A study involving 206 spousal and adult children caregivers of dementia sufferers (mostly Alzheimer’s) has found that about 84% of caregivers reported a clinically significant burden. Three factors were significant contributors to the burden:
- the direct impact of providing care on the caregiver’s life
- frustration or embarrassment.
Caregiver depression and age predicted the first two factors. Caregivers' satisfaction with their relationship with the patient and patients' functional independence also predicted the direct impact of caregiving upon caregivers' lives. Patients' behavioral problems and caregivers' relationship satisfaction predicted frustration/embarrassment.
Caregiver burden has been found to be associated with poorer physical health, and increased rates of emotional distress and depression. This study shows that caregiver burden has several dimensions, each with its own predictors. The finding suggests that caregivers may benefit from interventions tailored to their specific subtype of burden.
(2014). Dimensions of Caregiver Burden in Dementia: Impact of Demographic, Mood, and Care Recipient Variables.
The American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry. 22(3), 294 - 300.