A Journal of the American Geriatrics Society study found that in men aged 65 and older who survived an ischemic stroke, the lack of an available caregiver was associated with triple the risk of nursing home placement within five years. A similar risk was not seen in women.
For the analysis, researcher examined data from Medicare claims from 2003-2013 and interview results from the REasons for Geographic and Racial Differences in Stroke (REGARDS) study.
The findings suggest that clinicians should remain cognizant of the important role caregivers play in helping older adults remain independent.
"Our research highlights older adults as being vulnerable to the loss of independent living if they cannot identify anyone to care for them," said lead author Dr. Justin Blackburn, of the University of Alabama at Birmingham. "This is particularly true for older men, who may be unable to access or reluctant to use formal services delivered within their home or community."