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Open AccessArticle

Physical Strength Perception of Older Caregivers in Rural Areas

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University Center of Mérida, University of Extremadura, 06800 Mérida, Spain
2
Faculty of Sport Science, University of Extremadura, 10003 Cáceres, Spain
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Centre for Sport Studies, Rey Juan Carlos University, 28943 Fuenlabrada, Madrid, Spain
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Faculty of Medicine, University of Extremadura, 06006 Badajoz, Spain
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Medicina 2019, 55(10), 692; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina55100692
Received: 18 June 2019 / Revised: 2 October 2019 / Accepted: 14 October 2019 / Published: 16 October 2019
Background and objective: In an aging population, it is increasingly common for older adults to take care of other older adults. Caregiving tasks may be conditioned by the aging process. This study aims to analyze the perceived physical strength of older caregivers and its impact on the functional capacity to engage in caregiving activities. Methods: A discretionary sampling of caregivers (N = 107), ≥65 years old, in the rural health area of Badajoz (Spain) participated in this cross-sectional study. Measurements included questions about the caregiver’s role (experience, years, hours, difficulties, demands) and their perceived physical strength, ability to perform activities of daily living (ADL), need for help or difficulty for caring. Results: Older caregivers from rural areas perceived a lack of physical strength (71%). These caregivers need more help, have more difficulties, and show less ability to perform ADL. Furthermore, around 80% of the people who had a lack of strength were caring for people with severe or total dependence. There is a direct correlation between the perceived lack of physical strength and the ability to perform basic (r = 0.382, p < 0.01) and instrumental (r = 0.370, p < 0.01) activities. Conclusions: Therefore, the perception of strength and the characteristics of the cared for person may be crucial variables to successfully conduct caregiving tasks. View Full-Text
Keywords: caregivers; aging; muscle strength; older adults; independence caregivers; aging; muscle strength; older adults; independence
MDPI and ACS Style

Muñoz-Bermejo, L.; Villafaina, S.; Collado-Mateo, D.; Postigo-Mota, S.; Adsuar, J.C. Physical Strength Perception of Older Caregivers in Rural Areas. Medicina 2019, 55, 692.

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