Difficulties and Needs of Adolescent Young Caregivers of Grandparents in Italy and Slovenia : A Concurrent Mixed-Methods Study
- Santini, S., D’amen, B., Socci, M., Di Rosa, M., Hanson, E., Hlebec, V.
- Difficulties and Needs of Adolescent Young Caregivers of Grandparents in Italy and Slovenia : A Concurrent Mixed-Methods Study
- International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
- DOI: 10.3390/ijerph19052837
- adolescent young carers, caring difficulties, Italy, older people, long-term care systems, Slovenia, support needs
Many adolescent young caregivers (AYCs) care for a grandparent (GrP) with chronic disease, especially in countries with no or low developed long-term care systems and/or level of awareness of and policy responses to young caregivers. This mixed-methods study aimed at shedding light on the needs and difficulties faced by a sample of 162 adolescents aged 15–17, caring for GrPs, living in Italy (87) and Slovenia (75), respectively. A multiple linear regression model was built for the quantitative data. Qualitative data were content analysed using an open coding process. Italian and Slovenian respondents reported a moderate amount of caring activity and relatively high positive caregiving outcomes. Nevertheless, one out of three AYCs reported health problems due to their caring responsibilities. Compared to their Italian counterparts, Slovenian respondents were supported to a lesser extent by public services. Italian respondents faced communicative and practical problems; Slovenian AYCs experienced mainly emotional discomfort. AYCs from both countries requested emotional and practical support from formal services and family networks. Further, Slovenian AYCs requested emotional support and a personalized learning plan from schoolteachers. Support measures aimed at training AYCs of GrPs on geriatric care are recommended to address specific issues related to ageing and long-term care needs.