Family Caregivers' Future Planning for Younger and Older Adults With Serious Mental Illness (SMI)

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caregiving, serious mental illness, older adults

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This study examines plans for future caregiving made by family members of younger (n = 59) and older adults (n = 16) with serious mental illness (SMI). An online survey was advertised through a newsletter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness. Qualitative analyses yielded four areas of caregiver concern: health of the care recipient over time, ability of caregivers to sustain support, social support available for the care recipient, and financial burden of care. Despite these concerns, few caregivers reported completed plans for future caregiving. One fourth of the caregivers had made no plans, nor had they discussed future caregiving with others. Although most would prefer other relatives to assume care in the event they could not sustain support, these expectations may not be communicated openly. Generating discussion on this pertinent topic has implications for the aging society regarding how best to care for those with SMI and their caregivers

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Citation / Publisher Attribution

Journal of Applied Gerontology, v. 27, issue 4, p. 466-485