Lonely in a Crowd: Social Isolation Profiles and Caregiver Burden Among Family Caregivers of Community-Dwelling Older Adults With Cognitive Impairment

Pildoo Sung*, June May-Ling Lee, Angelique Chan

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

Abstract

Objectives: This study identified distinct social isolation profiles among caregivers, each formed by varied combinations of social disconnectedness and loneliness, and examined if and how the profiles were associated with caregiver burden. Methods: Latent class analysis and multivariable regression were applied to data from 266 caregivers of community-dwelling older Singaporeans with cognitive impairment. Results: Two caregiver social isolation profiles were identified: strongly connected, not lonely (86%), and moderately connected, lonely (14%). Moderately connected and lonely caregivers tended to perceive a higher level of burden than strongly connected and not lonely caregivers. Moderately connected and lonely caregivers were also more likely to be burdened by their care recipients’ poor health than their connected and not lonely counterparts. Discussion: Caregivers who feel “lonely in a crowd” are vulnerable to caregiving stress and burden. Tailored interventions, such as cognitive behavioral therapy, are needed to reduce the loneliness of moderately connected caregivers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)419-429
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Aging and Health
Volume35
Issue number5-6
Early online date4 Nov 2022
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2023

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies

User-Defined Keywords

  • caregiver burden
  • caregiving
  • latent class analysis
  • loneliness
  • social isolation

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