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Comparison of the distress of the caregivers of an older person with Alzheimer in the process of accompanying





This study pursues two main objectives. The first objective is to compare distress level and health status among female caregivers in three different periods of the caregiving course with a relative who suffer from Alzheimer’s disease or a similar neurocognitive disorder. The second objective is to explore and compare the contribution of different variables (the relationship between the caregiver and the elder, the number of hours of care per week, the caregivers’ empowerment, their coping strategies, their feeling of guilt, their perceived social support, the behavioral and cognitive symptoms of the elder, and the autonomy level of the elder) to the caregivers’ distress level and health status among three groups of caregivers. A mixed method has been used to pursue those two objectives. A total of 41 female caregivers, split into three groups, completed the questionnaires: one group of caregivers who care at home and don’t consider long-term placement, one group of caregivers who ask for their relatives’ long-term placement and one group who recently placed their relative in long-term care facility. In addition, 21 of those caregivers participated to a semi-structured interview. The general results present a particularly worrying picture of the distress level of caregivers, even when the elder who suffers from an aging-related neurocognitive disorder has been living in a long-term care facility for many months. The placement leads to some relief among caregivers. However, several sources of stress remain so that the proportion of caregivers who experience a critical level of distress following placement remains significantly higher than generally observed in the Quebec population. Multiple variables which can contribute to the distress level of caregivers awaiting the placement of their loved one and of caregivers whose relative lives in long-term care facility are addressed in this thesis.

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