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Castel Guelfo di Bologna, Italy

D'Anastasio C.,Centro Esperto Disturbi Cognitivi e della Memoria | Ferriani E.,Centro Esperto Disturbi Cognitivi e della Memoria | Ciarrocchi R.,Centro Esperto Disturbi Cognitivi e della Memoria | Talerico T.,Centro Esperto Disturbi Cognitivi e della Memoria | And 4 more authors.
Giornale di Gerontologia | Year: 2012

Introduction. Physical and psychological stress deriving from caring of relatives with dementia may contribute to a decline in the general health caregivers. The Cognitive and Memory Disorders Unit of Maggiore Hospital, Bologna, carried out an observational, study to analyze coping strategies of relatives of patients with dementia attending the unit. Materials and methods. 205 relatives of consecutively admitted patients were asked to complete self-report questionnaires on socio-demographyc data, quality of life, physical and mental health, caregiving burden, coping strategies. Results. 153 out of 205 questionnaires were returned. Caregivers at greater risk of psychological difficulty were female, aged between 55 and 60, daughters, in a full time working condition. The study sample showed a mild depression, quality of life and coping strategies focused on problem solving and emotions below normative values, while dysfunctional coping strategies were mostly used. About 40% of patients and relatives did not contact social services, about 43% of relatives receive some form of support from the Unit for Cognitive Disorders. Conclusions. Relatives of demented patietns appear to live in a sort of "partial loneliness", due to inadequate knowledge of services, and lack of confidence in such service. Alliance between social and health services, together with psycho-educational interventions may contribute to understanding dementia, consequences that this disease may have on their lives, and improve coping strategies.

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