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Caregiver Burdens of Family Members with Alzheimer's Disease

Alzheimer's disease is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States and more than five million Americans are living with the disease (Alzheimer's Association, 2016). Alzheimer's disease takes a devastating toll on caregivers. According to Richardson, Lee, Berg-Weger, and Grossberg (2013), many factors influence the perceived burden of caring for a relative or friend with Alzheimer's disease (Richardson et al., 2013). These factors include characteristics of the caregiver, such as kinship ties, gender, psychological resources, and coping strategies. The purpose of this study was to compare the perceived caregiver burdens of the primary, full-time, at-home caregiver of patients with Alzheimer's disease to the perceived caregiver burdens of patients with Alzheimer's disease who attend an adult day care center. Using a descriptive quantitative research design, data was collected using the Caregiver Burden Inventory (CBI), which is a 24-item measure to assess caregivers of family members with Alzheimer's disease and obtain demographic data. A conceptual model developed by Neuman (1995) provided the health promotion and primary prevention framework of this study. Findings of the study indicate no difference in the perceived caregiver burdens whether the caregiver takes care of the family member with Alzheimer's disease 24 hours a day or has respite from care five days a week at an adult care center. Additionally, findings also indicate the need to refine community and professional understanding of the challenges caregivers face, and provide valuable information regarding necessary improvements of services for caregivers of patients with Alzheimer's disease.

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Hampton University
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