Session Type: ACR Poster Session A
Session Time: 9:00AM-11:00AM
Arthritis is associated with pain and disability. As a result there has been some interest in examining the receipt of care among those with arthritis. What has garnered less attention is care giving in this population. The purpose of this study was to describe both care giving and care receipt, and social engagement, in a nationally representative sample of later working age (age 45-64 years) people with arthritis.
Analysis was based on the first wave data from the Canadian Longitudinal Study on Aging (CLSA), a nationally representative sample of people aged 45-85. The questionnaire covers socio-demographic, health, functioning, social, and work variables. Analyses were limited to participants aged 45-64 (n=12,319).
Overall, 30% reported arthritis: 4% reported RA, 17% OA, and 9% other arthritis. Arthritis was reported more frequently by women than men. Most people with arthritis were married (75%), and 70% had more than a high school education. A significant proportion (70%) of people with arthritis were overweight or obese. The majority of individuals with arthritis (68%) reported difficulty with at least one daily activity – most frequently were crouching, kneeling or stooping; standing up after sitting; and standing for a long period. More than 85% were currently in the labour force, and most were socially connected (e.g. 80% took part in community-based activities at least once a week).
Taking both informal and formal care together, around 20% of people arthritis in this age group received some form of care, with the majority of care being informal only. A small proportion received professional care – most often assistance around the house (3%) and medical care (2.5%). Overall, 18% received some kind of non-professional assistance: 14% around the house, 11% with transportation, and 10% with meal preparation. Nearly 60% of the informal care received came from someone living in the same household, and a similar proportion was provided by men and women. Almost half of care had been received for 6 months or less, although 22% reported receiving care for 5 years or more. Over half of individuals with arthritis (53%) reported providing some kind of care to others: 39% gave assistance with transportation, 31% assistance around the house, 25% assistance with meal preparation. Care was most frequently provided to individuals living in another household. Care was provided for a median of 12 weeks in the past year and 5 hours per week. People reporting RA were slightly more likely to report receiving care than those with OA. There was no difference in the proportion with RA and OA giving care.
Against a backdrop of substantial limitations in activities, the majority of people with arthritis in the later decades of working life were in the work force and engaged in the community. At the same time, more than half provided care to others, far more than the proportion that received care. The need to provide care and at the same time balance work and a social and family life for individuals with arthritis may impact their ability to care for themselves.
To cite this abstract in AMA style:Badley EM, Millstone D, Perruccio AV. Keeping a Balance: Social Engagement and Care Giving [abstract]. Arthritis Rheumatol. 2017; 69 (suppl 10). https://acrabstracts.org/abstract/keeping-a-balance-social-engagement-and-care-giving/. Accessed May 19, 2022.
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