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Dementia Caregivers Face The Apathy Factor

Posted Nov 10 2008 4:46pm

Instead of the normal focus on memory and cognitive impairments, a recent article in the Psychiatric Times Journal looks at apathy and its relationship to Alzheimer's Disease and dementia.

Did you know that apathy is "the most common neuropsychiatric symptom reported among individuals with Alzheimer's Disease"? The article goes on to state that approximately 70% of clients with dementia ranging from mild to moderate are impacting by symptoms of apathy.

So what is apathy really? Researcher Marin (1991) defines it as "...characterized by the loss of initiation and movtivation to participate in activities, social withdrawal and emotional indifference".

The reason this is important to dementia caregivers is that apathy is another factor to consider when caregiving the person with dementia. With so many other symptoms and issues, apathy may not have even been considered. One recommendation from the authors is to have a clinical assessment conducted so that depression and other factors can be ruled out.

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