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The Effects of COVID-19 Home Confinement in Dementia Care: Physical and Cognitive Decline, Severe Neuropsychiatric Symptoms and Increased Caregiving Burden

Purpose: This study aims to analyze home confinement impact on individuals with neurocognitive disorders (NCD) through informal caregiver's perspective and examine how it has affected caregiving burden. Methods: Thirty-six caregivers (64.94 +/- 13.54 years, 41.7% female) of individuals with NCD (74.28 +/- 6.76 years, 66.7% female) selected from the Body & Brain exercise program were interviewed over the phone. The following instruments were used: Barthel Index (BI) to assess care recipients' ability to function independently on activities of daily living (ADL), the Neuropsychiatric Inventory (NPI) to evaluate neuropsychiatric symptoms, and the CarerQol-7D/ CarerQol-VAS to determine caregiver subjective burden/well-being. Results: Pre and post-confinement comparisons showed that care recipients significantly declined their independence in ADL (p = 0.003) and increased NPI total score (MD = 5.72; 95% CI: 1.19 to 10.25, p = 0.015). As for caregivers, results also showed an increased caregiving burden (MD = -0.17; 95% CI: -0.27 to -0.08; p = 0.001) and a decline in their well-being (p = 0.015). Discussion: COVID-19 crisis sheds light on how imperative it is to find solutions and design contingency plans for future crisis, in order to ensure properly sustained support to dementia caregiving dyads and mitigate caregivers' burden.

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Key Information

Type of Reference
Jour
Type of Work
Journal article
Publisher
Sage
ISBN/ISSN
1533-3175
Publication Year
2020
Journal Titles
American Journal of Alzheimers Disease and Other Dementias
Volume Number
35