Family caregiving for older adults

Richard Schulz, Scott R. Beach, Sara J. Czaja, Lynn M. Martire, Joan K. Monin

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations

Abstract

Family members are the primary source of support for older adults with chronic illness and disability. Thousands of published empirical studies and dozens of reviews have documented the psychological and physical health effects of caregiving, identified caregivers at risk for adverse outcomes, and evaluated a wide range of intervention strategies to support caregivers. Caregiving as chronic stress exposure is the conceptual driver for much of this research. We review and synthesize the literature on the impact of caregiving and intervention strategies for supporting caregivers. The impact of caregiving is highly variable, driven largely by the intensity of care provided and the suffering of the care recipient. The intervention literature is littered with many failures and some successes. Successful interventions address both the pragmatics of care and the emotional toll of caregiving. We conclude with both research and policy recommendations that address a national agenda for caregiving.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)635-659
Number of pages25
JournalAnnual review of psychology
Volume71
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 4 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Psychology(all)

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