Lynchburg Journal of Medical Science

Lynchburg Journal of Medical Science




Dr. Leibowitz, Dr. Melfi, Mrs. Janisiewicz



Purpose: The purpose of this article is to review the effects of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) on the caregiver and interventions to improve caregiver’s wellbeing.


The key points of this article are as follows:

  1. To provide the target audience with an overview of Alzheimer’s disease (AD)
  2. To educate the target audience regarding the effects of AD on the caregiver
  3. To educate the target audience regarding interventions to improve caregiver’s wellbeing

Method: A PubMed literature search was conducted with search terms effects of Alzheimer’s disease on caregiver and interventions to improve caregiver’s wellbeing. Eighty-five relevant articles were yielded and utilized as the basis for this clinical review.

Results: As the course of Alzheimer’s disease advances, spouses of AD patients may take on more tasks and activities which cumulatively add more burden to them. Providing care for AD patients is often connected to chronic distress and increased symptoms of depression, and poor well-being.1

Conclusion: Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is characterized by the progression of cognitive, functional, and behavioral impairments that often result in emotional distress and financial burden on family members.1 The spouses of AD patients are often the ultimate caregivers who take on responsibility of providing care and financial support. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, more than six million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s disease.2 More than 11 million Americans give unpaid care for patients with AD or other dementias. Approximately 83% of the care given to older adults with AD in the U.S. comes from family members.2 Spiritual care can help decrease care strain in home caregivers of patients with AD.3 Also, there is preliminary evidence to support the acceptability of psychosocial interventions for dementia caregivers.4 However, the available supporting evidence is still limited. More well-designed studies “assessing psychosocial interventions for caregivers of AD are needed to provide more specific conclusions about the effects of these psychosocial interventions.”4


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