Aims. The purpose of this study was to explore the burden experienced by caregivers during the transition from hospital to home. Background. With a growing older population, home-based care has gradually gained more recognition. Most older people with hip fracture in Taiwan have to be discharged at a relatively early stage. Therefore, the caregiving tasks falls on the families. Methods. A total of 98 older people with hip fracture and their caregivers were interviewed. The sample was selected from three medical centres in Taipei, and questionnaires were collected at one week and one month following hospital discharge. Results. (i) Family caregivers were usually women (63.3%) with spouses being the primary caregivers in most cases (30.6%). About one-third of caregivers took care of other family members on top of their responsibilities caring for the sick elders at home, and 77.6% shared the care tasks with others. (ii) The caregivers experienced moderate burdens. About 91.8% of caregivers reported 'I feel sad watching the elder's health deteriorating', 84.9% reported 'I must keep an eye on the elder constantly' and 56.7% reported 'Taking care of the sick elder at home makes me feel exhausted'. (iii) Caregiver burden and the functional level of older people were adversely correlated. (iv) Caregivers who were unable to access other resources for help and/or had provided care to the older person prior to the fracture resulting in hospitalization experienced a higher burden. Conclusions. These findings should be helpful in the formulation of evidence-based discharge planning and home health care services. Relevance to clinical practice. Comprehensive discharge planning and developing social support systems for family caregivers to reduce caregivers burden are needed.
ASJC Scopus subject areas