Sociodemographic disparities in informal caregiving intensity in the United States: Results from the new National Study of Caregiving
Nearly 60 million informal caregivers provide some form of care to aging adults. Despite the many benefits of informal caregiving—saving the national economy hundreds of billions of dollars annually, preventing unnecessary hospitalization and institutionalization, and often allowing older adults to remain in their own homes—high intensity informal caregiving can impact caregiver health and quality-of-life. Therefore, the objectives of our study were to examine the demographic profile of informal caregivers in the United States and to assess socioeconomic and demographic disparities in caregiving intensity among informal caregivers. Using a new, comprehensive, nationally representative database of 1014 informal caregivers (National Study of Caregiving-NSOC) identified by care recipients, we profiled the informal caregiver sample and examined the associations between informal caregiving intensity and age, race/ethnicity, income, and caregiver health status. Among all informal caregivers, 60.2% were white, 69.4% were female, and the average age of caregivers was 53.4 and 55.2 years for males and females, respectively. High intensity caregivers were more likely to be non-White (OR 0.635, 95%CI 0.487-0.828) and less likely to have at least one major health condition (OR = 0.671, 95%CI 0.518-0.868). Although the overall association between caregiving intensity and income was not significant, when stratified by race/ethnicity, this association was positive for whites and negative for non-whites. Therefore, policies and programs designed to promote caregiver health and mitigate the potential harms of high intensity caregiving to caregiver health should consider these important sociodemographic disparities to protect and support this vital component of the US health care system.
Public health or related research
Social and behavioral sciences
Describe socioeconomic and demographic factors associated with intensity of caregiving in informal caregivers.
Describe socioeconomic and demographic factors associated with caregiver health and burden in informal caregivers
Keyword(s): Caregivers, Health Disparities/Inequities
Presenting author's disclosure statement:
Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I conducted the analysis and wrote up the results.
Any relevant financial relationships? No
I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines,
and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed
in my presentation.