Adult Day Services Use Lowers Caregivers’ Exposure to Stressors When Taking Care of Their Relatives with Dementia
Family caregivers assisting their relatives with dementia are less stressed and their moods are improved on days when dementia patients receive adult day services (ADS), this according to a study done at the Gerontology Center, Pennsylvania State University that was first published in 1998.
The US study looked at family caregivers of people with dementia who were enrolling a relative with dementia in an ADS program in New Jersey. and they were compared to a similar group of family caregivers in another state that did not at the time have many ADS program. The study was led by Steven Zarit who together with his colleagues, found that “after 3 months of adult day care use showed that the treatment group had significantly lower scores than the control group on two of the three measures of primary appraisals (overload and strain) and two of the three measures of well-being (depression and anger). Findings at one year showed that the treatment group had significantly lower scores on overload and depression than the control group.”
This was the first study to demonstrate clearly that the use of adult day services is effective in reducing depressions in those caregivers who have to face negative health effects often caused by the chronic stress associated with taking care their relatives with dementia.
For those caregivers who are physically, emotionally and mentally exhausted when taking care of their chronically ill or disabled spouse or elderly parents, they should consider using adult day services for their loved ones as this will allow them to maintain their own mental and physical health for as long as possible.
Source: Journal of Gerontology