Caregiving burden for the oldest old: A population based study of centenarian caregivers in Northern Japan

Shannon Freeman, Hajime Kurosawa, Satoru Ebihara, Masahiro Kohzuki

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18 Citations (Scopus)


This study investigated caregiving burden of the oldest old specifically focusing on caregivers of centenarians and aimed to determine if caregivers of centenarians in Japan can be considered models for successful caregivers. Data was collected from 160 people aged 80-107 and 84 of their caregivers aged 24-92 using a self-reported questionnaire survey. Caregivers of centenarians do not exhibit significantly less burden, less prevalence of depression, or higher quality of life than caregivers of 80-99 year olds. Burdened caregivers experienced poorer general health (GH), more bodily pain (BP), less vitality (VT), difficulties with social functioning (SF), and poorer mental health (MH) than less burdened caregivers. While all caregivers scored below expected Japanese average scores for Health-related quality of life short form-36 (HRQoL SF-36), those reporting utilization of private care services, providing care regularly, and providing care for more than 5 h per day exhibited the lowest scores. Caregivers of centenarians may not represent models of successful caregivers. Caregivers showed equal distribution of light and heavy burden among recipient age groups therefore it may be inferred that as care recipient age increases it is not inevitable that they become heavier burdens on their caregivers. This is the first in-depth study to investigate the unique situation of centenarians and their caregivers in Northern Japan.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)282-291
Number of pages10
JournalArchives of Gerontology and Geriatrics
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2010 May


  • Community based care
  • Health-related quality of life
  • Informal caregiving
  • Long-term care insurance
  • Longevity


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