Research Consortium for Belizean Studies

I Do the Best I Can: Caregivers' Perceptions of Informal Caregiving for Older Adults in Belize

Kerryellen Vroman
Jamme Morency


In this first study of informal caregiving for older adults in Belize, 29 caregivers described their experiences of caregiving, how they perceived and managed the role, and what critical resources they needed. The three main themes identified in the caregiver interviews were "the experiences of caregivers, the rewards of caregiving, and navigating the caregiver role." Caregivers identified positively with the role of care provider and they did not describe it as burdensome nor did they describe role strain. However, caregivers' complaints of poor physical health might be construed as somatic expressions of strain. The caregivers' religiosity was salient to how they viewed and coped with their caregiver role. In conclusion, culture appears to influence positively caregivers' beliefs and perceptions of caregiving in Belize. However, the expected increase in the older population and current circumstances of many caregivers and care recipients means there is a critical need for resources to support caregivers and promote aging in place. (Contains 1 table and 1 footnote.)