Article

Family caregivers of people with dementia

Primary Dementia Collaborative Research Centre and School of Psychiatry, University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia.
Dialogues in clinical neuroscience 02/2009; 11(2):217-28.
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Family caregivers of people with dementia, often called the invisible second patients, are critical to the quality of life of the care recipients. The effects of being a family caregiver, though sometimes positive, are generally negative, with high rates of burden and psychological morbidity as well as social isolation, physical ill-health, and financial hardship. Caregivers vulnerable to adverse effects can be identified, as can factors which ameliorate or exacerbate burden and strain. Psychosocial interventions have been demonstrated to reduce caregiver burden and depression and delay nursing home admission. Comprehensive management of the patient with dementia includes building a partnership between health professionals and family caregivers, referral to Alzheimer's Associations, and psychosocial interventions where indicated.

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