Factors Associated with Ending Caregiving Among Informal Caregivers to the Functionally and Cognitively Impaired Elderly Population


This study investigated factors associated with the decisions of principal informal caregivers of the activity of daily living (ADL) dependent elderly living in the community to end caregiving. Data were from the 1982 National Long-Term Care Survey (NLTCS), the 1982 Informal Caregiver Survey and 1984 NLTCS Longitudinal Follow-up. Two definitions of ending caregiving were used in the analyses: the first included all reasons why a particular individual chose to end caregiving other than the care recipients' death, the second looked at the decision to end informal caregiving in the community by placing the disabled elderly person in a nursing home. In the first definition, institutionalization was the outcome in only about half the decisions; in the other half, either the individual had recovered and no longer needed care or some other family member was now providing care. Factors associated with the decisions to end caregiving under both definitions included a non-spouse caregiver and assisting the elderly care recipient with 3+ ADL impairments. Factors found to be specifically associated with the decision to seek institutional placement were the care recipient's cognitive impairment and the caregiver's expressed view that caregiving was "emotionally hard." [45 PDF pages]

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