Transition into the caregiver role among older adults: a study of social participation and social support based on the Canadian Longitudinal Study on Ageing
caregiver type, CLSA, social participation, social support
Objectives Older adults (65 years and older) are increasingly providing care for their spouses, family members, and nonkin others (e.g., friends and neighbors). However, available knowledge of older caregivers is limited to spousal caregivers and their psychological outcomes. Other caregiver role types or social outcomes among older caregivers are less well studied. Thus, this study examines the social participation and social support among older caregivers by comparing 3 types of older caregivers, including spousal caregivers, nonspouse family caregivers, and nonkin caregivers. Methods Participants for this study were drawn from the Baseline and Follow-up 1 data from the Canadian Longitudinal Study on Aging. A total of 3,789 older adults became caregivers during the 2 data collection time points. Linear mixed models were applied to examine the change of social participation and social support among the three caregiver role types over the course of survey. Results The study finds that after transitioning into the caregiving role, spousal caregivers, and nonkin caregivers experienced a decline in social participation, and spousal caregivers also received less social support over time. When comparing the 3 caregiver role types, spousal caregivers reported the greatest decline in social participation and social support. Discussion This study adds to the relatively limited knowledge of older caregivers by presenting the changes in social participation and social support after transitioning into 3 types of caregiver roles. The results indicate the need to provide support for caregivers, particularly spousal and nonkin caregivers, to help them maintain social relationships and networks for participation and support.
Li, L., Wister, A. V., Lee, Y., & Mitchell, B. (2023). Transition into the caregiver role among older adults: A study of social participation and social support based on the Canadian Longitudinal Study on Ageing. Journals of Gerontology, Series B Social Sciences, 78 (8), 1423-1434. https://doi.org/10.1093/geronb/gbad075
All Rights Reserved