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Gerontologist. 2014 Aug;54(4):570-9. doi: 10.1093/geront/gnt045. Epub 2013 May 20.

The effects of adult day services on family caregivers' daily stress, affect, and health: outcomes from the Daily Stress and Health (DaSH) study.

Author information

  • 1Department of Human Development and Family Studies, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, Pennsylvania. z67@psu.edu.
  • 2Department of Human Development and Family Studies, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, Pennsylvania.
  • 3Department of Biobehavioral Health, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, Pennsylvania.

Abstract

PURPOSE:

We examine the effects of use of adult day service (ADS) by caregivers of individuals with dementia (IWD) on daily stressors, affect, and health symptoms. Participants were interviewed for 8 consecutive days. On some days, the IWD attended an ADS program and on the other days caregivers provide most or all of the care at home.

METHODS:

Participants were 173 family caregivers of IWDs using an ADS program. Daily telephone interviews assessed care-related stressors, noncare stressors, positive events, affect, and health symptoms. Multilevel models with data nested within persons were used to examine effects of ADS use on daily stressor exposure, affect, and health symptoms.

RESULTS:

Caregivers had lower exposure to care-related stressors on ADS days, more positive experiences, and more noncare stressors. ADS use lowered anger and reduced the impact of noncare stressors on depressive symptoms.

IMPLICATIONS:

The findings demonstrate that stressors on caregivers are partly lowered, and affect is improved on ADS days, which may provide protection against the effects of chronic stress associated with caregiving.

© The Author 2013. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of The Gerontological Society of America. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

KEYWORDS:

Adult day services; Caregivers; Daily stress

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