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Caregiver Burden with Alzheimer’s and Dementia Patients: A Systematic Literature Review

Background: As the aging population increases, the rates of degenerative diseases associated with advanced age, such as Alzheimer’s disease and dementia, also rise. Thus, the caregiver population grows in response, increasing the rates of caregiver burden. Caregivers of older adults are usually family members, and providing care to older adults with Alzheimer’s disease and dementia can be very physically and emotionally depleting for the caregivers, leading to negative consequences on the physical and mental health of the caregivers; subsequently leading to caregiver burden. Methods: This systematic literature review examined articles within the APA PsychInfo database related to informal caregivers of Alzheimer’s and dementia patients, caregiver burden, risk factors associated with caregiver burden such as gender, kinship, cohabitation, and marriage status, and coping strategies, interventions, and resources that aid in mitigation of caregiver burden for these types of caregivers. Findings: This search yielded 26 studies that were included based on having met the eligibility criteria. Findings suggest that there are several risk factors associated with increased rates of caregiver burden in this caregiver population. Results addressed the benefits of coping strategies, interventions, and accessible resources on informal caregivers’ QOL and impacts on caregiver burden. Implications regarding ideal and accessible coping strategies and appropriate interventions for informal caregivers of individuals diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease and dementia was addressed. 

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The Chicago School of Professional Psychology