Caring for Someone with Alzheimer's

Medical Author: Frederick Hecht, M.D.
Medical Editor: Barbara K. Hecht, Ph.D.

Caring for someone with Alzheimer's disease takes its toll. According to the first detailed study ever done of caregivers and the end of life, family members looking after a relative with dementia have higher levels of depression, and greater need for support while they are providing end-of-life care than they do after a period of bereavement. Depression often results when a family caregiver, who endures high levels of stress, is unable to alleviate the suffering of a loved one," said Dr. Richard Schulz, the University of Pittsburgh, who led the study which was published in the New England Journal of Medicine (1).

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