Caregiver Burnout: The Impact Of Adult Day Programs On Caregivers

Zhu Ran Zhang, Louise Joycey


The fasting growing segment of the population is those 65 years and older4. According to the Toronto Alzheimer’s Society, 747,000 Canadians were living with a cognitive impairment including dementia in 2012, and this number is expected to grow to 1.4 million by the year 203112. In 2011 family caregivers spent 444 million hours of unpaid work to care for a person with dementia 12.The purpose of this research study was determining the impact on caregivers when a family member attends an Adult Day Program. The research study included five participants ranging in age from 48-72. Each of the participants was the primary live-in caregiver providing twenty-four hour care for a family member living with a dementia. The study also included two interviews with professional working at an Adult Day Program. A qualitative research method was used to synthesize the data that included five semi-structured one to one interviews with caregivers. Sleep deprivation appears to have the biggest effect resulting in incidences of anxiety, depression and elevated blood pressure. Caregivers have little time for themselves, caregiving responsibilities take over their life resulting in these negative health outcomes. The results demonstrated that time away from family members have positive effect on caregivers. The time away provides caregivers with a needed break from the day to day challenges and responsibilities of caregiving. Continued research is needed to determine to how much time away will make meaningful differences in a caregiver’s life resulting in decreased caregiver burden.


Caregivers; Adult Day Program; Dementia

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