Date Approved

2005

Degree Type

Open Access Senior Honors Thesis

Department

Psychology

First Advisor

Dr. Norman Gordon

Second Advisor

Dr. Alida S. Westman

Abstract

As people are living longer, the incidence of Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia is rising dramatically. While preventative and treatment methods are being developed for these complicated disorders, attention also has been directed towards caregivers, because they play a vital role in the way the patients’ symptoms are handled and how well the patients adjust overall. Caregivers are almost always family members who lack formal training in caring for dementia patients. The purpose of this research was to see whether caregivers who follow interventions suggested in the literature experience fewer or less intense behavioral problems on the part of the patient than caregivers who do not. A questionnaire designed to assess this was sent to caregivers attending support group meetings arranged through the Great Lakes Alzheimer’s Association. The main hypothesis was not supported, but several significant correlations were found between behavioral symptom expression and the demographics of the caregivers and patients. Reasons for the findings and the implications of the findings are discussed.

Included in

Psychology Commons

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