Purpose: The purpose of this study was to examine caregiving relationships for older adults with vision impairment (VI). Design: Cross-sectional study with a nationally representative sample. Methods: Setting: the National Health and Aging Trends Study linked to the National Study of Caregiving, Year 2011. Study population: 1,776 family or unpaid caregivers to community-dwelling Medicare beneficiaries age ≥65 years old. Outcome measurement: in the preceding month, 1) the number of hours of care provided; 2) the valued activities affected by caregiving; and 3) the odds of experiencing substantial emotional, financial, and physical difficulty related to providing care. Exposure: VI was defined as a report of blindness or difficulty with distance or near vision. Results: Among 1,776 caregivers, 428 caregivers spent an average ± standard error (SE) of 111 ± 9.1 hours per month assisting older adults with VI, whereas 1,348 spent an average of 72 ± 3.3 hours assisting older adults without VI. In fully adjusted negative binomial regression analyses, caregivers of older adults with VI spent 36% more hours (incident rate ratio [IRR]: 1.36; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.15-1.60) providing care and reported having 61% more valued activities affected (IRR: 1.61; 95% CI: 1.23-2.10) than caregivers of older adults without VI. In fully adjusted logistic regression analyses, caregivers of older adults with VI had greater odds of emotional (odds ratio [OR]: 1.46; 95% CI: 1.04-2.03) but not financial (OR: 1.33; 95% CI: 0.87-2.03) or physical (OR: 1.13; 95% CI: 0.74-1.74) difficulty related to providing care than caregivers of older adults without VI. Conclusions: These results suggest that caring for older adults with VI places different demands on time and emotional wellbeing than caring for older adults without VI, but no differences in financial or physical difficulties.
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