Older Adults Receiving Assistance With Physician Visits and Prescribed Medications and Their Family Caregivers: Prevalence, Characteristics, and Hours of Care

Journal Article

Older Adults Receiving Assistance With Physician Visits and Prescribed Medications and Their Family Caregivers: Prevalence, Characteristics, and Hours of Care

Abstract

This study profiles older adults receiving assistance with physician visits and prescribed medications and the time demands associated with their care, using nationally representative data on Americans age 65 or older from the 2011 National Health and Trends Study. More than one in three older adults receives assistance with either physician visits or prescribed medications or both. Those receiving assistance with both physician visits and medications are a high-need subgroup: 60% have possible or probable dementia and 75% receive help with mobility, self-care, or household activities. They receive more than twice as many weekly hours of help with all activities as those receiving help with either physician visits or prescribed medications, and three times as many hours as those receiving neither type of assistance. Older adults receiving help with both physician visits and prescribed medications are assisted by 7.2 million helpers, most often adult children or spouses. The 3.1 million helpers who assist with both physician visits and prescribed medications provide an average of 45.4 hours of help per week; nearly two thirds also assist with mobility or self-care.

Research Area: 

Centers

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