Palliative care is primarily holistic care given to the patient and their family where the caregiver plays a significant role in the patient’s health and wellbeing. This research studies the perception of the caregivers on the functioning of the Arogyakeralam palliative care project in Kerala, India, in order to understand the challenges faced by women caregivers of this type of patient. In this descriptive and analytical study, the researcher used the multi-stage random sampling methodology. A structured interview schedule was used to obtain data from 54 primary caregivers of palliative care patients who were randomly and proportionately selected from two Gram panchayats (village council) in the Wayanad district of Kerala. Exploratory data analytical techniques like tables, figures, and descriptive statistical methods were used. The findings of the study revealed that a significant portion of the respondents are very satisfied with the home care services and feel they receive education and training on various aspects of caregiving. Structural problems are present, such as the unavailability of medicines and deficiency in the supply of equipment to the patients who require these elements. Another finding is that the respondents also require counselling services and vocational training. The study revealed that women caregivers undergo various physical, psychological, and social problems. The most common health concerns among caregivers are fatigue and sleep-related problems. About 70% of the respondents suffer from some illness which includes symptoms of body pain, back pain, chest pain, hypertension, diabetes, migraine, and hearing impairment. Some of the challenges faced are conflict about care in the family, lack of support for the caregiver, balancing needs of healthy and sick family members, behavioral issues among the family members and care recipient, interpersonal conflicts, and financial insufficiency. The caregivers experience many difficulties linked to lack of support, financial problems, personal health concerns, emotional challenges, patient care issues, and social instability. In the article’s conclusion, the researcher offers a few recommendations for the government, the staff of the Arogyakeralam project, and the caregivers to enhance the overall wellbeing of the women caregivers through better functioning of the project and transformative healthcare policies.
"Women Caregivers of Palliative Care Patients: The Arogyakeralam Project in Kerala, India,"
Journal of International Women's Studies: Vol. 25:
3, Article 7.
Available at: https://vc.bridgew.edu/jiws/vol25/iss3/7