Caregiving in a Pandemic: COVID-19 and the Well-being of Family Caregivers 55+ in the U.S.
040721-WP-Caregiving in a Pandemic-Truskinovsky Finlay and Kobayashi
Yulya Truskinovsky, Wayne State University
Jessica Finlay, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
Lindsay Kobayashi, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
Little is known about the effects of COVID-19 on family caregivers in the US. Using data from a national sample of 2,485 US adults aged ≥55, we aimed to describe the magnitude of disruptions to family care arrangements during the initial wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the associations between these disruptions and the mental health outcomes (depression, anxiety, loneliness, and self-rated health) and employment outcomes (job loss or furlough, hours or wages reduced, transition to work-from-home) of family caregivers. We found that COVID-19 disrupted over half of family caregiving arrangements, and that care disruptions were associated with increased depression, anxiety, and loneliness among caregivers, compared to both non-caregivers and caregivers who did not experience disruptions. Family caregivers who experienced pandemic-related employment disruptions were providing more care than caregivers who did not experience disruptions. These findings highlight the impact of the pandemic on an essential and vulnerable health care workforce.