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Family caregivers and caregiving in dementia

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  18 September 2006

LKP Yap
Affiliation:
Alexandra Hospital, Singapore
CCD Seow
Affiliation:
Alexandra Hospital, Singapore
LM Henderson
Affiliation:
Alexandra Hospital, Singapore
YNJ Goh
Affiliation:
Alexandra Hospital, Singapore

Abstract

The alarming statistics of dementia are now widely acknowledged. The most recent estimates indicate 24.3 million suffer from this condition worldwide, with a new case being diagnosed every seven seconds. For the person afflicted, it robs him of his identity and, in the opinion of many, even his personhood. For family members, bereavement can begin from the early stages of the disease where a once-treasured relationship is gradually eroded. Family carers remain the main persons providing care, having to face much emotional, practical and economic strain in the process. Although there is no standard definition of family caregiving, it is understood to involve providing extraordinary care, often outside the bounds of what is usual in family relationships. Caregiving typically stretches over a prolonged period and entails significant expenditure of time, energy, finances, and tasks that may be unpleasant, emotionally stressful and physically exhausting.

Type
Neuropsychiatry of Old Age
Copyright
2006 Cambridge University Press

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