The influence of swallowing impairments as an independent risk factor for burden among caregivers of aging parents: A cross-sectional study
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Informal caregivers can experience high levels of burden, negatively impacting both the caregiver and care recipient. The presence of dysphagia (swallowing impairments) in care recipients is suggested to contribute to increased caregiver burden. The purpose of this study was to describe the type and severity of caregiver burden experienced by adults caring for community-dwelling older parents reporting symptoms of dysphagia. Using surveys from the National Health and Aging Trends Study and the National Study of Caregiving, data from 895 adults providing care for an aging parent were analyzed. Binary logistic regression analyses revealed that swallowing difficulties reported by a parent is a significant independent predictor of increased physical and emotional burden in their caregivers. Forty percent or more of these caregivers reported moderate to severe physical and/or emotional burden. Suggestions are provided to identify dysphagia early on and to provide supports for caregivers.
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