fisher’s Exact and Mann-Whitney tests. The significance level adopted was 5% (p<0,05). Results: there was a predominance of older adults female caregivers (56.9%), aged 60 to 74 years (78.5%) and with a partner (93.9%). The majority of interviews were spouse caregivers (89.2%), had no prior training (96.9%) and no support to perform the task of caring (58.5%). There was statistical significance between high levels of burden and frailty (p=0.004). Frailty presented a statistical relationship with marital status (p=0.016), depressive symptoms (p=0.029), cognitive decline (p=0.029), and degree of kinship with the older adult care (p=0.015). Conclusion: there was a relationship between high burden and frailty in the older adults who care for other older adults seen in Family Health Units in a context of high social vulnerability. Most of the older adults who scored for absent or moderate burden were not frail, while older people caregivers who scored for moderate to severe or severe burden were frail.
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