Caregivers stress level reduced with extra help

Alan Wu

October 26, 2011

Winter safety tips for seniors.All caregivers understand that taking on the responsibility of providing for others on top of the duties they already have will be stressful. However, for caregivers of dementia patients, these problems can be tenfold as people suffering from these neurological disorders tend to lash out more and refuse medicine among other things.

To test if using an adult daycare program could reduce the stress levels of caregivers, researchers from the Department of Human Development and Family Studies at Pennsylvania University tested 180 caregivers.

Each caregiver gave saliva samples during eight consecutive days to test both self-perceptions of stress and physiological stress. This time frame was chosen because most patients only went to the daycare a few days, this way scientists could test the stress levels in caregivers when they had extra help, and when they were alone.

Researchers found that the added help did reduce stress as caregivers didn't need to constantly worry about a loved one. Although this is an option, it may not work for everyone. Another way to keep stress at bay is to install a medical alert system into a senior's home. This device allows a loved one to call for help in a moment's notice.