Spousal caregiving in late midlife versus older ages: implications of work and family obligations.

TitleSpousal caregiving in late midlife versus older ages: implications of work and family obligations.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2008
AuthorsLima, JC, Allen, SM, Goldscheider, F, Intrator, O
JournalJ Gerontol B Psychol Sci Soc Sci
Date Published2008 Jul
ISSN Number1079-5014
Call Numbernewpubs20081014_Lima-etal.pdf
KeywordsActivities of Daily Living, Age Factors, Aged, Aged, 80 and over, Caregivers, Employment, Family Relations, Female, Gender Identity, Health Surveys, Humans, Longitudinal Studies, Male, Middle Aged, Mobility Limitation, Spouses, Time Factors, United States

OBJECTIVES: This study examined life-stage differences in the provision of care to spouses with functional impairment.

METHODS: We examined 1,218 married adults aged 52 and older from the 2000 wave of the Health and Retirement Study who received impairment-related help with at least one activity of daily living. We examined the differential likelihood that spouses served as primary caregiver and the hours of care provided by spousal primary caregivers by life stage.

RESULTS: We found that late middle-aged care recipients were more likely than their older counterparts to receive the majority of their care from their spouse but received fewer hours of spousal care, mostly when spouses worked full time. Competing demands of caring for children or parents did not affect the amount of care provided by a spouse.

DISCUSSION: Late middle-aged adults with functional limitations are more likely than older groups to be married and cared for primarily by spouses; however, they may be particularly vulnerable to unmet need for care. As the baby boom generation ages, retirement ages increase, and federal safety nets weaken, people with health problems at older ages may soon find themselves in the same caregiving predicament as those in late middle age.

User Guide Notes


Endnote Keywords

ADL and IADL Impairments/Marital Status/Caregiving

Endnote ID


Alternate JournalJ Gerontol B Psychol Sci Soc Sci
Citation Key7246
PubMed ID18689772
PubMed Central IDPMC4621964
Grant ListR24 HD041020 / HD / NICHD NIH HHS / United States
T32 HD007338 / HD / NICHD NIH HHS / United States