Journal Article


Sabina Brennan
Cathal Walsh
Ian H Robertson
Brian A Lawlor
Maria M Pertl



dementia cognitive impairment low income spouses people retirement health risk daily living

Risk of Cognitive and Functional Impairment in Spouses of People With Dementia: Evidence From the Health and Retirement Study. (2015)

Abstract Caring for a spouse with dementia is a chronic stressor that may compromise caregivers' own cognitive functioning and capacity to provide adequate care. We examined whether having (i) a spouse with dementia and (ii) a spouse who requires assistance with activities of daily living predicted cognitive and functional impairments in respondents to the Health and Retirement Study (n = 7965). Respondents who had a spouse who requires care had poorer cognitive functioning, whereby this relationship was significantly stronger for male respondents. Having a spouse with dementia moderated the relationship between income and cognition and predicted caregiver functional impairment, though not when depression was controlled. Although we found no significant differences on any individual cognitive domains between 179 dementia caregivers and sociodemographically matched noncaregivers, our findings suggest that caregivers, especially men, and low-income individuals who have a spouse with dementia are more vulnerable to adverse cognitive outcomes. Targeting depression in spouses of people with dementia may help to prevent functional impairments.
Collections Ireland -> Trinity College Dublin -> PubMed

Full list of authors on original publication

Sabina Brennan, Cathal Walsh, Ian H Robertson, Brian A Lawlor, Maria M Pertl

Experts in our system

Sabina Brennan
National College Ireland
Total Publications: 47
Cathal Walsh
University of Limerick
Total Publications: 109
Ian H Robertson
Trinity College Dublin
Total Publications: 162
Brian A. Lawlor
National College Ireland
Total Publications: 125
Maria M Pertl
National College Ireland
Total Publications: 8