DOI: 10.1177/23337214231214082 ISSN: 2333-7214

Assessing Social Inequalities in Older Family Caregivers’ Frailty Conditions, Comorbidity, and Cognitive Functioning: A Cross-sectional Study

Roosa-Maria Savela, Tarja Välimäki, Outi Kiljunen, Irma Nykänen, Sohvi Koponen, Anna Liisa Suominen, Ursula Schwab
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology

We aimed to assess the social inequalities in older family caregivers’ frailty conditions, comorbidity, and cognitive functioning. A cross-sectional study was conducted. Study participants were recruited in 2019 in Finland. First, cognitive functioning was assessed with a Mini-Mental State Examination, comorbidity with the modified Functional Comorbidity Index, and frailty conditions were evaluated using the abbreviated Comprehensive Geriatric Assessment. Study participants were also interviewed on socioeconomic factors. The social inequalities in these health outcomes were assessed using the Independent Samples t-test, Pearson Chi-square test, and Binary Logistic Regression Analysis. Family caregivers’ ( n = 125) mean age was 74, and 73% had frailty conditions. Family caregivers’ social inequalities in frailty conditions were linked to their older age and the lowest caregiving cash benefit. Family caregivers’ low educational attainment was also the main factor predicting their minor cognitive impairment. Family caregivers’ social determinants of health should be fully assessed in their health assessment, policies, and programs to ensure healthy aging for both family caregivers and care recipients in the future.

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