eISSN: 2081-2833
ISSN: 2081-0016
Medycyna Paliatywna/Palliative Medicine
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vol. 7
Original paper

The influence of support on the quality of life of people taking care of Alzheimer patients

Agnieszka Mazurkiewicz
Katarzyna Sidor
Danuta Podstawka
Barbara Wolak
Marta Makara-Studzińska

Medycyna Paliatywna 2015; 7(4): 250–255
Online publish date: 2016/03/11
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Introduction: The scope of problems faced by Alzheimer patients is broad. Typical examples are: homeostasis disorders, neurodegeneration, cognitive disorders. Speech impediment and emotional problems can also occur. The disease usually lasts for a dozen or so years. During this time, an Alzheimer patient must be looked after by family members. Taking care of Alzheimer patients consists in numerous hardships and changing one’s life situation, which may lead to conflicts and the burden of responsibility. Professional help seems indispensable not only for patients, but also for their caretakers.

Purpose: The evaluation of support (type, importance and deficit areas) and the investigation of its correlation to the quality of life of people providing help for Alzheimer patients.

Material and methods: Forty-two caretakers were tested. The research was conducted in 4 Social Welfare Centers in Lublin. Two research methods were employed. The Polish version of the Berlin Social Support Scale and an original questionnaire allowing for eliciting answers proving information about caretakers.

Results and conclusions: For caretakers of Alzheimer patients, it is of utmost importance to receive support from family. The majority of caretakers claim that family’s, friends’, institutions’ and the Church’s support is insufficient. It can be felt particularly in the domain of psychological support. Low levels of support correlate to a lower standard of living of people taking care of Alzheimer patients.

Alzheimer disease, quality of life, support

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