|Title||Change in Depression of Spousal Caregivers of Dementia Patients Following Patient's Death|
|Publication Type||Journal Article|
|Year of Publication||2007|
|Authors||Tweedy, MP, Guarnaccia, CA|
|Keywords||Adult children, Health Conditions and Status, Healthcare|
Caring for an elderly spouse with dementia places a heavy burden on spousal caregivers and often results in chronic depression. Little has been written about change in depression caregivers experience from before to after the death of the spouse with dementia. This longitudinal study examines change in depression of spousal caregivers that occurs following death of the dementia patient. Two theoretical models, the Relief and Stress Models, are discussed in terms of caregiver depression after the death of the dementia-patient care-recipient spouse. These two theoretical models were tested using longitudinal data from the National Institute on Aging sponsored Health and Retirement Study. Both male and female spousal caregivers report an increase in depression after the death of the dementia-patient care-recipient spouse. As time passed following the spouse's death, the conjugally bereaved husbands showed a decrease in depression while the conjugally bereaved wives continued to report increased depression.
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