Promote the Health of Dementia Caregivers

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Abstract

Caregivers of people with Alzheimer’s dementia (AD) will become increasingly important as governments across the world cut health care funding. The vast majority of the care for people with AD is and will be carried out by informal caregivers, in other words, their spouses, children, and friends, people who typically have no training in this task and, certainly in the early days after diagnosis, little knowledge of what the person with AD is going through or what the future holds. The fact that people with AD face progressive cognitive and functional decline and that widespread individual differences are the norm rather than the exception makes it difficult to predict how quickly/slowly they will deteriorate. Caregiver-centered training and individual guidance based on the specific situation for informal dementia caregivers is going to become an international priority. We will need to care not only for the patient but also for their caregivers.

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