Contributions of family caregivers to the coordination of services for the frail elderly
International Journal of Integrated Care, 31 December 2009 - ISSN 1568-4156
Poster abstract
Contributions of family caregivers to the coordination of services for the frail elderly
Maude Lortie, Master Student, Université de Sherbrooke, 1036 rue Belvédère Sud, Sherbrooke, Quebec, Canada
Francis Etheridge, PhD (cand.), Student at the Research Center on Aging, Université de Sherbrooke, 1036 rue Belvédère Sud, Sherbrooke, Quebec, Canada
Yves Couturier, PhD, Researcher at the Research Center on Aging, Université de Sherbrooke, 1036 rue Belvédère Sud, Sherbrooke, Quebec, Canada
Louise Belzile, Master Student in Gerontology, Université de Sherbrooke, 2500 Boul. de l'Université, Sherbrooke, Québec, Canada
Sébastien Carrier, PhD, Student, Université de Sherbrooke, 1036 rue Belvédère Sud, Sherbrooke, Quebec, Canada
Louis Demers, PhD, Prof., Ecole Nationale d'Administration Publique, Quebec, Canada
Correspondence to: Maude Lortie, E-mail: maude.lortie@usherbrooke.ca
Abstract


Purpose: This presentation concerns the contribution of family caregivers to the coordination of services for the frail elderly.


Theory: The role of family caregivers is partly conditioned by the conjuncture of health and social care organization. In recent years, many efforts were devoted to the creation of services integration devices which aim to improve user experience in particularly fragmented services organization [1]. In this context, family caregivers increasingly draw from their personal resources to care for their loved ones. In fact, Ducharme and colleagues [2] estimated that 80% of the care received is dispensed by family caregivers. Therefore, a better understanding of the contribution of family caregivers to coordinated care was deemed pertinent.


Methods: Our exploratory study consisted of 12 interviews with family caregivers and frail elderly users concerning their coordination experience.


Results and conclusions: In all circumstances, family caregivers have an important contribution to coordination. In fact, they absorb the coordination surplus required during the pre-installation phase of case management or during the users' episodes of transforming needs. This reveals a temporal gap between the need for coordination and the effective deployment of case management. Therefore, they appear as the primary bearers of services coordination.

Keywords
frail older people; family caregivers
References
1.
Demers L, Weiss-Lambrou R, Ska B. The Quebec User Evaluation of Satisfaction with Assistive Technology (QUEST 2.0): An overview and recent progress. Technology and Disability 2002; 14(3):101-5.
2.
Ducharme F, LéVesque L, Gendron M, Legault A. Development process and qualitative evaluation of a program to promote the mental health of family caregivers. Clinical Nursing Research 2001; 10(2):182-201.