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Dementia Caregiver Characteristics Linked To Dementia Behaviors

Posted Nov 10 2008 4:46pm

Why would younger dementia caregivers report MORE behaviors than some of their elder caregiving counterparts? 

The answer to that puzzling question is not yet known but it appears that the recent study from Wake Forest University School of Medicine has unearthed a new obstacle in trying to help the person with dementia:  their caregiver.

A recent article, published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, looked at behavioral symptoms shown by persons with dementia.  These behavioral symptoms could range from wandering and repetitive questions to combativeness and danger to others.  After adjusting for variables, the researchers were shocked to learn that caregivers with less education, who were younger in age, more depressed and had more hours per week spent in caregiving, reported seeing 50% more behaviors in their person with dementia!

Researchers are now seeing that more of a focus needs to be placed on learning about the caregiver-patient relationship as there are many factors which can influence the behaviors of the person with dementia.  All agreed, that this study and the growing/aging baby boomer, points to more caregiver education and support being needed.

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