Effect pronounced when caregivers experience own health problems or care for especially needy spouses
When elderly people need assistance with the activities of daily life, one might assume that the best people to care for them would be the ones who know them best--their spouses. But, as a team of researchers at the University of Pittsburgh report in this months issue of the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, being married to ones caregiver could be a prescription for abuse, especially if the caregiver is also suffering from his or her own physical or mental problems.
Scott Beach, director of survey research in Pitts University Center for Social and Urban Research (UCSUR); Richard Schulz, professor of psychiatry and director of UCSUR; and colleagues at the University of Georgia and the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center found that caregivers who are married to those they care for--particularly those caregivers who are more cognitively impaired, in poorer health, more depressed, or taking care of someone who needs more help--are more likely to be abusive.
Karen Hoffmann | EurekAlert!
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