Family Caregivers Providing Complex Chronic Care to People with Cognitive and Behavioral Health Conditions
A report of the AARP Public Policy Institute and the United Hospital Fund
Read the related press release.
This United Hospital Fund and AARP Public Policy Institute report provides compelling new evidence that family caregivers who provide complex chronic care to people who also have cognitive and behavioral health conditions face particularly demanding challenges, including high levels of self-reported depression. As a result, a majority of them (61 percent) reported feeling stress “sometimes to always,” between their caregiving responsibilities and trying to meet other work or family obligations.
Adding to the challenge, people with cognitive and behavioral conditions were generally sicker than other people requiring caregiving. These persons needing care often had chronic physical health diagnoses—including cardiac disease, stroke/hypertension, musculoskeletal problems, and diabetes—at higher rates than those without cognitive and behavioral conditions. Further illustrating the complexity, family caregivers of people with challenging behaviors often met with resistance from the person they were trying to help.
This publication is the third in the “Insight on the Issues” series, drawn from additional analysis of data based on a December 2011 national survey of 1,677 family caregivers. Earlier findings were published in the groundbreaking Public Policy Institute/United Hospital Fund report Home Alone: Family Caregivers Providing Complex Chronic Care and in the two earlier “Insight on the Issues” publications, Employed Family Caregivers Providing Complex Chronic Care and Family Caregivers Providing Complex Chronic Care to Their Spouses.
Resources for family caregivers and health care providers are available at our Next Step in Care website.