Innovative Interventions to Reduce Dementia Caregiver Distress: A Clinical Guide

By David W. Coon; Dolores Gallagher-Thompson et al. | Go to book overview
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5
Family Interventions to
Address the Needs of the
Caregiving System

Soledad Argüelles, Ellen J. Klausner, Trinidad Argüelles, and David W. Coon

Older adults with dementing disorders are cared for principally by their families (W. E. Haley, 1997). Increasing evidence has demonstrated that caregivers of such elder persons are at increased risk for depression, anxiety, and other medical problems (Bass, Noelker, & Rechlin, 1996; Cochrane, Goering, & Rogers, 1997; Collins & Jones, 1997; Fuller-Jonap & Haley, 1995; W. E. Haley et al., 1995; Jutras & Lavoie, 1995; Schulz et al., 1997; Schulz, O'Brien, Bookwala, & Fleissner, 1995). Given the expected rise in the numbers of older adults who will be diagnosed with dementing disorders, interventions directed at improving the health and quality of life of family caregivers will play an increasingly important role in the future. Although there is substantial literature about family caregiving in general and a growing number of well-conducted studies on interventions, the literature on interventions that are focused on the caregiving family as a whole is relatively limited (e.g., Bourgeois, Schulz, & Burgio, 1996; Kennet, Burgio, & Schulz, 2000; Knight, Lutzky, & MacofskyUrban, 1993; Schulz et al., 1995). In recognition of the stress, burden, and changes experienced by the family system, it is imperative to continue developing, testing, and enhancing family interventions with the family system that is caring for the individual who is dementing. This chapter addresses a number of the issues

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