Traditionally family members (spouse, adult children, parents) are the main providers of emotional support and practical assistance to seriously ill persons. However, for those groups most affected by AIDS—homosexuals, IVDUs, and infants born to high-risk group members—traditional sources of social support may be weak or nonexistent and alternative sources of support are needed. For the care giver—family member, spouse, lover or partner, friend, or volunteer buddy— providing informal support and assistance to an AIDS patient throughout the course of the illness can be particularly stressful. Care giving involves a restructuring of care givers’ personal and social lives, adversely affecting their outside employment, leading to feelings of fatigue, emotional and physical exhaustion, and imposing severe financial burdens. When an illness is long and extended, such as AIDS, care givers are at risk for becoming over-extended and depleting their physical, emotional, and financial resources. Consequently, AIDS patients may find that when their needs are greatest, they may have exhausted their informal resources for assistance, placing themselves at high risk for unmet needs.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Leadership and Management
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health