Publication date: Sep 01, 2023
Adopting preventive behaviors is crucial to avoiding COVID-19 infection, and perceived anxiousness may influence such behaviors among older adults and their caregivers. This study investigated the relationships between perceived anxiousness about COVID-19 and preventive behaviors in older adult-caregiver dyads. A cross-sectional study was conducted using 1565 older adult-caregiver dyads from the 2020 NHATS/NSOC COVID-19 Supplements data. Actor-Partner Interdependence Models (APIM) were estimated to examine the associations between older adults’ and family caregivers’ perceived anxiousness about COVID-19 and their engagement in personal (e. g., wearing masks, washing hands) and social (e. g., avoiding contact with friends, limiting grocery shopping) preventive behaviors. Separate models were estimated based on older adults’ dementia status. We found significant actor effects of anxiousness about COVID-19 on preventive behaviors of both older adults and caregivers in non-dementia dyads. The anxiousness about COVID-19 of older adults had significant partner effects on both personal and social preventive behaviors of caregivers, whereas caregivers’ anxiousness about COVID-19 only had a significant partner effect on social preventive behaviors of older adults. No significant partner effect was found in dementia dyads. Our findings highlight the critical role of caregivers in promoting older adults’ health behaviors during the COVID-19 pandemic and maintaining mental well-being of older adults. The study also implies future efforts to explore the dyadic relationship of dementia care dyads in promoting health behaviors and mental health.