Background: Caregivers play a crucial role in the management of older adults with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). Caregivers often lack support and experience caregiver burden.
Purpose: The purpose of the study was to investigate the needs and experience of caregivers of recently hospitalized older adults with T2DM.
Methods: Qualitative interviews were conducted using a semi-structured interview guide with open-ended questions that highlighted the caregivers’ experience caring for a recently hospitalized older adult with T2DM. All interviews were digitally recorded and professionally transcribed. Once transcribed, transcripts were uploaded to ATLAS.ti to organize and retrieve data. Transcripts were analyzed using qualitative content analysis.
Results: A total of 20 caregivers were interviewed. Most of the subjects were caregivers for a family member, with a majority of subjects caring for their parents. Participants were mostly female (75%), above age 50, and non-Hispanic Black (80%). The main themes that emerged from the qualitative data were: (1) the role itself, (2) challenges, (3) role preparation, and (4) additional comorbid diagnoses.
Conclusion: Our findings provide an understanding of experience, tasks, and needs of caregivers for older adults with T2DM. This study revealed that many caregivers feel that care taking is an obligation and a full-time role. A majority of caregivers indicated they did not receive education regarding caring for someone with DM, despite being solely responsible for providing care. Although many of the caregivers did not identify T2DM as the main concern due to additional comorbid conditions, the most pertinent patient and caregiver challenges identified include diet, multiple responsibilities, and time-management. This study identifies the importance of inclusion of family caregivers when providing education.
A. Danner: None. M. OConnor: None. C. Whitehouse: None.