This study was a qualitative research aiming to study the experience of long-term care,
its associated burden and impact as well as the role of organizations involved in long - term
care for the elderly in Thailand. Data were collected, from June of 2012 to May of 2013,
through indepth interview, focus group discussion, and direct observation of 179 elderly
persons and 187 caregivers, at 13 districts of nine provinces and five regions of Thailand. The
data were analyzed using content analysis, thematic analysis, and frequency and percentage.
The experiences of long-term dependency of the elderly with stroke, dementia, co -
morbidity, and aged 80 years and above, were documented. The care givers who provided
long-term care for the elderly in Thailand showed that the majority of them feel relative
powerless; most of them (85%) were female; one-third had a chronic health problem; and
one-third were elderly caregivers. Three-quarters of caregivers also work, about one in nine
people need to provide long-term care for more than one person, and the majority had
never experienced any long term care. In addition, it was found that the pattern of family
caregivers for long-term elderly care in Thai social that the caring was subject of gratitude.
Regarding the burden and effect of care, nearly four in five caregivers who care for the
elderly with stroke and co-morbidity experienced the economic burden, due to costs of care,
financial debt, and a lack of opportunities for career development. More than two in three of
caregivers experienced emotional burden including anxiety, depression, and severe stress, and
conflicts within relatives. More than two-thirds of caregivers experienced physical burden of
elderly care, including fatigue, body pain, increased health problems. And, the majority of
long-term care for the elderly was only activities daily living care. It found the elderly 45 %
who did not receive rehabilitation.
Also, the psychological burden and emotional problems were the most common,
about four in five, among those who provided care to elderly people with dementia. More
than three in four of these caregivers experienced physical, social and economic burdens.
Moreover, 11% of paid care workers quit their job. And,it found the restrictions of diagnosis
and knowledge of the elderly with dementia that the elderly lack of opportunity in the
treatment of 72%. In addition, there is a lack of continuity of care for the elderly in the longterm
health care system, a lack of assurance for the quality of home care, and the lack of
integration of missions of the organizations involved in the care of the elderly in a
community. In conclusion, the long-term care for the elderly in Thailand results in tremendous
burden on caregivers and families amidst the unavailability of family and community support
systems. Therefore, support system development and system design for long-term elderly
care options for caregivers and families in the community include; development of primary
care services, promote the role of local government in the long term care system for the
elderly, development potential family caregivers, and standardization and quality control
long-term elderly care nationality.Thus, leading to the development of a sustainable aged
care that is in accord with the culture of Thailand.