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Stress coping of a caregiver who takes care of a family member with alzheimer’s disease

Review

Each year the number of persons suffering from Alzheimer's disease is growing up. Approximately there are 31 thousand persons with Alzheimer's disease in Lithuania. Poorly developed care and treatment institutions network determine that family members take the greatest burden of the sick person care. Usually caregivers become one of adult children. Care of a person with Alzheimer's disease is ongoing, 24 hours a day lasting, demanding and stressful action. Long-lasting and stressful care experience might have impact on caregivers' physical and mental wellbeing. Informal caregivers suffer from practical, emotional difficulties, and social problems.
The aim of this article is to disclose stress coping strategies of a caregiver who takes care of a family member with Alzheimer's disease. In order to reveal stress coping strategies a qualitative analysis has been carried out. Five family caregivers were interviewed by using semi-structural interview. Research outcomes were analyzed according to the topic analysis method.
Data analysis revealed that coping with stress is a dynamic, complex action which accompanies entire care process. There was discovered that family caregivers use these stress-coping tactics: seeking for special information, planning of the care process, emotional support and direct help or assistance seeking, taking a short break from sick person care process, and finding a meaning of family member care. Research discloses that particular information, practical and emotional support received from informal and formal sources could help to reduce stress, increase sense of situation control and sense of self-esteem, and allow to share care responsibilities with other people and help to prepare for future.

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