Risk of Cognitive and Functional Impairment in Spouses of People With Dementia: Evidence From the Health and Retirement Study

TitleRisk of Cognitive and Functional Impairment in Spouses of People With Dementia: Evidence From the Health and Retirement Study
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2015
AuthorsPertl, MM, Lawlor, BA, Robertson, IH, Walsh, C, Brennan, S
JournalJournal of Geriatric Psychiatry and Neurology
Volume28
Issue4
Pagination260-271
KeywordsHealth Conditions and Status, Healthcare
Abstract

Caring for a spouse with dementia is a chronic stressor that may compromise caregivers own cognitive functioning and capacity to provide adequate care. We examined whether having (i) a spouse with dementia and (ii) a spouse who requires assistance with activities of daily living predicted cognitive and functional impairments in respondents to the Health and Retirement Study (n = 7965). Respondents who had a spouse who requires care had poorer cognitive functioning, whereby this relationship was significantly stronger for male respondents. Having a spouse with dementia moderated the relationship between income and cognition and predicted caregiver functional impairment, though not when depression was controlled. Although we found no significant differences on any individual cognitive domains between 179 dementia caregivers and sociodemographically matched noncaregivers, our findings suggest that caregivers, especially men, and low-income individuals who have a spouse with dementia are more vulnerable to adverse cognitive outcomes. Targeting depression in spouses of people with dementia may help to prevent functional impairments.

URLhttp://jgp.sagepub.com/content/early/2015/06/10/0891988715588834.abstract
DOI10.1177/0891988715588834
Endnote Keywords

caregiver burden/dementia/cognitive impairment/stress/activities of daily living/depression

Endnote ID

999999

Citation Key8327