Certified Nursing Assistants Balancing Family Caregiving Roles: Health Care Utilization Among Double- and Triple-Duty Caregivers

Source: Nicole DePasquale, Lauren R. Bangerter, Jessica Williams, and David M. Almeida, The Gerontologist, Volume 56, Issue 6, December 2016
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From the abstract:
Purpose of the Study: This study examines how certified nursing assistants (CNAs) balancing family caregiving roles—child care (double-duty child caregivers), elder care (double-duty elder caregivers), and both child and elder care (triple-duty caregivers)—utilize health care services relative to nonfamily caregiving counterparts (formal-only caregivers).

Design and Methods: A sample of 884 CNAs from the Work, Family and Health Study was drawn on to assess the number of acute care (i.e., emergency room or urgent care facility) and other health care (i.e., outpatient treatment or counseling) visits made during the past 6 months.

Results: Double-duty elder and triple-duty caregivers had higher acute care utilization rates than formal-only caregivers. CNAs with and without family caregiving roles had similar rates of other health care visits.

Implications: CNAs providing informal care for older adults have higher acute care visit rates. Given the increasing need for family caregivers and the vital importance of the health of the nursing workforce for the health of others, future research on how double- and triple-duty caregivers maintain their health amidst constant caregiving should be a priority.