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Poll: More stress in caring for spouse than parent

Published: Thursday, May 22, 2014 10:54 a.m. CDT

WASHINGTON (AP) — More Americans may wind up helping Mom as she gets older, but a new poll shows the most stressful kind of caregiving is for a frail spouse.

The population is rapidly aging, but people aren’t doing much to get ready even though government figures show nearly 7 in 10 Americans will need long-term care at some point after they reach age 65.

In fact, people 40 and over are more likely to discuss their funeral plans than their preferences for assistance with day-to-day living as they get older, according to the poll by the Center for Public Affairs Research.

Half of people 40 and older already have been caregivers to relatives or friends. Six in 10 have provided care to a parent, mostly a mother, while 14 percent have cared for a spouse or partner.

While 7 in 10 who cared for a spouse said their relationship grew stronger as a result, nearly two-thirds said it caused stress in their family compared with about half among those who cared for a parent.

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