The case for involving adult children outside of the household in the self-management support of older adults with chronic illnesses

TitleThe case for involving adult children outside of the household in the self-management support of older adults with chronic illnesses
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2010
AuthorsPiette, JD, Rosland, A-M, Silveira, MJ, Kabeto, MU, Langa, KM
JournalChronic Illness
Volume6
Issue1
Pagination34-45
KeywordsHealth Conditions and Status, Healthcare
Abstract

Objectives: This study sought to (1) identify barriers to spousal support for chronic illness self-care among community-dwelling older adults; and (2) describe the potential availability of self-care support from adult children living outside of the household.Methods: Nationally representative US sample of chronically ill adults aged 51 were interviewed as part of the Health and Retirement Study (N = 14,862). Both participants and their spouses (when available) reported information about their health and functioning. Participants also reported information about their contact with adult children and the quality of those relationships.Results: More than one-third (38 ) of chronically ill older adults in the US are unmarried; and when spouses are available, the majority of them have multiple chronic diseases and functional limitations. However, the vast majority of chronically ill older adults (93 , representing roughly 60 million Americans) have adult children, with half having children living over 10 miles away. Most respondents with children (78 ) reported at least weekly telephone contact and that these relationships were positive. Roughly 19 million older chronically ill Americans have adult children living at a distance but none nearby; these children are in frequent telephone contact and respondents (including those with multiple chronic diseases) report that the relationships are positive.Discussion: As the gap between available health services for disease management and the need among community-dwelling patients continues to grow, adult children including those living at a distance represent an important resource for improving self-care support for people with chronic diseases.

URLhttp://chi.sagepub.com/content/6/1/34.abstract
DOI10.1177/1742395309347804
Endnote Keywords

self-care/Chronic Disease

Endnote ID

25230

Citation Key7530
PubMed ID20308349
PubMed Central IDPMC2864454