Caregiver Burdens of Family Members with Alzheimer’s disease

Cody P, Montgomery AJJ, Gray FC, Saunders-Goldson S, Baker SR and Hales TN

Published on: 2020-12-05


Alzheimer’s disease is a common form of dementia characterized by progressive deterioration of a patient’s cognitive abilities and memory resulting in executive dysfunction, behavioral disturbances, and impairment in ability to communicate and complete activities necessary for daily living [1] Alzheimer’s disease is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States and more than five million Americans are living with the disease [2]. Most individuals that have Alzheimer’s disease live depend on family members for assistance or total care. Alzheimer’s disease takes a devastating toll on caregivers. There are many factors that influence the perceived burden of caring for a relative or friend with Alzheimer’s disease, such as kinship ties, gender, psychological resources, and coping strategies [3].

This study used a quantitative, descriptive correlational research design. The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between the perceived caregiver burdens of the primary, full-time, at-home caregiver with a family member with Alzheimer’s disease who participates in an adult day care center and caregivers of family members that did not attend an adult day care center. Research data were collected using the Caregiver Burden Inventory (CBI) and a researcher-developed demographic survey on a purposive sample of (N = 84) caregivers. The Neuman Systems Model (NSM) by Betty Neuman [4], provided the theoretical underpinnings of this study.

Findings of the study indicated no significant differences in the perceived caregiver burden regarding whether the caregiver takes care of the family member with Alzheimer’s disease 24 hours a day or has respite from care five days a week at an adult care center. Additionally, findings indicated the need to refine community and professional understanding of the challenges caregivers face, and provide valuable information regarding necessary improvements of services for caregivers of patients with Alzheimer’s disease.