Alzheimer's Disease Dementia: Stress, Female Caregiver Burden, and Older Caregiver Health Outcomes
Alzheimer's disease dementia caregivers are heavily engaged in providing daily assistance to individuals encumbered with Alzheimer's disease, but these caregiving duties can have a devastating effect on caregivers' self-reported health and mental outcomes. The purpose of this study was to evaluate older female caregivers' background and contextual stressors and care stressors on caregivers' self-reported harm to health resulting from the stress of caregiving, health status and emotional stress. The stress process model for Alzheimer's caregivers served as the theoretical foundation for this study. Correlation and logistic and linear regression analysis were used to evaluate if a relationship exists between the independent and dependent variables. Independent variables included background and contextual stressors such as age, and income and demand for care stressors such as caregivers' stress stemming from the care-recipients' dependence for caregivers' help with getting out of bed and chairs and bathing. The dependent variables were older female caregivers' self-reports of caregiving regarding their health and emotional stress. The study results revealed a significant relationship exists between age and marital status on caregivers'self-reported harm to health resulting from the stress of caregiving and income on health status as well as a significant relationship between the caregivers' stress stemming from the care-recipients' dependence for caregivers' help with getting out of bed and chairs on emotional stress. Findings from this study may raise caregiver, community, and government awareness regarding stressors, which can affect caregivers' health and affect their ability to fulfill their caregiving role.