Some caregivers do not provide care to an aging parent. These caregivers may be providing care to a non-senior spouse or adult child with MS, ALS, Huntington’s or other chronic/terminal illness. Therefore, their caregiving issues may be different than the general caregiving population. These families often find themselves facing increasing demands while experiencing diminishing resources of health, income, and social support (MacLellan et al., 2002).
For those caring for a non-senior spouse, identity and role changes can be dramatic, including changes in intimacy. Many spousal/partner caregivers state that they do not identify as a caregiver, particularly if the illness is progressive and terminal. Some families may also have to cope with the loss of the care recipient’s income. Late middle-aged adults with functional limitations are more likely than older groups to be married and cared for primarily by spouses; however, they may be particularly vulnerable to unmet needs for care (Lima et al., 2008).