PACE Enrollment Reduces Family Caregiver Burden

This article was originally posted on Vital Research. Read the full article here.

This is the first in a series of five briefs focused on self-reported perceptions of burden of family caregivers with loved ones enrolled in the Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE). The PACE model provides integrated interdisciplinary preventative, primary, acute, and long-term managed care and support to individuals who are 55 and older and have a health profile that qualifies them for nursing home care. In collaboration with the National PACE Association (NPA), Vital Research developed, collected, and analyzed data from 973 caregivers associated with 30 PACE centers across the country.

Defining Caregiver Burden

By 2030, all Baby Boomers will be older than 65 and will make up 20 percent of the world’s population. These aging adults are living with the highest rates of chronic illness including cognitive decline, hearing and sight decline, and loss of the ability to perform activities of daily living, making the responsibilities of their caregivers complex and challenging. Nearly 41.3 million people are unpaid family caregivers.

Research evidence shows that caregivers can experience adverse effects of caregiving, or burden, which is defined as the perceived negative impacts on their own independence, finances and social life, as well as the decline of their physical and emotional health because of caregiving responsibilities. This subjective burden is one of the most important predictors for negative outcomes of care situations for the caregivers themselves as well as for the person who requires care. Models of health care provision, such as PACE, understand the importance of supporting caregivers so participants can maintain better health and prevent or reduce hospital and nursing home admissions.

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