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ERIC Number: EJ900320
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 11
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0891-4222
Health Status and Coping Strategies among Older Parent-Carers of Adults with Intellectual Disabilities in an Australian Sample
Llewellyn, Gwynnyth; McConnell, David; Gething, Lindsay; Cant, Rosemary; Kendig, Hal
Research in Developmental Disabilities: A Multidisciplinary Journal, v31 n6 p1176-1186 Nov-Dec 2010
Background: Older parent-carers in Australia are the subject of increasing policy and practice attention due to concerns about their ongoing ability to care in the light of their own ageing and the ageing of their adult son or daughter. This paper examines health status and the coping strategies of a group of older Australian parents caring for an adult son or daughter with intellectual disabilities. Method: Health status using the SF-12 (Ware, Snow, Kosinski, & Gandek, 1993), caring stress using the CADI (Nolan, Grant, & Keady, 1998), and coping strategies using the CAMI (Nolan et al., 1998) were assessed in 64 older parent-carers of adults with intellectual disabilities. Results: The self-reported health status of this sample of older parent-carers did not differ significantly from Australian population norms, with one exception. That is, the younger parent-carers in the sample (55-64 years) reported significantly poorer mental health. Better health was associated with having a partner, a larger and close support network of family, friends and neighbours, and a lower care-load. Overall, the study participants identified both satisfaction as well as stress associated with caring, a finding that runs counter to the common perception that being a carer is overwhelmingly burdensome. Common sources of stress were feeling helpless or not in control, and poor professional support. Analysis of older parent-carers coping strategies suggests that self-reliance, whether by choice or necessity, was the norm. Conclusions: The health status of older parent-carers may present less cause for concern than anecdotal reports suggest. That said, the strong self-reliance particularly of the older carers presents a challenge to service providers seeking to engage those whose situation appears to warrant support from the service system. (Contains 3 tables.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Australia