Don't let your spouse become your caregiver

02/24/05

New York, NY – According to a recent study, older adults providing home care to their spouses may be more inclined to act in ways that could harm the impaired partner.

The study, published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, found that potentially harmful caregiver behavior was more likely in spouse caregiving situations. Clinical depression was also seen as a factor.

"Depressed older spouses who occupy the caregiving role may be particularly appropriate targets for screening and intervention efforts," according to researchers. Caregiving itself has been associated with "compromised mental and physical health and increased risk for mortality." In these situations, both caregiver and recipients can be at risk for long-term negative outcomes.

The article states that potentially harmful caregiver behavior can be an early warning sign of even greater elderly abuse or neglect. Surprisingly, previous research has shown that abusive caregivers are quite willing to admit to their behavior in interviews.

Source: Eurekalert & others

Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 21 Feb 2009
    Published on PsychCentral.com. All rights reserved.

 

 

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