I recently published an article in the journal Ageing & Society addressing the different challenges faced by caregivers across different disease groups. We often send all caregivers who are caring for a loved one with dementia to the same resource (i.e. Alzheimer’s society), when in fact they may be facing very different challenges!
After a thorough look at the scientific literature, I developed some classifications based on symptom presentation and disease.
This chart below tell us that certain symptoms associated with dementia lead more often to specific caregiver outcomes. For example, challenges with activities of daily living (ADL) lead most often to a greater need for caregiver resources; while depression (“mood”) in persons with dementia effects the relationship with the caregiver.
With respect to caregivers across different disease groups,
Caregivers of persons with MILD COGNITIVE IMPAIRMENT are most challenged with a “Role Shift”. This means cognitive deterioration results in changing marital roles, communication conflicts, intimacy, isolation & stigma – that greatly impacts caregivers.
Caregivers of persons with LEWY BODY DEMENTIA (including Dementia with Lewy Bodies and cognitive impairments associated with Parkinson’s disease) are “Consumed by Caregiving”. This means that caring for someone with dementia combined with motor declines may result in hyper-vigilance around safety, worry & isolation in caregivers – increasing their burden and distress.
Finally, caregivers of persons with ALZHEIMER’S DISEASE have greater “Service Use”. AD results in greater ADL dependence & behaviour changes that may result in caregivers need for formal support to cope with functional responsibilities.
In you’re interested in reading the whole article, you can use the link below. much love
Ageing and Society, http://journals.cambridge.org/action/displayAbstract?aid=9305333