Dual Trajectories of Dementia and Social Support in the Mexican-Origin Population

Sunshine M. Rote, Jacqueline L. Angel, Jiwon Kim, Kyriakos S. Markides

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: In the next few decades, the number of Mexican American older adults with Alzheimer's disease and related disorders will increase dramatically. Given that this population underutilizes formal care services, the degree of care responsibilities in Mexican American families is likely to increase at the same time. However, little is known about the changing need for assistance with instrumental day-to-day activities and emotional support by long-term patterns of cognitive impairment. RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS: We use 7 waves of the Hispanic Established Populations for the Epidemiologic Studies of the Elderly (1992/1993-2010/2011) and trajectory modeling to describe long-term patterns of perceived emotional and instrumental support, and dementia. RESULTS: Results revealed 2 latent classes of both emotional and instrumental support trajectories: low and high support. Specifically, those living alone were more likely to belong to the group with low support than to that with high support. Three latent classes for likely dementia were also revealed: likely dementia, increasing impairment, and no impairment. Those living alone were more likely to belong to the increasing impairment and likely dementia groups. The dual trajectory of emotional and instrumental support with likely dementia revealed that the probability of belonging to the low-support group was highest for those with increasing impairment. DISCUSSION AND IMPLICATIONS: These findings highlight the risk and vulnerability of those who live alone concerning perceived social support and dementia. Implications of the findings for the potential dependency burden on Latino caregivers are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)374-382
Number of pages9
JournalThe Gerontologist
Volume61
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 3 2021

Keywords

  • Cognitive health
  • Latinos
  • Social relationships

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gerontology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology

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