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Characteristics Influencing Family Caregivers’ Desires to Institutionalize

Semester: Summer 2023

Presentation description

Family caregivers provide unpaid care and support for older adults or chronically ill or disabled family members. For example, there are currently over 16 million family caregivers providing over 17 billion hours of unpaid care to those with Alzheimer's Disease and Related Dementias. Though there are positive aspects towards caregiving (PAC), such as closer interpersonal relationships, caregivers face immense burden and stress. When caregiving becomes too overwhelming or demanding, families may desire to institutionalize the care recipient in nursing homes or assisted livings. This project examined characteristics of family caregivers that may influence their desire to institutionalize, particularly perceived PAC, caregiver burden, and sex. 163 family caregivers enrolled in the Time for Living and Caring study, a 16-week intervention aimed to improve respite time-use satisfaction funded by the National Institutes of Aging. They completed surveys at baseline including those used to measure the previously mentioned variables. Through various regression models, it was found that caregiver burden remains significantly positively associated with the desire to institutionalize even when controlling for confounding variables (p<0.001), though positive aspects of caregiving become non-significant when other variables are controlled for (p>0.05). Furthermore, sex becomes a significant predictor of the desire to institutionalize (p<0.05). When comparing sex alone, females have a significantly lower perceived PAC (p<0.05) and significantly higher caregiver burden than males (p<0.05), though there is no significant difference in their desire to institutionalize (p=0.17). These results suggest that it is important to provide caregivers with the education, support, and resources to help alleviate burden through methods including support groups or formal services such as in-home respite. Additionally, although PAC and caregiver burden are weakly correlated, they are not the same concept, and desire to institutionalize is primarily dependent on caregiver burden.

Presenter Name: Anna Hsu
Presentation Type: Poster
Presentation Format: In Person
Presentation #10
College: Social & Behavioral Science
School / Department: Sociology
Research Mentor: Rebecca Utz
Date | Time: Thursday, Aug 3rd | 9:00 AM