Perceived Loss of Support to Community Caregivers During the COVID-19 Pandemic in the United States

Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) had a negative impact on the health and well-being of community caregivers. Few studies examine the pandemic’s negative impact on the availability of social networks of caregivers. This article uses data collected during COVID-19 before vaccination to examine caregivers’ reports of perceived lost and reduced network support. We assessed the personal networks of a nationally representative sample of 2214 community caregivers in the United States. We analyzed associations between caregiving factors and caregivers’ perceptions of lost and reduced network support. Changes in care recipient living circumstances during COVID-19, longer-term caregiving, care recipient hearing/vision/mobility problems, caregiver travel/socializing restrictions, caregiver race/ethnicity, caregiver income, caregiver age, network connectivity, family relationships, and network members’ age were associated with perceived lost/reduced support during the pandemic. Findings provide insights for the development of social network interventions to support caregivers and help them cultivate support networks resilient to public health crises.

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