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Am J Alzheimers Dis Other Demen. 2007 Oct-Nov;22(5):360-8.

How do officially organized services meet the needs of elderly caregivers and their spouses with Alzheimer's disease?

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  • 1Memory Research and Treatment Centers Finland, Medical Center Hemo Oy, Lahti, Social Insurance Institution of Finland. minna.raivio@phnet.Fi


The caregiving situation among caregivers and their spouses with Alzheimer's disease, the support and services received, the unmet needs, and the caregivers' satisfaction with the services are examined. The study included a survey of a random sample of 1943 caregivers of persons with Alzheimer's disease in Finland. Mean age of the caregivers was 78.2 years, and 35% had poor subjective health. Disabilities and behavioral symptoms were common among the spouses with Alzheimer's disease. The services most often offered were financial support (36%), technical devices (33%), physiotherapy (32%), and respite care in nursing homes (31%). Most often needed services were physiotherapy for the spouse with dementia (56%), financial support (50%), house-cleaning (41%), and home respite (40%). Only 39% of the caregivers were satisfied with the services, and 69% felt they did not have any influence on what services were offered. It was concluded that official services poorly meet the needs of these caregivers.

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