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Characteristics and Consequences of Family Support in Latino Dementia Care

The purpose of this study is to explore variations in family support for Latino dementia caregivers and describe the role of the family in dementia caregiver stress processes. Content analysis is utilized with themes derived inductively from 16 in-depth interviews with Latino caregivers recruited in California from 2002 to 2004. Three types of family support are described: extensive (instrumental and emotional support from family, n = 3), limited (instrumental support from one family member, n = 7), and lacking (no support from family, n = 6). Most caregivers report limited support, high risk for burnout and distress, and that dementia-related neuropsychiatric symptoms are obstacles to family unity. Caregivers with extensive support report a larger family size, adaptable family members, help outside of the family, and formalized processes for spreading caregiving duties across multiple persons. Culturally competent interventions should take into consideration diversity in Latino dementia care by (a) providing psychoeducation on problem solving and communication skills to multiple family members, particularly with respect to the nature of dementia and neuropsychiatric symptoms, and by (b) assisting caregivers in managing family tensions - including, when appropriate, employing tactics to mobilize family support.

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Journal of Cross-Cultural Gerontology
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