Assistance provided in daily tasks and difficulty experienced by caregivers for people living with dementia

Carmen Amato, Gemma Burridge, David Basic, Danielle Huynh, Emma Gibbons, Danielle Ní Chróinín, Karen P.Y. Liu (Corresponding Author)

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Introduction: There is a growing body of research that addresses caregivers for people living with dementia. However, there is limited research looking at the perceptions of caregivers in specific daily tasks. To address this gap, this study investigated the assistance caregivers provided and the difficulty they faced when completing daily tasks for people with dementia and, additionally, how these experiences might relate to their perceived burden. Methods: Sixty-two caregivers for people living with dementia completed the study. Data were collected, through a survey, on the level of assistance caregivers provided, and the difficulties they experienced. The Zarit Burden Scale was used to measure the level of perceived burden. Descriptive statistics and Spearman's correlation coefficient were used to report the results and the relationship between the perceived burden, the level of assistance provided, and the difficulty experienced. Results: The activities of daily living that caregivers provided the most assistance for was dressing and showering. Most instrumental activities of daily living required maximal to total assistance. Overall, the caregivers did not experience a high level of difficulty with assisting with these daily tasks in comparison to the level of assistance provided. The caregiver burden was associated significantly with the difficulties experienced in dressing, toileting, and showering (rho = 0.30–0.75), most instrumental activities of daily living (rho = 0.29–0.47), but not with the level of assistance provided. Conclusion: Caregivers are assisting in many daily tasks. Their level of difficulty is relatively low in comparison to the level of assistance they provide. Significant correlations were found between the difficulties experienced and the burden scale. There is a need for occupational therapists to address the specific daily tasks and the concerns experienced by caregivers and to provide them with adequate support to improve the quality of care for people with dementia.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)236-245
Number of pages10
JournalAustralian Occupational Therapy Journal
Volume68
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2021
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • activities of daily living
  • dementia
  • dependency burden
  • family caregivers
  • occupational therapy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Occupational Therapy

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