Vicki Freedman, Sarah Patterson, Jennifer Cornman, and Jennifer Wolff, A day in the life of caregivers to older adults with and without dementia: Comparisons of care time and emotional health, Alzheimer’s & Dementia, 2022, https://doi.org/10.1002/alz.12550
How care-related time and emotional health over the day differ for those assisting older adults with and without dementia is unclear.
Using 2134 time diaries from the National Study of Caregiving, we compared emotional health and care time for caregivers of older adults with and without dementia.
Caregivers to older adults with dementia experienced worse (higher scores) on a composite measure of negative emotional health (4.2 vs 3.3; P < .05) and provided more physical/medical care (33.7 vs 16.2 minutes; P < .05) and less transportation assistance (12.6 vs 24.8 minutes; P < .05) than other caregivers. In models, providing physical/medical care was associated with worse emotional health (β = 0.15; P < .01) and socializing with the care recipient was associated with worse emotional health when the recipient had dementia (β = 0.28; P < .01).
Findings highlight the opportunity for targeted interventions to address the emotional consequences of different types of care time in the context of dementia.