Informal Caregiving for Diabetes and Diabetic Complications Among Elderly Americans

33 Pages Posted: 17 Jan 2008

See all articles by Kenneth Langa

Kenneth Langa

University of Michigan at Ann Arbor

Sandeep Vijan

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Rodney A. Hayward

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Michael Chernew

Harvard University - Department of Health Care Policy; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Caroline S. Blaum

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Mohammed Kabeto

University of Michigan at Ann Arbor - Medical School

David Weir

University of Michigan at Ann Arbor - Institute for Social Research (ISR)

Steven J. Katz

University of Michigan at Ann Arbor - Department of Internal Medicine

Robert J. Willis

University of Michigan at Ann Arbor - Department of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

A. Mark Fendrick

University of Michigan at Ann Arbor - Department of Internal Medicine

Date Written: June 1, 2001

Abstract

Objectives: Little is known regarding the amount of time spent by unpaid caregivers providing help to elderly individuals for disabilities associated with diabetes mellitus (DM). We sought to obtain nationally representative estimates of the time, and associated cost, of informal caregiving provided to the elderly with diabetes, and to determine the complications of DM that contribute most significantly to the subsequent need for informal care.

Methods: We estimated multivariable regression models using data from the 1993 Asset and Health Dynamics (AHEAD) Study, a nationally representative survey of people aged 70 or older (N=7,443), to determine the weekly hours of informal caregiving and imputed cost of caregiver time for community-dwelling elderly with and without a diagnosis of DM.

Results: Those without DM received an average of 6.1 hours per week of informal care, those with DM taking no medications received 10.5 hours, those with DM taking oral medications received 10.1 hours, and those with DM taking insulin received 14.4 hours of care (P<.01). Disabilities related to heart disease, stroke, and visual impairment were important predictors of diabetes-related informal care. The total cost of informal caregiving for elderly individuals with diabetes in the U.S. was between $3 and $6 billion per year, similar to prior estimates of the annual paid long-term care costs attributable to DM.

Discussion: Diabetes imposes a substantial burden on elderly individuals, their families, and society, both through increased rates of disability and the significant time that informal caregivers must spend helping address the associated functional limitations. Future evaluations of the costs of diabetes, and the cost-effectiveness of diabetes interventions, should consider the significant informal caregiving costs associated with the disease.

Suggested Citation

Langa, Kenneth and Vijan, Sandeep and Hayward, Rodney A. and Chernew, Michael E. and Blaum, Caroline S. and Kabeto, Mohammed and Weir, David and Katz, Steven J. and Willis, Robert J. and Fendrick, A. Mark, Informal Caregiving for Diabetes and Diabetic Complications Among Elderly Americans (June 1, 2001). Michigan Retirement Research Center Research Paper No. WP 2001-013. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1084658 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1084658

Kenneth Langa (Contact Author)

University of Michigan at Ann Arbor ( email )

500 S. State Street
Ann Arbor, MI 48109
United States

Sandeep Vijan

affiliation not provided to SSRN ( email )

No Address Available

Rodney A. Hayward

affiliation not provided to SSRN

No Address Available

Michael E. Chernew

Harvard University - Department of Health Care Policy ( email )

25 Shattuck Street
Boston, MA 02115
United States

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Caroline S. Blaum

affiliation not provided to SSRN

No Address Available

Mohammed Kabeto

University of Michigan at Ann Arbor - Medical School ( email )

Ann Arbor, MI
United States

David Weir

University of Michigan at Ann Arbor - Institute for Social Research (ISR) ( email )

Ann Arbor, MI 48106-1248
United States

Steven J. Katz

University of Michigan at Ann Arbor - Department of Internal Medicine ( email )

3116 Taubman Center
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-0376
United States
313-936-4787 (Phone)
313-936-8944 (Fax)

Robert J. Willis

University of Michigan at Ann Arbor - Department of Economics ( email )

611 Tappan Street
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1220
United States

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

A. Mark Fendrick

University of Michigan at Ann Arbor - Department of Internal Medicine ( email )

3116 Taubman Center
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-0376
United States

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