El cuidado de los ancianos en el entorno familiar: valoración de los recursos de apoyo mediante grupos de discusión

Introduction: in the present study several collectives with knowledge of the reality of family care of the elderly assessed several socia and healthcare resources and suggested several possibilities for improvement. Method: four discussion groups were used as a data collection technique. The groups were composed of caregivers, representatives-users of associations for the elderly, experts in geriatrics, and social services professionals. Results: the various discussion groups positively evaluated the Home Help Service, the Support Teams of the Home Service Programs, Interdisciplinary Community Health Workers Units, Daytime Care Centres, and the Family Rest Programme but suggested some changes to all of them. The discussion groups also indicated the need to improve the material, economic and emotional assistance given to caregivers and asked for training, institutional coordination, and dissemination of information about available resources and assistance. Conclusions: some changes are required to improve the current social and health resources available to families caring for the elderly within the family unit. Among the suggestions for improvement proposed by the participants, many are useful and could easily be applied, whereas others provide an interesting starting point for debate and reflection. Knowledge and understanding of the situation of caregiving families, based on their own experiences and those of the people who know them, is in itself sufficient to initiate and implement changes to provide resources appropriate to their needs ​
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