Degree of Disability and Patterns of Caregiving among Older Americans with Congestive Heart Failure

Although congestive heart failure (CHF) is a common condition, the extent of disability and caregiving needs for those with CHF are unclear. We sought to determine: (1) prevalence of physical disability and geriatric conditions, (2) whether CHF is independently associated with disability, (3) rates of nursing home admission, and (4) formal and informal in-home care received in the older CHF population. We used cross-sectional data from the 2000 wave of the Health and Retirement Study. We compared outcomes among three categories of older adults: (1) no coronary heart disease (CHD), (2) CHD, without CHF, and (3) CHF. Compared to those without CHF, respondents reporting CHF were more likely to be disabled (P0.05). CHF imposes a significant burden on patients, families, and the long-term care system. Older adults with CHF have higher rates of disability, geriatric conditions, and nursing home admission.[PUBLICATION ABSTRACT]