an In The Media Appearance
Amanda Leggett of the Michigan Center on the Demography of Aging (MiCDA), and colleagues find for the millions of older Americans who take care of a loved one with major medical needs, the pandemic has posed special challenges — and the resulting feelings of stress, depression and isolation may affect how well they can perform their caregiving responsibilities. The findings highlight the importance of considering unpaid caregivers, as well as patients, when health systems, clinics and public policymakers make decisions related to the pandemic and beyond.
“We’re finding in this new study, and in our other work, that caregivers across the board have really struggled during the pandemic with getting appointments for the person they care for, and with policies that governed whether they were allowed to be present during an appointment or a hospitalization for the person they care for,” Leggett said. “These results show that caregivers who experienced challenges related to access to medical care for the person they care for were especially more likely to have negative mental health symptoms and worse well-being.”
Amanda N Leggett, Erica Solway, PhD, MSW, MPH, Jeffrey T Kullgren, Richard Gonzalez, et al, Care Challenges Due to COVID-19 and Mental Health Among Caregivers of U.S. Adults With a Chronic or Disabling Condition, Innovation in Aging, Volume 5, Issue 3, 2021, igab031, https://doi.org/10.1093/geroni/igab031