Study: 30% of Israelis care for elderly

89% say caring for another person instilled them with a sense of pride, and 90% said they felt greatly appreciated by the person they were caring for.

September 17, 2007 20:28
1 minute read.
helping hand

elderly senior 88.298. (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)

Providing primary or secondary care to elderly or sick relatives or friends can be an extremely heavy social, physical and emotional burden, according to the results of a Central Bureau of Statistics survey examining the role of unpaid caregivers in our society. The study, published Monday, found that 30 percent of Israel's adult population was directly involved in the daily care of an elderly or sick relative or friend, and focused on the role of ordinary people who act as caregivers outside the professional or voluntary frameworks. More than 46% of those who reported caring for someone else said the task was emotionally, physically and socially stressful. However, the researchers, who used a sample of 7,500 people over the age of 20, also discovered that the overwhelming majority of these unpaid caregivers drew great satisfaction from the help they were giving: 89% said that caring for another person, either family or friend, instilled within them a sense of pride, and 90% said they felt greatly appreciated by the person they were caring for. In addition, 90% said they believed the assistance they were providing was of a satisfactory standard. Only 6% said they had sought out professional assistance in coping with the hardships of caring for another person. Among these unpaid caregivers, the study found, the majority (71%) took care of close family members such as children, spouses, parents or siblings, while a reported 22% cared for extended family such as grandparents or in-laws. More than half of those questioned said the people in their charge were over the age of 60. The CBS survey is part a series initiated in 2002 to assess various aspects of society in order to provide government offices with information to formulate national policies, said Yael Nathan, director of information for the CBS.

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