Caring for individuals with dementia and cognitive impairment, not dementia: findings from the aging, demographics, and memory study.

TitleCaring for individuals with dementia and cognitive impairment, not dementia: findings from the aging, demographics, and memory study.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2011
AuthorsFisher, GG, Franks, MM, Plassman, BL, Brown, S, Potter, GG, Llewellyn, DJ, Rogers, MAM, Langa, KM
JournalJ Am Geriatr Soc
Date Published2011 Mar
ISSN Number1532-5415
Call Numbernewpubs20110418_Fisher.pdf
KeywordsActivities of Daily Living, Aged, Analysis of Variance, Caregivers, Cognition Disorders, Cross-Sectional Studies, Dementia, Female, Humans, Linear Models, Male, Neuropsychological tests, Time Factors, United States

OBJECTIVES: To compare the characteristics and outcomes of caregivers of adults with dementia with those of caregivers of adults with cognitive impairment, not dementia (CIND).

DESIGN: Cross-sectional.

SETTING: In-home assessment for cognitive impairment and self-administered caregiving questionnaire.

PARTICIPANTS: One hundred sixty-nine primary family caregivers of participants in the Aging, Demographics, and Memory Study (ADAMS). ADAMS participants were aged 71 and older drawn from the nationally representative Health and Retirement Study.

MEASUREMENTS: Neuropsychological testing, neurological examination, clinical assessment, and medical history were used to assign a diagnosis of normal cognition, CIND, or dementia. Caregiving measures included caregiving time, functional limitations, depressive symptoms, physical and emotional strain, caregiving rewards, caregiver health, and demographic characteristics.

RESULTS: Dementia caregivers spent approximately 9 hours per day providing care, compared with 4 hours per day for CIND caregivers (P=.001). Forty-four percent of dementia caregivers exhibited depressive symptoms, compared with 26.5% of CIND caregivers (P=.03). Physical and emotional strains were similar in both groups of caregivers. Regardless of the strains, nearly all caregivers reported some benefits from providing care. Behavioral problems (P=.01) and difficulty with instrumental activities of daily living (P=.01) in persons with CIND partially explained emotional strain experienced by CIND caregivers. For those with dementia, behavioral problems predicted caregiver emotional strain (P<.001) and depressive symptoms (P=.01).

CONCLUSION: Although support services are available to dementia caregivers, CIND caregivers also expend considerable time and experience strains. The real caregiver burden of cognitive impairment in the U.S. population may therefore be greatly underestimated if people who have reached the diagnostic threshold for dementia are focused on exclusively.

User Guide Notes

Endnote Keywords

Activities of Daily Living/Analysis of Variance/Caregivers/ psychology/Caregivers/ psychology/Cognition Disorders/ nursing/Cognition Disorders/ nursing/Cross-Sectional Studies/Dementia/ nursing/Dementia/ nursing/Female/Humans/Linear Models/Linear Models/Neuropsychological Tests/Time Factors

Endnote ID


Alternate JournalJ Am Geriatr Soc
Citation Key7570
PubMed ID21391939
PubMed Central IDPMC3646395
Grant ListU01 AG009740-20 / AG / NIA NIH HHS / United States
R01 AG027010-03 / AG / NIA NIH HHS / United States
R01 AG027010 / AG / NIA NIH HHS / United States
K23 MH087741 / MH / NIMH NIH HHS / United States
U01 AG009740 / AG / NIA NIH HHS / United States
R01 AG030155 / AG / NIA NIH HHS / United States