The role of women in caregiving to elderly people has focused primarily on their involvement as givers of care. In contrast, this article focuses on older women as recipients of caregiving. Data from the WHAS and the WHAS Caregiving Study are used to describe: the relationship of caregiving arrangements among moderately to severely disabled older women to sociodemographic, health and functional status; the characteristics of primary family caregivers and the assistance they provide; preferences for caregiving arrangements among both care recipients and caregivers; and views on adequacy of caregiving among older women cared for by family. Overall, about one quarter of these women had no caregiver, reflecting the inclusion in the WHAS of women with only moderate functional difficulty, but close to two-thirds relied on family members, and 15% on paid help only. Greater reliance on family was associated with being age 80 or older, black, and living with others. Women with poorer functioning - more ADL and IADL difficulties, difficulty taking medications without help, low cognitive functioning, not emotionally vital - also were significantly more likely to be cared for by family. Caregiving preferences varied among older women and their husband and daughter caregivers. Husbands consistently viewed in-home family help as the best caregiving arrangement regardless of levels of need. Older women and daughter caregivers both saw nursing homes as the best option for people with dementia and substantial care needs. One-quarter of elderly women chose in-home paid help as the best arrangement for meeting ADL/IADL needs. Older women generally held positive views of the assistance they received from family members. Younger women and lower income women were more likely to indicate they received less help than needed. (C) 2000, Editrice Kurtis.
|Number of pages||13|
|Journal||Aging Clinical and Experimental Research|
|Publication status||Published - 1 Apr 2000|