Caring for a Loved One with Stroke in Lomé, Togo: Challenges, Resources, and Outcomes.

Friday, 20 July 2018: 09:00
Oral Presentation
Ami MOORE, University of North Texas, USA
Background: Stroke, the second leading cause of death globally, disables its victims who often live at the mercy of informal caregivers. While some societies may be relatively well equipped for informal caregiving, others, such as the Togolese society, do not have the appropriate resources to help both people with stroke and their caregivers.

Objectives: The primary objective of this study was to examine informal caregiving experiences of people with loved ones with stroke in Lomé, Togo.

Methods: This was a qualitative study of twenty informal caregivers. We used a grounded theory methodology to examine the caregiving experiences.

Findings: The findings show that caregiving experiences of people providing care to loved ones have an intersectional characteristic, whereby structure (available schemes and resources to caregivers) and agency (individual’s ability to think, act, and critically evaluate and choose course of action) increase caregiving burden and ultimately creating multiple stressors to caregivers and the loved ones with stroke. For instance, poor governance of national resources in Togo creates a situation where hospitals are inadequate, social assistance is unavailable, and loved ones have to fend for themselves to provide foods, medication, and care to people with strokes. Even caregivers who have very few resources are forced to provide care despite their own needs. This creates a situation of great stressors, human sufferings, and poor quality of life for both caregivers and loved ones with stroke.

Conclusion: While Togolese are willing to provide care to loved ones with strokes even putting their own needs aside, policy makers should be aware of how this informal caregiving job becomes stressful to both caregivers and people with stroke because of mostly structural limitations.