Posted on August 22, 2014

Day care eases stress for dementia carers

A study has revealed that those providing dementia care for a family member can benefit from just one day off. The stress levels of those providing dementia care were measured and were found to be considerably lower when the patient spent time in adult day care, confirming that those caring for family members can benefit from additional support such as day care or domiciliary home care. The study was carried out in the US and the researchers have stated that it shows that when the care provider is happy and well, the effect on the patient is positive. This is the first study measuring levels of cortisol, which is the stress hormone. High levels of this hormone are considered to have a link to conditions such as depression, as well as to cognitive issues and other health conditions. Cortisol levels were also shown to be lower when a break from providing care was anticipated; therefore, it was not always necessary for the patient to be away from the home for there to be a difference. The study did not take into consideration those care providers that do not feel the need for a break from providing care. There are a number of possible reasons for this. It may be that they have found a way to minimise stress levels, that they already have a great deal of support, or the patient may not have the severe symptoms that can place pressure on the care provider.
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