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Seniors with Dementia and Early Intervention for Family Caregivers

A recent study done by the University of Eastern Finland suggests that doctors and nurses involved in an Alzheimer’s diagnosis have a unique opportunity to spot signs that family caregivers could develop depression down the road.

The stNL_3outof5udy looked at the psychological stress of family caregivers over a 3 year period after their loved one was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s.  It found family members with slight depressive symptoms at the time of the diagnosis developed significant signs of overall stress and depression as their family member’s disease progressed.

This study also found that the stress and depression of spouses who did the caregiving was higher and more severe than other family caregivers and this increased over the course of the disease even if the disease itself seemed to be progressing slowly.

The study suggested that doctors and nurses involved in memory care have a first hand look at how family members respond and asking them a few simple questions about how they feel could lead to more support early on.

Reasearcher Tarja Valimaki of the Department of Nursing Science at the University of Eastern Finland stated:

A depression inquiry carried out by, for example, a memory nurse would make it possible to recognize family caregivers who need enhanced support.

To read the entire article go to Alzheimer’s Weekly.

Aspen Senior Care is a personal care agency that has caregivers trained in dementia care who go into seniors’ homes to provide respite for family caregivers. Aspen Senior Center is an adult day program that allows family caregivers to bring their loved ones with dementia for the day and know they will be safe, eat nutritious meals and participate in stimulating activities. For more information call Susan at 801-420-5167 and see the fun activities at Aspen Senior Center’s Facebook page.