Cadernos de Saúde Pública
On-line version ISSN 1678-4464
MORAES, Sandra Renata Pinatti de and SILVA, Luis Sidônio Teixeira da. An evaluation of the burden of Alzheimer patients on family caregivers. Cad. Saúde Pública [online]. 2009, vol.25, n.8, pp. 1807-1815. ISSN 1678-4464. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0102-311X2009000800017.
Caregivers are indispensable to persons living with Alzheimer's disease; however, such care involves hard work, and the consequences of this activity on caregivers are often neglected. The objective of this study was to construct a profile for caregivers of Alzheimer patients and to evaluate the burden such care imposes on them. It is a transversal study of 122 caregivers from the metropolitan region of Londrina, Paraná State, Brazil. Socio-demographic data for the caregivers were analyzed, while the Katz scale and Lawton index were used to evaluate the functionality of Alzheimer's patients, and the Burden Interview Scale assessed the burden these patients impose on caregivers. Caregivers are predominantly married, are daughters who have learned to care for the patient on a daily basis, usually with some help, and they do so out of love. The caregiver's age (p < 0.01), whether or not the caregiver had help (p < 0.01), and the number of hours caring for the patient (p = 0.01) were associated with the impact. Results showed that the burden imposed on caregivers by Alzheimer patients is a heavy one.
Keywords : Caregivers; Alzheimer Disease; Home Nursing.