Interpersonal Conflicts Among Family Caregivers of the Elderly: The Importance of Social Skills
AbstractCaring for someone, even when this person is highly regarded, can be stressful, resulting in a decrease in the caregiver's quality of life. The aim of this study was to identify the main conflicts involved in the task of caring for an elderly relative, reported by caregivers, elderly care-recipients and professionals in the field of aging, and to identify social skills (SS) considered as being important to accomplish this task, helping to minimize the conflicts in this context. We interviewed 50 caregivers of the elderly, 25 elderly care-recipients, and 25 professionals in the field of aging, who answered questions about conflicts linked to this context and about SS that are important when taking care of an elderly person. The main conflicts involved difficulties to reconcile differences of opinion, or financial issues. The SSs considered most useful included: expressing positive feelings, controlling aggressiveness, and discussing problems. It will be important to verify if caregivers who develop their SS repertoire also improve their quality of life.
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