The elderly population in South Asia is growing. In Pakistan trained caregivers are scarce and culturally not acceptable. This study assessed the level of stress experienced by caregivers of the elderly and determined the association of care giving burden with different characteristics of the elderly. A cross-sectional, questionnaire based study was conducted using nonprobability purposive sampling. All consenting participants aged 60 years and above needing help with at least one activity of daily living or two instrumental activities of daily living were included. 350 participants were assessed for perceived care giver burden. Care providers were mostly female (68.9%). Half (50.3%) of the caregivers had a positive score on a perceived care burden scale. Financial impact had a strong correlation (0.79) with perceived caregiver burden. Higher dependency levels of a physical and cognitive nature posed greater burden on caregivers. Behavioural issues of the elderly such as verbal abuse and difficulty sleeping were predictors of a higher caregiver burden. Caregiver burden is a significant issue for those caring for elderly family members in Karachi, Pakistan.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/zafar_fatmi/72/