Adult day services help family caregivers' mental health

A false bus stop outside a nursing home, for the benefit of dementia patients

Family caregivers of dementia sufferers who are reluctant to use adult day care services might like to note the findings of a telephone survey. The study involved eight daily telephone interviews on consecutive days with 173 family caregivers who use an ADS on some days.

Use of adult day services was associated with lowered anger in caregivers, reduced impact of non-care stressors on depressive symptoms (despite a small increase in non-care stressors), and more positive experiences. The findings suggest that adult day care services can be a valuable strategy for reducing caregiver stress.

I’d like also to note in passing another study involving 125 family caregivers, half of whom were given training in managing dysfunctional thoughts about caregiving and self-help techniques. Such training did significantly improve mental health, and was perhaps especially welcomed by men, who attended more often.

[3440] Zarit, S. H., Kim K., Femia E. E., Almeida D. M., & Klein L. C. (2013).  The Effects of Adult Day Services on Family Caregivers’ Daily Stress, Affect, and Health: Outcomes From the Daily Stress and Health (DaSH) Study. The Gerontologist.

[3434] Rodriguez-Sanchez, E., Patino-Alonso M. C., Mora-Simón S., Gómez-Marcos M. A., Pérez-Peñaranda A., Losada-Baltar A., et al. (2013).  Effects of a Psychological Intervention in a Primary Health Care Center for Caregivers of Dependent Relatives: A Randomized Trial. The Gerontologist. 53(3), 397 - 406.