THE INFLUENCE OF INCOME ON THE EXPERIENCE OF INFORMAL CAREGIVING: POLICY IMPLICATIONS
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Examining the need for an eldercare policy is relevant and timely because the population is aging, a focus of care has shifted from institutional to community based, and informal caregivers, primarily women, are increasingly pressured to be responsible for eldercare. The purpose of the study is to examine the differences in the experiences of low-income and those who are not low-income informal caregivers. Three hundred questionnaires were mailed to past and present home care clients and 58 questionnaires were returned (19% response rate). This research revealed that low-income caregivers have increased needs for support and education from those who can afford to pay for their support services. Low-income caregivers experience significantly greater caregiver distress than do caregivers who are not low income. The unique needs of low-income caregivers must be considered in the formation of Canadian eldercare policy as increased health care privatization promotes the growing inequality in health care provision.
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