Background: In Japan, the environment for the elderly and their caregivers has undergone momentous changes. The public long-term care insurance system for the elderly took effect in 2000 and influenza vaccination came to be officially recommended for the elderly in 2001. Purpose: This paper describes caregivers' depression and the risk of institutionalization/hospitalization of the frail elderly. Methods: A series of studies on depression/burden among caregivers of the frail elderly and the risk of institutionalization/hospitalization of the elderly persons before and after the introduction of the public long-term care insurance system is introduced. Results: The depressive rate of caregivers was 53% before the public long-term care insurance system, and 3 years after the introduction of this insurance system, it decreased to 43%. Risk factors for caregivers' depression were a large amount of time spent on caregiving, little time to go out without accompanying their charges, a small number of family members, having no family member to help with caregiving, a low level of caregivers' utilization of social services, financial burden and behavioral disturbances of the frail elderly. Pneumonia and risk factors for caregivers' depression were risk factors for institutionalization/hospitalization, while having family doctors in clinics and caring for severely disabled elderly were protective factors. Conclusion: These findings indicate that prevention of pneumonia (e.g. preventing colds or flu) as well as reducing the caregiver's burden may be important to continue caring for the frail elderly at home.
|Number of pages||5|
|Journal||International Medical Journal|
|Publication status||Published - Jun 2005|
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