Baby boomer caregiver and dementia caregiving: findings from the National Study of Caregiving.Age Ageing. 2015 Mar; 44(2):300-6.AA
Previous studies have well documented the characteristics of baby boomers but less is known about the experiences of boomer caregivers (CGs) of people with dementia.
The purpose of this study was to compare the characteristics of boomer CGs of people with dementia with those of boomer CGs for people without dementia and to ascertain factors associated with outcomes.
We selected baby boomer CGs from the National Study of Caregiving (NSOC) with 650 primary boomer CGs (138 CGs of people with dementia and 512 CGs of people without dementia).
The Stress Process Model (SPM) was used to examine the effects of resources (the use of paid help and informal support) and stressors (primary: level of CG care activities and interrupted sleep; secondary: strain of caregiving on work, other care and social activities) on CGs' down, depressed or hopeless feelings and self-perceived general health. T-tests and chi-square tests were used to compare SPM domain differences and ordinary least-square multiple regression analysis was used to investigate predictors of CGs' outcomes.
High blood pressure and arthritis were the most prevalent chronic diseases in both groups. Boomer CGs of people with dementia reported providing more help with daily activities, higher level of caregiving and social activity conflict, experiencing more interrupted sleep and more down, depressed or hopeless feelings than CGs of people without dementia. Different factors predicted boomer CGs' outcomes.
The current results yield important information about the considerable differences between two baby boomer CG groups within the caregiving experiences. The findings highlight the need to provide tailored interventions to boomer CGs to help them cope with caregiving stress to improve their physical and mental health.