Caregiver burden among adults caring for their Holocaust-survivor parents during the COVID-19 pandemic

Ruth Maytles, Maya Frenkel-Yosef, Amit Shrira

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


This study aimed to examine the caregiver burden among offspring of Holocaust survivors (OHS) caring for their parents during the COVID-19 pandemic, hypothesizing that caregivers whose parents suffer from posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) would report an increased burden. The sample consisted of 109 caregivers with older adult care recipient parents (average caregivers' age = 57.67, SD = 8.49). Caregivers were divided into three groups: 20 OHS who reported that at least one care recipient had PTSD, 60 OHS who reported that their care recipients did not have PTSD, and 29 comparison caregivers (whose care recipients did not undergo the Holocaust). Caregivers completed questionnaires about SARS-CoV-2 exposure, COVID-19 concerns, helping their care recipients, their experiences of caregiver burden, and perceived changes to their caregiver burden during the pandemic. The caregivers also reported PTSD symptoms - in themselves as well as in their care recipients. Relative to comparisons, OHS with parental PTSD reported higher caregiver burden in four aspects: time-dependent burden, developmental burden, physical burden, and social burden. Furthermore, OHS reported a greater perceived increase in caregiver burden during the pandemic than the comparisons. The study findings illuminate the difficulties OHS caregivers, especially those whose care recipients have PTSD, face during the COVID-19 pandemic. This group of caregivers is at risk of experiencing more distress and may need help and support. Further research is needed to determine whether people taking care of their posttraumatic parents following other massive traumatic events also feel a heavier caregiver burden - both in general and specifically during the current pandemic.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1327-1332
Number of pages6
JournalInternational Psychogeriatrics
Issue number12
Early online date1 Oct 2021
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:


  • COVID-19
  • Key words: Holocaust survivors
  • adult offspring
  • caregiver burden


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