Dementia patients’ caregivers feel trapped

October 8th, 2008 - 2:30 pm ICT by IANS  

Sydney, Oct 8 (IANS) People volunteering to care for dementia patients admitted they felt hopelessly trapped in a situation that prevented them from pursuing their personal interests, according to a recent study. Corinne Lendon, head, molecular psychiatry group at the Queensland Institute of Medical Research (QIMR), said the British and Australian team which interviewed 74 primary caregivers, hoped to improve the well being of both dementia sufferers and their carers.

“We wanted to find out the relative contribution of major factors that make caring for someone with dementia so hard on the well being of carers,” Lendon said.

“We hope that this study will lead to early intervention to help carers’ challenges in order to reduce the burden of caring and where possible delay dementia sufferers’ institutionalisation.”

Lendon and her colleagues at the University of Birmingham suggested help could be in the form of a systematic approach that includes assessing carer needs early on at the time of diagnosis of dementia in the person they care for, providing training to boost confidence and competence, as well as enabling carers time to pursue activities outside the caring role, according to a QIMR release.

Experts predict that by 2025, 50 million people worldwide will be affected by dementia. “There is currently no cure for dementia and any treatments to lessen the symptoms are limited and short lived,” added Lendon.

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