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Category Archives: DEPRESSION

Helping those who help others: the Modified Caregiver Strain Index

I found this video to be wonderfully enlightening. I suggest that all Caregivers and family/friends of caregivers take the time to view this video. Often overlooked, caregivers can suffer from depression. The job tends to wear you down over time.

The Modified Caregiver Strain Index helps to determine the level of strain a caregiver is experiencing. The combination of stress and burden does effect a caregivers’ overall health. The index assesses 13 aspects of physical health, family finances, social interactions, time demands, and employment. By identifying the sources and degree of strain, the index can help in the selection of interventions that can be used to alleviate caregivers’ strain and improve the lives of caregivers and care recipients.

To watch this free video Helping those who help others follow the link. Please be patient at the start up. While this video was designed for nurses I believe it is useful for anyone trying to understand the issues faced by caregivers. If you suspect a caregiver you know is suffering from depression you will want to see this video. It should serve as a wake-up call for children who have an elderly parent serving as a Caregiver.

Original content The Caregiver

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Study to Look at Writing as Stress-Reducer Among Alzheimer’s Caregivers


A University of Iowa researcher is conducting an Internet-based study to see if writing about their thoughts and feelings about care-giving can be a strategy to help those family caregivers reduce their stress.

Alzheimer’s Caregiver Study Invites Participants

Newswise — For families who provide care to Alzheimer’s patients, stress and isolation can be a burden that’s hard to carry. A University of Iowa researcher is conducting an Internet-based study to see if writing about their thoughts and feelings about care-giving can be a strategy to help those family caregivers reduce their stress.

Family members who provide care for patients with Alzheimer’s or other conditions of memory loss will be asked to write about their experiences related to their care-giving roles for 20 minutes on three occasions during a week. Participants in the study may write in their homes or wherever they have access to a computer that is most convenient to them.

Participants in the study do not need to be “good writers” or worry about spelling or grammar because it is the effect of the writing that is being studied.

As a means to measure the effect of the writing on reducing stress, study participants also will be asked to complete five questionnaires.

Howard Butcher, Ph.D., UI associate professor of nursing and principal investigator of the UI Informatics Initiative-funded study, will evaluate whether expressing stress and other emotions in writing is a helpful way to deal with the often difficult emotions of caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s disease or a condition that involves problems with memory.

Written expression has been used with people who have experienced stressful and traumatic situations such as job loss, abuse, natural disasters and loss of a spouse. The strategy involves participants writing about their thoughts and feelings. Previous research by Butcher has shown that this type of writing promotes psychological and physiological health benefits after just three 20-minute writing sessions.

The studies have shown that writing helps trauma survivors make meaning out of their life circumstances. This cognitive process can result in physiological changes in the autonomic and immune system by reducing stress and facilitating coping.

For more information about participating in the study, visit https://swee.iowa.uiowa.edu or call Butcher at 319-335-7039.

 
 
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