Thursday, 21 August 2003
This presentation is part of : The Impact of Caregiving Across Different Dementia Diagnosis: Differences and Similarities

S085-002 Alzheimerís Patients Informal Carersí Difficulties at Home, at Entry into Institution, and in an Institution

Philippe Jacques Thomas, Cyril Hazif-Thomas, Fabrice Lalloue, and Jean Pierre Clement. Psychogeriatry, University of Limoges, Limoges Cedex, France

Objective: To point out the difficulties surrounding the family caregiver of a demented patient according to his/her family place and his/her age,in three following patientís situations: home, institution entry, and institution.

Design: Caring for a demented patient triggers numerous difficulties for the family caregiver in different fields: psychological or physical fatigue, for instance, that is conducive to changes in family. These difficulties are approached through the carer or ancient carer complaints when trying to cope with the patient. They could vary according to where the patient is located.

Materials and Methods: Self-administered questionnaire of 42 questions on the patient and caregiver, including a list of complaints, given to the main caregiver. Medical questionnaire on the patient filled in by the attending physician, usually a specialist or freelance or salaried doctor. Population of patients and population of carers are classed according to their family ranks or ages. Three following situations were checked: home, institution entry, and institution. The clusters analysis was used to gather the carersí complaints facing difficulties with the demented patient.

Results: Population analysis made of 686 sets of carers-patients. Ages of demented patients ranked 79.3 + 7.9 (mini: 46 ; maxi: 100) and this population was composed of 444 females and 242 males. It was made up of 603 Alzheimerís diseases, 29 mixed dementia, 22 vascular dementia, 19 Lewy body dementia and 13 other forms of dementia. Carers were aged 62.1 + 12.8 (mini: 25 ; maxi: 90) and was made up of 469 females and 217 males. Sub-populations of carers can be gathered according to their age: young carers, usually children, carried very old patients, old carers, usually spouses, carried old patients. The clusters analysis allowed to gather the complaints concerning patientsí difficulties in 4 sub-types: agitation and psychotic syndromes, motor behavior disorders, apathy and thymic disorders, and relationship difficulties with the carer. These two last problems are constant.

Conclusion: Sets of carers-patients change according to where the patient lives: the older the patient, the younger the carer. Family complaints facing the demented patients show four main clusters of difficulties with patients: agitation and psychotic syndromes, inadequate motor behavior, thymic disorders, and relationship changes.

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