When more is too much: Compound caregiving, barriers to services, and service support for older families of people with disabilities

Preethy S. Samuel, Wayne State University
Kathryn Wright, Wayne State University
Christina Marsack-Topolewski, Eastern Michigan University
Rosanne DiZazzo-Miller, Wayne State University


Using the theoretical lens of Family Quality of Life, this study evaluated perceptions of older compound caregivers (i.e., caring for more than one family member) regarding their need for services. Quantitative analysis of cross-sectional data collected from 112 caregivers (50 years and older) demonstrated that compound caregivers faced more barriers in accessing services for their families than noncompound caregivers. Although all caregivers shared similar perceptions on the importance, opportunities, initiative, and attainment of service support for their families, compound caregivers had lower stability and satisfaction than noncompound caregivers. Findings highlight the need to develop support programs to equip older caregivers in managing their daily challenges at the individual and family level.