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Baby Boomers Who Provide Informal Care for People Living with Dementia in the Community

Background: One in four Baby Boomers fills the informal caregiver role in the United States. The objectives of this study were to estimate the prevalence of Baby Boomers who are informal caregivers for people living with dementia and compare their physical and mental health status to caregivers for persons with conditions other than dementia using 2015–2018 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System data (N = 10,602). Methods: We identified caregiving status (assisting a family member/friend with a long-term illness or disability in the past month, managing personal care, and not caring for a child/grandchild) and whether the care recipient’s major health condition was dementia. We calculated weighted estimates and used chi-square tests and log-binomial regression for comparisons of selected characteristics. Results: Among Baby Boomer caregivers, 15.4% were caring for someone with dementia. Dementia caregivers were more likely to be female, caring for a parent/parent-in-law, and providing care longer than caregivers for persons without dementia. After adjusting for sociodemographic and caregiving characteristics, the prevalence of fair/poor health, frequent mental distress, and chronic conditions were similar across types of caregivers. Conclusions: Although no differences in caregiver’s physical and mental health by care recipient’s dementia status were found, we should underscore the importance of maintaining Baby Boomer caregivers’ health and well-being.

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International Journal Of Environmental Research And Public Health
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