There will come a time when one becomes part of the elderly population of the world. This is due to aging, a process which includes changes in sensory perceptions and other physiologic deviations. As these changes accumulate in the elderly, the functional status deteriorates as well. Deterioration of functional status leads to the dependence of the elderly caregiver; it is when they are reliant upon others for assistance in meeting their recognized needs. There are four identified functional areas which the elderly have special needs for assistance both as individuals and as a population group: physical, mental, social and economic (Nuland, 2010).
The impairment in the organ system caused by pathological processes that underlie the disease leads to the limitations of the elderly in their ability to carry out basic tasks such as reaching, lifting, moving from one position to another, or walking. A growing number of dependent elderly people are cared for at home by family members. However, long-term caregiving may become a burden for some families and lead to failure of family care (Tsai, 2008).
Filipinos highly value the presence of their families more than anything, because of this remarkable closeness, parents sometimes have difficulties letting go of their children and thus results to having them stay for as long as they want. This explains why elderlies are commonly seen living with their children in the Philippines. Unlike the way people grown in Western countries, where they are provided with home and assistance in facilities, Filipino elderly enjoy their remaining lives in their houses with their children and grandchildren. Usually, at least one child, depending on his willingness and financial capabilities, stay even after marriage to support and look after their aging parents. As much as Filipinos value the sense of family, they also value life, that despite the obvious fact that an elderly will surely deteriorate and die, one still continues to care for them, assisting their needs and providing them a comfortable living.
Most caregivers feel a strong sense of responsibility to caregiving, and although most have a family system in a place, it is rarely used a support. The primary family caregiver often receives little help from the other siblings and considers institutionalization when he or she is physically or emotionally exhausted. This is referred to as caregiver burden when caregivers find it hard to perform their roles due to physical and emotional exhaustion, financial burden, increased responsibility on their part, and they face changes in their social life. Caregiver burden can also be related to caregiver's gender, age, social support, income and resources and care receiver's cognitive and functional limitations. It can also result from the role of providing care to one or more individuals over a period of time (Winslow & Carter, 2009).
Among these older persons with special care needs in the United States of America, 65% rely on caregivers who provide care to family members or friends who are disabled and typically have needs with daily tasks performance (United States Department of Health & Human Services [USDHHS], 2006). Looking into the Philippine setting, the elderly population has been steadily increasing in both size and proportion. The 2010 Census of Population and Housing counted the household population of the Philippines at 92, 097,978; out of this figure 4.6 million are persons aged 60 years and over. This means at senior citizens make up 6.8 per cent of the population/ A global ageing data as of 2012 revealed that 809 million individuals are age to 60 years old and above which comprises 11 per cent of the total worldwide populations (National Statistics Office [NSO], 2012). It has become an increasing problem, that with elderlies having more years added to their lives, more and more care task are falling into the hands of family caregivers (Kozier, 2008).
Caregiving is a very draining work, and without support, caregivers can easily get burdened or worst they can get burnt out. It is a possibility that caregiver burden will certainly become more prevalent as more people continue to live longer lives and will be requiring assistance (Nuland, 2010). It is best that burden can be identified at an earlier age as to not compromise the caring relationship of the two parties.
This study intends to asses and identify the family caregivers who are already experiencing the caregiving burden. It wants to find out which of the dimensions in the Caregiver Burden Inventory is the greatest predictor of burden namely: time dependence, developmental, physical, social and emotional burden. Further, it hopes to establish the differences on the dimensions of burden of the family caregiver experiences in terms of the caregiver profile. This would be personal significance to the researcher for she takes the role of a caregiver to her aging grandparents and it is evident in the neighbourhood that some of the household member acts a family caregiver.