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Am J Public Health. 2002 Mar;92(3):409-13.

When the caregiver needs care: the plight of vulnerable caregivers.

Author information

  • 1Center for Home Care Policy and Research, Visiting Nurse Service of New York, 5 Penn Plaza, 11th Floor, New York, NY 10001, USA. maryam.navaie@vnsny.org

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

This study examined the characteristics, activities, and challenges of high-risk informal caregivers.

METHODS:

Telephone interviews were conducted with a nationally representative cross-section of 1002 informal caregivers. Vulnerable caregivers with poor health or a serious health condition were compared with nonvulnerable caregivers.

RESULTS:

Thirty-six percent of caregivers were vulnerable. Compared with nonvulnerable caregivers, vulnerable caregivers were more likely to have difficulty providing care, to provide higher-intensity care, to report that their physical health had suffered since becoming a caregiver, to be aged 65 years or older, to be married, and to have less than 12 years of education.

CONCLUSIONS:

Reliance on informal caregivers without considering the caregiver's ability to provide care can create a stressful and potentially unsafe environment for the caregiver and the care recipient.

PMID:
11867321
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC1447090
Free PMC Article
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