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The impact of institution use on the wellbeing of Alzheimer's disease patients and their caregivers

In France, temporary institutionalization solutions for dependent elders have been encouraged since the early 2000s. They are targeting patients who are maintained at home, but may need temporary solutions to adjust the constraints of caregivers, e.g. to facilitate transitions between several informal care providers or to allow informal caregivers to leave for holidays. However, the influence of these solutions on dependent elders and their caregivers has not been explored yet. We use French longitudinal data (REAL.FR, 686 elders and their primary caregivers followed between 2000 and 2006) to explore the impact of institution placement on the wellbeing of both Alzheimer's disease patients and their primary informal caregivers. The data distinguishes permanent placements in institution from temporary stays. Using fixed-effect models, we quantify the change in patients' quality of life and caregivers' burden of care following the placement of patients. We find that permanent and temporary stays are associated with a decrease in informal caregivers' burden. However, only permanent stays lead to an improvement of patients' quality of life. Hence, taken together, the results suggest that while long-run placements may maximize the wellbeing of all the members of a household (patient and caregiver), this is not necessarily the case of short-term placements.

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Key Information

Type of Reference
Jour
Type of Work
Journal article
Publisher
Pergamon
ISBN/ISSN
1873-5347
Publication Year
2018
Journal Titles
Social Science & Medicine
Volume Number
207