• Are dementia caregivers planning for their own future?: a needs assessment and examination of barriers to services

      Suarez, Jeanette L. (2021-05)
      Due to the complex nature of the decline of persons with Alzheimer’s and other types of dementia, dementia caregivers are at greater risk of psychological morbidities, which often has an effect on caregivers’ own physical health. These caregivers, who are usually family members, experience first-hand the demands of caring for their loved ones. The present research examined how the demands of caregiving (caregiver burden) had impacted decisions regarding their own future care needs in the form of financial and advance care planning. Sixty-six caregivers from Meals On Wheels & Services of Rockland and the SUNY New Paltz community participated in this study. Although caregiver burden did not have an impact on caregivers’ view of the financial future, caregivers who scored high in the dimensions of Challenges to Self-fulfillment and Physical Health Challenges had completed more advance care planning steps than other caregivers. Caregivers with a clearer view of the financial future had also completed more financial planning steps than other caregivers. Caregivers over 40 years of age completed the most financial and advance care planning steps. Barriers to financial and advance care planning were also identified and explored.