Caregivers Experience Anxiety And Depression After
August 25, 2004
PITTSBURGH, PENNSYLVANIA--Researchers have found that caregivers experience high levels of anxiety and depression after they institutionalize a family member with dementia.
The findings were published in Wednesday's edition of the Journal of the American Medical Association.
Researchers tracked 180 placements in long-term care facilities between 1996 and 2000. They found that the caregivers' anxiety and depression levels stayed about the same as before institutionalization. The levels were higher if they continued to be more involved in the person's care after institutionalization.
"For others, it might be out of sight, out of mind," lead author Richard Schulz, a professor of psychiatry and director of the Center for Social and Urban Research at the University of Pittsburgh, told Health Day.
Last year, Schulz and his colleagues reported that caregivers of family members with dementia tend to feel a great deal of distress in the year before the person dies, but experience relief after the person passes away.
An estimated 4.5 million Americans have Alzheimer's disease, the most common cause of dementia in people over age 65.
"Institutionalizing a Loved One Hard on Caregivers" (Health Day)
"Long-term Care Placement of Dementia Patients and Caregiver Health and Well-being" (JAMA Abstract)