Caregiver Coping Mechanism in Providing Care for Dependent Elderly People in Pakuncen, Yogyakarta

Maharani Dyah Kusumastuti, The Maria Meiwati Widagdo, 

Mitra Andini Sigilipoe


Faculty of Medicine, Universitas Kristen Duta Wacana



Background: The population of older people is increasing worldwide, including Indonesia. Ageing is associated with a decline in physical, social, and psychological functions. Some older people become dependent on caregivers in their daily activities. This caused a burden for caregivers to overcome. This study aimed to identify caregiver coping mechanisms in providing care for dependent older people in Pakuncen, Yogyakarta.

Subjects and Method: A qualitative study with a phenomenological approach was conducted at Pakuncen, Yogyakarta from December 2019 to January 2020. A total of 10 caregivers was selected for this study. The inclusion criteria of selected caregivers were living same house, well communicable, and caring elderly ≥ 60 years of age with moderate dependency for more than six months. The screening instruments for the elderly included MMSE, ADL, and IADL. The instruments for caregivers were AD8 and MMSE (age ≥60 years). The data were collected by in-depth interview. The data were analyzed by reduction, combination, constating, transcription, and triangulation.

Results: There were ten informants, including eight women and two men at age 34 to 71 years. Caregivers’ motivation was hope for recovery, return the favor, and caring as an obligation to older people. Coping mechanism influenced by local culture (Javanese) affected the way of perceiving, thinking, and action. Caregivers implied coping mechanism to overcome the emotional, financial, physical, social, and psychological burdens of caring elderly. Coping mechanisms that emerged in this study were problem-solving, social support seeking, positive reappraisal, responsibility acceptance, self-control, avoidance, and religious belief.

Conclusion: Caregivers face burdens of caring dependent older people. Caregivers have basic motivations, including hope for recovery, returning the favor, and caring as an obligation. Caregivers have different coping mechanism depends on the caregivers’ background such as gender, age, and relationship with the older people.

Keywords: coping mechanism, caregiver, older people, dependent, burden

Correspondence: Maharani Dyah Kusumastuti. Faculty of Medicine, Universitas Duta Wacana Christian. Jl. Dr. Wahidin Sudirohusodo 5-25, Yogyakarta, 5524. Email: Mobile: +628164259016.


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