Date Presented

Spring 3-25-2010

Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Communication Studies

First Advisor

Dr. Prinzinger

Second Advisor

Dr. Messerschmidt

Third Advisor

Professor Schnur


As more Americans are diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease, the demand for treatment and care has been increasing. One of the most critical issues of caring for an Alzheimer's disease patient is the number of unpaid hours that many Americans are contributing to the care for Alzheimer's disease patient Providing unpaid care can cause issues for the caregivers such as high stress levels, financial problems, and difficulties at work, and thus can result in the patient not receiving the best possible care. Based on previously collected survey data, this econometric study evaluates the determinants of the average number of hours of unpaid care per week provided to an Alzheimer's disease patient. The following variables were found to be significant at the .05 level: number of Activities of Daily Living (ADLS), number of Instrumental Activities of Daily Living (IADLS), whether the Alzheimer's disease patient lived in the home with the caregiver (INHOUSE), whether the caregiver was married (MARRIED), and the age of the caregiver (YEARCARE). The INHOUSE dummy variable had the most significant impact on the dependent variable average hours per week of unpaid care (AVEHRWK). Based these results, a new policy that would reduce tax rates, or provide subsidies to caregivers in certain tax brackets and who have dependents could relieve the stress and additional responsibilities of an unpaid caregiver.