Thailand is one of many countries experiencing changes in the demographics of its population. People are living longer and having fewer children resulting in an increasing percentage of older adults in the general population. This presents a challenge in providing care for older adults, especially in countries where there is a culture of family caregiving. This study aims to investigate the experience of family caregivers, exploring the problems of caring for older people with physical disabilities and the needs of family caregivers. This is done to better understand ways to support caregivers. Using a descriptive qualitative approach, 15 family caregivers were enrolled who provide care to older adults with physical disabilities in a rural community in Northern Thailand. The interviews were conducted face-to-face and were analyzed by thematic analysis. Findings showed two main categories from the data: problem areas and needs. The “problem area” themes are low-income households, management of activities of daily living, and access to resources. The “needs” themes are home modifications and adaptive equipment and development of a support system. The identified themes provide guidance for long term care, home adaptation, and assistive products. Future research can be done into the impact of these interventions.
caregiver burden, descriptive qualitative research, older people, physical disability, rural
The authors are grateful to all study participants for opening up to us and sharing their experiences and their homes. We would also like to thank the staff at OnTai Health Promotion Hospital and the health volunteers in the OnTai community. Denis Tuttle would like to thank the Thailand-United States Education Foundation and Fulbright for this opportunity.
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Recommended APA Citation
Tuttle, D., Griffiths, J., & Kaunnil, A. (2023). Family Caregivers of Older Adults with Physical Disabilities in Rural Thailand. The Qualitative Report, 28(2), 607-622. https://doi.org/10.46743/2160-3715/2023.5785
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