Most forms of caregiving become physically and mentally draining, especially when there is no outlet for the caregiver to be able to take time away from the responsibility. For caregivers of individuals with Alzheimer’s that’s particularly true.
A recent study led by Steven Zarit, Ph.D., professor, human development and family studies at Pennsylvania State University, suggests that day care really can provide the much needed respite and mental support.
In the new study, published recently in the journal Gerontologist, researchers measured stress levels of 173 family caregivers in four U.S. states who used care centers for their relative with dementia.
Through phone interviews over one week, they found caregivers were less stressed and had fewer bouts of anger on day care days than other days. And when stressors did crop up — such as problems at work — they took less of an emotional toll.
Enough can not be said for the value to both the caregiver and the care recipient of finding ways for the caregiver to “recharge”. It can be hard to let go and allow someone else to take over, even for a few hours, but it can be done. For more about Alzheimer’s day care centers, including information on how to go about selecting a day care center for your care recipient, check out The Alzheimer’s Organization web page about Adult Day Centers