Caregiving Triggers Aging-Related Stress among Spouses

August 29, 2014 | Aging Services Risk Management


​In a study of older adults who served as a caregiver to a spouse with cancer receiving hospice care, caregiving "made older caregivers aware of their own aging and physical limitations, heightened self-imposed expectations to fulfill their role as spouse, and led them to consider their own mortality," reports a study in the August 2014 issue of the Journal of Gerontological Nursing. Researchers audio recorded four visits with each of four caregivers; during these visits, spouses discussed caregiving problems they encountered and how they coped. Researchers qualitatively analyzed the recordings to identify aging-related stress related to caregiving. They found that the participants were challenged not only by caregiving but by their own aging as well. Caregiving stress related more to hospice patients' cognitive deficits rather than their physical decline.

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