Objectives: As life expectancy is prolonged, older people may face increased burdens related to supporting multi-generational family members. This study is aimed toward examining the effects of such an emerging type of informal care on the well-being of caregivers. Methods: Participants aged 50 and over from the Taiwan Longitudinal Study on Aging (1996–2007, n = 4,217) were analyzed. We categorized caregiving status according to different care recipients: 1) older adults only, 2) grandchildren only, 3) both older adults and grandchildren (dual caregiving), and 4) non-caregivers. Well-being was measured based on depressive symptoms and degree of life satisfaction. Generalized Estimation Equation models were used to examine the association between types of caregiving and the caregivers’ state of well-being. Results: After adjusting for all covariates, caregivers of older adults had significantly more depressive symptoms and less life satisfaction than non-caregivers, especially when caregiving for adults with ADL problems. In contrast, caregivers of grandchildren were not significantly affect either depression or life satisfaction as compared with non-caregivers. Interestingly, caregiving for both older adults and grandchildren had no significant effect on depression but positively affected the degree of life satisfaction. Conclusion: Our findings highlight that simultaneously taking care of both older adults and grandchildren can buffer negative feelings in caregivers or even improve their mental health.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Phychiatric Mental Health
- Geriatrics and Gerontology
- Psychiatry and Mental health