In an interview for the magazine Ciencia y Salud, our research associate, Alejandra Araya, refers to the objectives of the MICARE Institute in the face of the country’s needs in terms of care for elderly people and people with disabilities.
Adapted by Gabriela Campillo. Read the full article published by “Ciencia y Salud” here (Spanish).
In most cases, care for elderly people and people with disabilities is provided by a family member. According to our research associate, Dr Alejandra Araya, in the magazine Ciencia y Salud, this group is a “fragile population, since, in general, people are quite lonely taking care of their relatives”.
It is therefore urgent to study and describe this group in order to influence the creation of effective, evidence-based public policies that support both the person being cared for and the caregiver.
According to a study prepared by MICARE research associate María Beatriz Fernández, together with UC researcher María Soledad Herrera (2020), 66.8% of informal caregivers of dependent elderly people are women, on average 56 years old. In addition, 43.4% have primary education or less and, generally, the relationship with the dependent elderly person is that of a partner (33.6%) or progeny (44.5%).
“We know that caregivers must meet greater needs, both for themselves and for those they care for. They have fewer economic resources because they often are not working, postpone work, or hold informal jobs, with the precariousness that this entails. Consequently, not only do they have fewer resources in terms of money, but they also have fewer resources in terms of time,” explains our research associate, Alejandra Araya.
“One of the great challenges for the MICARE Institute is to contribute through scientific evidence to the creation of a general caregiving system in Chile. We need support in the form of public policy, from the State, that can guarantee care throughout the life cycle,” concludes our MICARE research associate, Alejandra Araya.