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Depressive Symptoms in Alzheimer’s Disease Family Caregivers

A new study reveals that 60 percent of family members who were taking care of loved ones with Alzheimer’s disease exhibited symptoms of depression that worsened over time.

Researchers tracked symptoms of depression in family caregivers from the time when their loved ones were diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease until five years later. A third of the caregivers – usually women caring for their spouse – showed increased symptoms of depression over the course of the study.

Interestingly, the trajectory or severity of their loved one’s Alzheimer’s disease did not appear to be related to the seriousness of caregivers’ depressive symptoms.

In addition to recommending a need for additional research on why some caregivers show increased symptoms of depression, the leaders of the study emphasize that clinicians should be taking their patients’ caregiver into account when planning support services.

Assessment and continuous monitoring of family caregivers’ health and well-being should be included in the treatment of memory disorders,” said Tarja Välimäki, the study’s lead author, in a news release.

Find Support

If you are a caregiver for a loved one with Alzheimer’s disease or another form of dementia, Zacharia Brown in hosting a Learn Care Share, A Free Caregiver Symposium, on Wednesday, November 2nd at Valley Brook Country Club. The purpose of the Symposium is to address the emotional, physical, and financial struggles facing caregivers, whether it be a spouse, parent, or child turned full or part-time caregiver. We have many amazing vendors lined up to offer resources and the following speakers presenting:

  • Attorneys Christine Brown Murphy, Carl Zacharia and Colleen Bratkovich, Zacharia Brown Elder Law & Estate Planning
  • Sara Murphy, Alzheimer’s Association, Vice President of Programs and Services
  • Casey Peluso, Vice President of Programs and Outreach for Parkinson Foundation Western Pennsylvania
  • Colleen Cadman, AARPPennsylvania, Associate State Director, Outreach
  • April Kane, Project Director and Ronnie Edwards, Aging Educator, UPMC Senior Services
  • Laura Greco, RN & Certified Wellness Coach
  • Lisa Story, Hope Grows 

In addition, we have a sponsored relaxation room where attendees can relax and unwind throughout the event.

You can register for the event HERE. And if you are a Caregiver, you can also check out this assortment of online resources, activities, and technological devices available to support you.

Access the study in the online September 2022 issue of Clinical Gerontologist.