Family caregivers of demented elderly people and access to medical care: Who gets worn out, why and what for?


Demented persons in the process of slowly becoming dependent have to rely on the assistance of others. These others are health professionals (formal care), on the one hand and family carers (informal care) on the other hand. The latter, whether or not they have chosen to play a role which is hardly defined officially, have to face many difficult situations such as complicated access to care due to lack of equal opportunities under the health system, unable to support them efficiently. Taking care of a demented patient is a life challenge often leading to burn out, having impact on physical and mental health. Caregivers may thus even have no time or opportunity to take care of their own health. So, is it not high time for the decision-makers to think it over and take care of the carers by setting up programs and giving them the opportunity to learn, to work as a team with the professionals so as to protect themselves and their dignity as well as that of their patients. The difficulties/problems carers of demented patients may encounter should be a major issue for public health care because their role is a vital one and because the consequences which may have on their own health can be negative.

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Hazif-Thomas, C. , Tritschler-LeMaître, M. and Thomas, P. (2013) Family caregivers of demented elderly people and access to medical care: Who gets worn out, why and what for?. Open Journal of Psychiatry, 3, 251-255. doi: 10.4236/ojpsych.2013.32023.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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