Informal caregiving: Cross-cultural applicability of the Person-Environment Model

Rosenberg, Edwin; Jullamate, Pornchai; Azeredo, Zaida
December 2009
Health Sociology Review;Dec2009, Vol. 18 Issue 4, p399
Academic Journal
The 21st century will be characterised by aged and ageing nations, making eldercare a growing concern. Most eldercare in most nations will be provided informally, primarily by female family members. Helping these people understand the dimensions of eldercare is a key to effective and cost-effective caregiving. The Person-Environment Model (Lawton and Nahemow 1973) is proposed as a theoretical framework for understanding, assessing, and optimising family-based caregiving. This paper presents findings from a qualitative study of informal rehabilitation caregiving provided to elderly stroke survivors in Thailand. Four main rehabilitation dimensions (biological, psychological, social, spiritual) are identified, as are three main caregiver needs (information, assistance, and support). We suggest that while the Person-Environment Model is useful in developed nations, it is perhaps more valuable in societies where fewer options to family-based eldercare exist, and thus where effective informal eldercare is more critical. Implications for education and training of health care providers are also discussed.


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