Family Caregivers’ Dilemma while Providing Palliative Care to Elderly Patients
Keywords:Caregivers dilemma, Elderly Patients, Palliative Care, Caregiving Challenges.
Elderly patients receiving palliative care are terminally ill, thereby requiring an increasing amount of caregivers’
time and attention. Caregivers often face diverse issues and challenges while performing caregiving tasks. The
purpose of this paper is to systematically investigate the challenges that trigger family caregivers’ dilemmas while
providing palliative care to their elderly patients. The sample size was 10 respondents (family caregivers) who were
purposively selected by the researchers from hospital-based palliative care settings and home-based palliative care
settings. The finding of this study presents the existing and emerging dilemmas confronted by the caregivers of the
elderly receiving palliative care. The caregivers in both settings reported elderly patients’ reluctance to perform
daily exercises and medication. The caregivers in the hospital-based palliative care setting mentioned the patient’s
desire to go home, while the caregivers in the home setting needed extra assistance to manage the care needs of
the elderly patients. The paper also highlights the implications for social workers functioning in palliative care
settings. In conclusion, caregiving for an elderly patient is a very arduous and demanding task. Family caregivers
grapple with many day-to-day challenges which creates dilemma in providing quality palliative care to their
elderly patients. They try to fix their dilemmas by looking at the issue through a medical lens and discussing it
with professional palliative care providers.
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