The aims of the study reported here were to describe the socio-demographic characteristics of caregivers of demented elders in Korea and their care recipients and to compare the positive and negative meanings and outcomes of the caregiving experiences of caregivers who had admitted their elderly demented relative to a nursing home (G1: n = 24) and caregivers still caring for their elderly demented relatives at home (G2: n = 30). Most caregivers were female (80%), married (89%), and related to the care receiver as daughter-in-law (39%), daughter (22%), wife (15%), son (13%), or neighbor (6%). Social class differences were found between the home care and nursing home groups: the upper classes were significantly more likely to have placed their demented elder in a nursing home, whereas the low social classes were more likely to keep taking care of their demented elder at home instead of placing them in a nursing home. Caregivers who had admitted their relative to a nursing home (G1) reported significantly more difficulties from disturbed sleep, disrupted children's studies, and limited personal life when they were caring for the elder at home (p < .05). Caregivers in the home care group (G2) had significantly greater satisfaction in serving as a model for their children and practicing religion (p < .05), and they also reported a better relationship with the care receiver than those who have placed their demented elder in a nursing home, although the difference in this case was not significant.
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