Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home

Relationships between gender, age, family conditions, physical and mental health, and social isolation of elderly caregivers

  • Anita Liberalesso Neri (a1) (a2), Mônica Sanches Yassuda (a1) (a3), Andréa Cristina Garofe Fortes-Burgos (a4), Efigênia Passarelli Mantovani (a1), Flávia Silva Arbex (a1), Stella Vidal de Souza Torres (a1), Mônica Rodrigues Perracini (a1) (a5) and Maria Elena Guariento (a1)...

Abstract

Background: In an aging population an increasing number of elderly caregivers will be called upon to provide care over a long period, during which time they will be burdened both by caregiving and by the physiological effects of their own aging. Among them there will be more aged male caregivers, who will probably be less prepared than women to become caregivers. The aim of this study was to investigate the relationship between caregivers’ gender, age, family income, living arrangements and social support as independent variables, and depressive symptoms, comorbidities, level of frailty, grip strength, walking speed and social isolation, as dependent variables.

Methods: 176 elderly people (123 women) were selected from a sample of a population-based study on frailty (n = 900), who had cared for a spouse (79.3%) and/or parents (31.4%) in the past five years (mean age = 71.8 ± 4.86 years; mean monthly family income in minimum wages = 4.64 ± 5.14). The study used questionnaires and self-report scales, grip strength and walking speed tests.

Results: 65% of participants evaluated caregiving as being very stressful. Univariate analyses of regression showed low family income as a risk factor for depression; being female and low perceived social support as a risk for comorbidities; being 80 years of age and above for low grip strength; and being male for social isolation indicated by discontinuity of activities and social roles. In multivariate analyses of regression, poverty arose as a risk factor for depression and being female for comorbidities.

Conclusions: Gender roles, age, income and social support interacted with physical and emotional health, and with the continuity of social participation of elderly caregivers. Special attention must be given to male caregivers.

Copyright

Corresponding author

Correspondence should be addressed to: Anita Liberalesso Neri, PhD, Universidade Estadual de Campinas – Unicamp, Faculdade de Ciências Médicas, Comissão de Pós-Graduação, Av. Tessália Vieira de Camargo, 126, Cidade Universitária “Zeferino Vaz”, Barão Geraldo, Campinas-SP, CEP 13083-970, Brazil. Phone: +55 19 3521 9087. Email: anitalbn@fcm.unicamp.br.

References

Hide All
Almeida, O. P. and Almeida, S. A. (1999). Short versions of the Geriatric Depression Scale: a study of their validity for the diagnosis of major depressive episode according to ICD-10 and DSM-IV. International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, 14, 858865.
Batistoni, S. S. T., Neri, A. L. and Cupertino, A. P. F. B. (2007). Validade da escala de depressão do Center for Epidemiological Studies (CES-D) entre idosos brasileiros. Revista Saúde Pública, 41, 598605.
Borg, C. and Hallberg, I. R. (2006). Life satisfaction among informal caregivers in comparison with non-caregivers. Scandinavian Journal of Caring Science, 20, 427438.
Brucki, S. M. D., Nitrini, R., Caramelli, P., Bertolucci, P. H. F. and Okamoto, I. H. (2003). Sugestões para o uso do Mini-Exame do Estado Mental no Brasil. Arquivos de Neuropsiquiatria, 61, 777781.
Cohen, S., Mermelstein, R., Kamarck, T. and Hoberman, H. M. (1985). Measuring the functional components of social support. In Sarason, G. and Sarason, B. R. (eds.), Social Support: Theory, Research, and Applications (pp. 7394). The Hague: Martinus Nijhoff.
Elliot, T. R. and Pezent, G. D. (2008). Family caregivers of older persons in rehabilitation. Neurological Rehabilitation, 23, 439446.
Ferrucci, L., Guralnik, J. M., Studenski, S., Fried, L. P., Cutler, G. B. Jr and Walston, J. D. (2004). Designing randomized, controlled trials aimed at preventing or delaying functional decline and disability in frail, older persons: a consensus report. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, 52, 625–624.
Fortes-Burgos, A. C. G., Neri, A. L. and Cupertino, A. P. F. B. (2008). Eventos estressantes, estratégias de enfrentamento, auto-eficácia e sintomas depressivos entre idosos residentes na comunidade. Psicologia: Reflexão e Crítica, 2, 7482.
Fried, L. P. et al. (2001). Frailty in older adults: evidence for a phenotype. Journal of Gerontology, 56, 146156.
Giacomin, K., Uchoa, E., Firmo, J. O. A. and Lima-Costa, M. F. (2005). Projeto Bambuí: um estudo de base populacional da prevalência e dos fatores associados à necessidade de cuidador entre idosos. Cadernos de Saúde Pública, 21, 8091.
Huang, C., Souza, V. D., Perng, S., Hwang, M., Tsai, C., Huang, M. and Yao, S. (2008). Stressors, social support, depressive symptoms and general health status of Taiwanese caregivers of persons with stroke or Alzheimer's disease. Journal of Clinical Nursing, 18, 502511.
IBGE (2009). Indicadores Sociodemograficos e de Saúde no Brasil. Estudos e pesquisas: informações demograficas e socioeconômicas, 25 [Health and Sociodemographic Indicators in Brazil. Studies and Research: Demographic and Socioeconomic data]. Rio de Janeiro: Instituto Brasileiro de Geografia e Estatítica. Available at: http://www.ibge.gov.br/home/estatistica/populacao/indic_sociosaude/2009/default.shtm; last accessed 9 March 2009.
Kahn, J. R. and Pearlin, L. I. (2006). Financial strain over the life course and health among older adults. Journal of Health and Social Behavior, 47, 1731.
Kaufman, A. V., Kosberg, J. I., Leeper, J. D. and Tang, M. (2010). Caregiver burden, and life satisfaction in a sample of rural African American and White caregivers of older persons with dementia. Journal of Gerontological Social Work, 53, 251269.
Koerner, S. S., Shirai, Y. and Kenyon, D. Y. B. (2010). Sociocontextual circumstances in daily stress reactivity among caregivers for elders relatives. Journals of Gerontology: Psychological Sciences, 65, 561572.
Ladin, K., Daniels, N. and Kawachi, I. (2009). Exploring the relationship between absolute and relative position and late-life depression: evidence from 10 European countries. The Gerontologist, 50, 4859.
Lorant, V., Deliège, D., Eaton, W., Robert, A., Philippot, P. and Ansseau, M. (2003). Socioeconomic inequalities in depression: a meta-analysis. American Journal of Epidemiology, 157, 98112.
Mackenzie, C. S., Wiprzycza, U. Z., Hasher, L. and Goldstein, D. (2009). Associations between psychological distress, learning, and memory in spouse caregivers of older adults. Journals of Gerontology: Psychological Sciences, 64, 742746.
McNeill, G., Kosberg, J. I., Durkin, D. W., Dooley, W. K., de Coster, J. and Williamson, G. M. (2009). Caregiver mental health and potentially harmful caregiving behavior: the central role of caregiver anger. The Gerontologist, 50, 7686.
Oswald, S. (2009). Who is caring for the caregivers? Promoting spousal caregiver's health. Family Community Health (Suppl. 1), 32, 514.
Pinquart, M. and Sörensen, S. (2003a). Predictors of caregiver burden and depressive mood: a meta-analysis. Journals of Gerontology: Psychological Sciences, 58, 112128.
Pinquart, M. and Sörensen, S. (2003b). Differences between caregivers and non-caregivers in psychological and physical health: a meta-analysis. Psychology and Aging, 8, 250267.
Pinquart, M. and Sörensen, S. (2006). Gender differences in caregiver stressors, social resources, and health: an updated meta-analysis. Journals of Gerontology: Psychological Sciences, 61, 3345.
Pinquart, M. and Sörensen, S. (2007). Correlates of physical health of informal caregivers: a meta-analysis. Journals of Gerontology: Psychological Sciences, 62, 126137).
Reuben, D. B., Laliberte, L., Hiris, J. and Mor, V. (1990). A hierarchical exercise scale to measure function at the Advanced Activities of Daily Living (AADL) level. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, 38, 855861.
Robinson, J., Fortinsky, R., Kleppinger, A., Shigue, N. and Porter, M. (2009). A broader view of family caregiving: effects of caregiver conditions on depressive symptoms, health, work, and social isolation. Journals of Gerontology: Social Sciences, 64, 788798.
Taylor, H. L., Jacobs, D. R., Schucker, B., Knudsen, J., Leon, A. S. and Debacker, G. (1978). A questionnaire for the assessment of leisure time physical activities. Journal of Chronic Disease, 31, 741755.
Vitaliano, P., Zhang, J. and Scanlan, J. (2003). Is caregiving hazardous to one's health: a meta-analysis. Psychological Bulletin, 129, 946972.
Vitaliano, P., Echeverria, D., Shelkey, M., Zhang, J. and Scanlan, J. (2007). A cognitive psychophysiological model to predict functional decline in chronically stressed older adults. Journal of Psychology and Medical Settings, 14, 177190.

Keywords

Relationships between gender, age, family conditions, physical and mental health, and social isolation of elderly caregivers

  • Anita Liberalesso Neri (a1) (a2), Mônica Sanches Yassuda (a1) (a3), Andréa Cristina Garofe Fortes-Burgos (a4), Efigênia Passarelli Mantovani (a1), Flávia Silva Arbex (a1), Stella Vidal de Souza Torres (a1), Mônica Rodrigues Perracini (a1) (a5) and Maria Elena Guariento (a1)...

Metrics

Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed