Is the mental health of older adults receiving care from their children related to their children’s dual burden of caregiving and work stress? A linked lives perspective
- Ekezie P. E, Eriksson U, Shaw B. A, Agahi N, Nilsen C.
- Is the mental health of older adults receiving care from their children related to their children’s dual burden of caregiving and work stress? A linked lives perspective
- Aging & Mental Health
Abstract Objectives Mental health problems are a major concern in the older population in Sweden, as is the growing number of older adults aging alone in their homes and in need of informal care. Using a linked lives perspective, this study explored if older parents’ mental health is related to their children’s dual burden of informal caregiving and job strain. Methods Data from a nationally representative Swedish survey, SWEOLD, were used. Mental health problems in older age (mean age 88) were measured with self-reported ‘mild’ or ‘severe’ anxiety and depressive symptoms. A primary caregiving adult child was linked to each older parent, and this child’s occupation was matched with a job exposure matrix to assess job strain. Logistic regression analyses were conducted with an analytic sample of 334. Results After adjusting for covariates, caregiving children’s lower job control and greater job strain were each associated with mental health problems in their older parents (OR 2.52, p = 0.008 and OR 2.56, p = 0.044, respectively). No association was found between caregiving children’s job demands and their older parents’ mental health (OR 1.08, p = 0.799). Conclusion In line with the linked lives perspective, results highlight that the work–life balance of informal caregiving adult children may play a role in their older parent’s mental health