Research Article: Health and access to health care of female family caregivers of adults with developmental disabilities
Caldwell, J. (2008). Health and access to health care of female family caregivers of adults with developmental disabilities. Journal of Disability Policy Studies, 19(2), 68-79. doi: 10.1177/1044207308316093
The physical and mental health status of women providing care to adult relatives with developmental disabilities was compared with that of the general female population in the United States. There were no differences on physical health across four age groups. However, the mental health of midlife caregivers (45—54 years of age) and older caregivers (older than 65 years) was worse than national norms. This may be associated with two key periods: transitions to adulthood of individuals with disabilities and transitions when aging caregivers are no longer able to provide care. Greater unmet needs for services contributed to poorer mental health. Poorer access to health care also contributed to poorer mental and physical health. Unmet needs for services and out-of-pocket disability-related expenses appeared to pose difficulties for working age caregivers in affording the financial costs of health care for themselves.
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