A survey in the cities of Genoa and Savona (Italy) was performed to examine stress levels in caregivers of patients with Alzheimer's disease in the context of a project of the Italian Ministry of Health named Cronos. It offered free anticholinesterase inhibitor therapy to patients who addressed dedicated Neurological Units; in this occasion caregivers could be invited to express the main difficulties encountered in managing demented people during an interview conducted by health personnel of the Neurophysiology Service. Caregivers were mainly women, daughters or spouses, with a medium educational level, retired, housekeepers, employees or teachers; they claimed a lowering of economic standard of living of the family owing to extra expenses for assistance. Satisfaction was expressed towards specialists, while support by general practitioners and other sanitary services was usually lacking and money contribution from the government or territorial services was considered inadequate. From the emotional point of view, caregivers claim loss of free time, friendships and hobbies, and feel isolated in the social context; sometimes the patient's death is thought of as a solution. A strong need for information and support is clearly emerging and any further interventions should take these requirements into consideration.
- Alzheimer's disease
- Caregivers' burden
- Quality of life in AD patients
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Clinical Neurology