Journal of Community Health

, Volume 44, Issue 1, pp 52–60 | Cite as

Characteristics of American Indian Female Caregivers on a Southwest American Indian Reservation

  • Felina M. Cordova-MarksEmail author
  • Robin Harris
  • Nicolette I. Teufel-Shone
  • Beatrice Norton
  • Ann M. Mastergeorge
  • Lynn Gerald
Original Paper


American Indian (AI) caregivers have been excluded from national survey efforts. Drawing from a 2012 survey administered on the Hopi Reservation in northern Arizona, 20% of adults are caregivers. More information is needed to guide program development tailored to Hopi needs. In a University-Community collaboration, a 58 question survey was administered to self-identified caregivers of a family member about amount and type of care provided, difficulties, caregiver health, and desired support services. Characteristics of caregivers and their experiences were described. Forty-four (44) female Hopi caregivers were interviewed from June–October 2017, mean age of 59 years (± 12.6) with mean 5.5 year (± 4.4) history of providing care. Over 84% provided care to either a parent or grandparent. Most caregivers provided transportation (93.2%), housework (93.2%), and medical related care (72.7%). Caregivers stated they had difficulties with not having enough time for family and or friends (88.6%), financial burdens (75.0%), and not having enough time for themselves (61.4%). The most frequently identified difficulty was stress (45.5%). Caregivers would like additional services, with 76.7% asking for training. Over 77% would not consider placing their relative in an assisted living facility. Compared to national data, Hopi female caregivers are older, provide more care hours/week, more caregiving duties, and for a longer number of years. Stress is the most reported difficulty, although lower than national levels. As caregivers are resistant to placing the recipient in assisted living, educational efforts should focus on training caregivers to assist the care recipient and decreasing caregiver stress.


American Indian Native American Caregiving Elder Chronic disease 



The study was funded by Native American Research Centers for Health (Grant No. U261IHS0077-01-01).

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public HealthUniversity of ArizonaTucsonUSA
  2. 2.Native American Research and Training CenterUniversity of ArizonaTucsonUSA
  3. 3.Skin Cancer InstituteUniversity of Arizona Cancer CenterTucsonUSA
  4. 4.Center for Health Equity ResearchNorthern Arizona UniversityFlagstaffUSA
  5. 5.Hopi Office of Aging and Adult Services, Hopi Department of Health and Human ServicesKykotsmoviUSA
  6. 6.Department of Human Development and Family Studies College of Human SciencesTexas Tech UniversityLubbockUSA
  7. 7.Asthma and Airway Disease Research CenterUniversity of ArizonaTucsonUSA
  8. 8.College of MedicineUniversity of ArizonaTucsonUSA

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