HealthDay News — Caregivers who provide care to a family member or friend with a health condition or disability are more likely to have subjective cognitive decline (SCD), according to research published in the Nov. 19 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.
Eva M. Jeffers, M.P.H., from the CDC in Atlanta, and colleagues analyzed SCD among caregivers aged 45 years or older using data from 22 states in the 2015 to 2019 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System. SCD was defined as the self-reported experience of worsening confusion or memory loss during the past year.
The researchers found that SCD was reported by 12.6 percent of caregivers who provided care to a family member or friend with a health condition or disability in the previous 30 days and in 10.2 percent of noncaregivers. Compared with noncaregivers with SCD, caregivers with SCD were more likely to be employed, men, and ages 45 to 64 years and were more likely to have chronic health conditions. Compared with caregivers without SCD, caregivers with SCD were more likely to report frequent mental distress, history of depression, and frequent activity limitations.
“Health care professionals can support their patients and their patients’ caregivers by recognizing SCD and its associated challenges in providing care and providing compensatory strategies to promote the health and well-being of both caregivers and their care recipients,” the authors write.