Characterizing caregiving supportive services use by caregiving relationship status

Jasmine L. Travers, William E. Rosa, Shivani Shenoy, Marissa Bergh, Chanee D. Fabius

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Informal caregivers of older adults experience a high degree of psychosocial burden and strain. These emotional experiences often stem from stressful tasks associated with caregiving. Caregiving supportive services that provide assistance for stressful tasks are instrumental in alleviating caregiving burden and strain. Research is limited on what types of supportive services caregivers are utilizing by relationship status and their source of information regarding these services. We sought to characterize caregiving supportive services use by caregiver relationship status. Methods: We analyzed cross-sectional data from the 2015 National Study of Caregiving limited to caregivers of older adults ≥65 years of age. Caregiver relationship status (i.e., spouse, child, other relative/non-relative) was the independent variable. Type of supportive service and source of information about supportive services were the dependent variables. Bivariate analyses were performed to examine the association with caregiver relationship status and associations between use of caregiving supportive services and caregiver and care recipient characteristics. Among service users, we measured associations between caregiver relationship status, type of supportive services used, and source of information about supportive services. Results: Our sample consisted of 1871 informal caregivers, 30.7% reported using supportive services. By caregiver relationship status, children had the greatest use of supportive services compared to spouses and other relatives/non-relatives (46.5% vs. 27.6% vs. 25.9%, p = <0.01, respectively). Among users of services, there were no differences in type of services used. Spouses primarily received their information about services from a medical provider or social worker (73.8%, p = <0.001). Conclusion: Our findings highlight the need to ensure that other caregiving groups, such as spouses and other relatives/non-relatives, have access to important supportive services such as financial support. Medical providers and/or social workers should be leveraged and equipped to provide this information and refer to services accordingly.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1566-1572
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of the American Geriatrics Society
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2023


  • care partners
  • caregiving
  • family
  • long-term care

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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