There is this family in Ibeku community in Aboh-Mbaise Local Government Area in Imo State of Nigeria who has an elderly mother with an early ill mental challenge. The mental illness stated as a result of the loss of her husband who died of stroke and ever since then she also developed this problem due to the stress she went through taking care of her husband during his illness and also could not handle the fact that she lost him after all the efforts of the family. As a result of all these shock, she also developed a partial stroke which affected her mental health and up till today she has not recovered from the mental illness despite all the medical treatments a relation assisted her family with to ensure she recovers. Time came when the relation could not help the family with financial assistance for the dementia’s medical bills so the family have to bring her back from the hospital to their village where her two daughters and son are taking care of her. Her case keeps getting worst day by day because the family caregivers do not have any means of livelihood. Most times whenever our team goes for community outreach to the community, we see the stress these two young women go through just to take care of their loved mother.
JUSTIFICATION AND IDEA FOR INTERVENTION
Caregivers spend a substantial amount of time interacting with their care recipients, while providing care in a wide range of activities. Nurses have a limited view of this interaction. Caregiving can last for a short period of post-acute care, especially after a hospitalization, to more than 40 years of ongoing care for a person with chronic care needs. On average, informal caregivers devote 4.3 years to this work. Four out of 10 caregivers spend 5 or more years providing support, and 2 out of 10 have spent a decade or more of their lives caring for their family member. This is a day-in, day-out responsibility. More than half of family caregivers provide 8 hours of care or more every week, and one in five provides more than 40 hours per week.
Low personal and household incomes and limited financial resources can result in increased caregiver risk for negative outcomes, particularly if there are substantial out-of-pocket costs for care recipient needs. Caregivers who are unemployed or have low incomes may experience more distress because they may have fewer resources to meet care demands. Overall, financial concerns cause particular distress for caregivers during long treatment period as resources become depleted. Higher-income families, with greater financial resources to purchase needed care, might not become as distressed or burdened as those with limited resources. Most caregivers are women who handle time-consuming and difficult tasks like personal care.
Family caregivers often feel unprepared to provide care, have inadequate knowledge to deliver proper care, and receive little guidance from the formal health care provider. Nurses and family caregivers rarely agree about specific needs or problems during hospital admission or discharge, in part because nurses are often unaware of the strengths and weaknesses of both the patient and caregiver. Due to inadequate knowledge and skill, family caregivers may be unfamiliar with the type of care they must provide or the amount of care needed. Family caregivers may not know when they need community resources, and then may not know how to access and best utilize available resources. As a result, caregivers often neglect their own health care needs in order to assist their family member, causing deterioration in the caregiver’s health and well-being.
Our team had a deep thought to this situation that if these young women continue like this without the help of a trained Nurse, medical assistance for the loved mother and also a means of livelihood to take care of their mother, they may also develop mental health issues too like their mother did. To this we came up with this idea to when this call was made:
1. Survey research on needs assessments both at the beginning and end of the project: in doing this, we had paid a visit to the family to know the current situation of things and after which we decided to apply for this call in order to assist the family caregivers in improving the health of their dementia person. As the project commences, there will be a proper survey research on needs assessments and also at the end of the project to evaluate the outcome of the project intervention.
2. Training and engaging of nurses (primary caregivers): We will enhance the capacity 10 volunteer nurses on Leadership and Management Skills for Caregivers and Mental Health Management Skills of dementia persons. 2 of these nurses will be engaged to train the family caregiver as administer treatments and also assist them on how to take care of the loved mother (the dementia) while the other 8 nurses will be assigned to at least 4 other identified families that have dementia persons to assist them for the period of this intervention.
3. Skill acquisition and economic empowerment of the two female (daughters of the dementia) family caregivers: through this intervention, our team will also train and financially empower the two female family caregivers. They will be both trained on different economic skill acquisitions for the period of 3 months and after which they will be financially empowered to kick-start their own business as this will help them to be financially stable with a means of livelihood and this will also help avoid any mental stress that may further cause these girls mental illnesses.
These two ladies will be trained along said with other female identified family caregiver in at least 4 other identified families in the community were the other 8 nurses will be assigned to assist caregivers.
4. Community outreach for public awareness in the community:
There will be a one day community outreach in the intervention community to create awareness and educate members of the community on the need to assist and promote family caregiver of dementia persons.
5. Monitory and evaluation: An M&E consultant will be hired for effective success of this project.
After this intervention, the family will no longer have issues of taking care of their mother because they have acquired both mental management skills and economic skills that will boost their capacities to face challenges. The volunteered nurses who have also being trained on management skills on mental health services will also have extend these skills and services even at the expiration of the project and it will no longer be an issue for the family caregivers to assist the nurses with stipends.