|Changes in physical and mental health of Black, Hispanic, and White caregivers and non-caregivers associated with onset of spousal dementia.
|Year of Publication
|Chen, C, Thunell, J, Zissimopoulos, JM
|Alzheimer's & Dementia
|Caregiving, Dementia, depression, Racial Disparities
Introduction: We aim to determine whether racial/ethnic health disparities are a consequence of caregiving for persons with dementia and/or health status before becoming a caregiver.
Methods: Longitudinal data from the Health and Retirement Study (1998-2012) on 7859 Black, Hispanic, and White couples were analyzed for changes in physical and mental health with incident dementia of a spouse.
Results: Blacks and Hispanics, but not Whites, had poorer health before becoming caregivers for a spouse with dementia, than those who did not become caregivers. Spouse's dementia onset was associated with caregiver's higher odds of depressive disorder, with no racial/ethnic variation. Racial disparities in caregiver's health were attributed to health differences before caregiving, not differential health changes due to caregiving.
Discussion: Older Blacks and Hispanics with poor health are at increased risk of caregiving for a spouse with dementia. Protecting the health of persons supporting spouses with dementia requires understanding socioeconomic and cultural factors driving care provision.
|PubMed Central ID