Informal Caregiving for Older Americans: An Analysis of the 2011 National Study of Caregiving. Data, Measures, and Methods

04/01/2014

The first round of NHATS took place in May 2011 through October 2011 with a national sample of Medicare beneficiaries drawn from the Medicare enrollment file (Montaquila et al. 2012a). The NHATS represents the full Medicare population age 65 or older. Facility interviews are conducted with staff for persons living in nursing homes. For persons living outside of nursing homes, sample person interviews covering a wide range of information on functioning, health, and other characteristics are conducted, and facility interviews also are conducted for those living in other supportive care settings, broadly defined.

NHATS collects self-reported information on functioning using a validated protocol (Freedman et al. 2011) that ascertains whether and how activities were performed in the month prior to interview. Activities include self-care and mobility, household tasks, and other common tasks, such as transportation assistance or being accompanied to doctor appointments. Respondents reporting assistance were asked to identify all persons providing help with each activity, and those eligible for the NSOC also were asked to provide contact information for eligible caregivers.

NSOC eligibility was a two-stage process. First, NHATS respondents were eligible if they reported help with mobility or self-care, help with household activities specifically for health/functioning-related reasons, or lived in residential care settings. Second, caregivers were eligible if they were a family member or were an unpaid caregiver who was not a relative and helped with any activity identified during the NHATS interview including not only mobility, self-care, and household activities but also transportation and medical care activities (e.g., going to the doctor, helping with medications). NSOC interviews took place between May 2011 and November 2011.

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