Family caregiver needs of the Alzheimer's patient

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Nelson, Susan E.
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Thesis (M.S.)
School of Nursing
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Alzheimer's Disease (AD) is a progressive form of dementia that leaves not only the patient a victim but also the family. Caring for a family member with Alzheimer's disease is one of the most difficult challenges facing caregivers. Most of the care for the AD patient is provided for in the home setting. The purpose of this study is to investigate the needs of family caregivers of Alzheimer's patients and to determine if needs are being met. The theoretical framework for this study is Lackey-Wingate Model of caregiver need categories. The instrument used will be the Home Caregiver Need Survey (HCNS),(Hileman, Lackey, & Hassanein, 1992) to identify the information, household, patient care needs, personal and psychological needs of the caregivers of Alzheimer's patients. The study will be conducted during Alzheimer's support group meetings in three different Indiana cities. An estimated sample of 45 family caregivers will be included for this study. Participants of the three support group meetings will be provided with an explanation of the study by cover letter. Data collection will occur during the support group meetings. The study is voluntary and data will remain anonymous. No risks have been identified for participants. A benefit to participants will be the opportunity to express needs and discuss concerns regarding caregiving. This study will provide information for caregiver support group leaders for educational purposes. The development of appropriate interventions, programming, and education will assist the family caregiver deal with the role of caregiving.