The majority of persons with Alzheimer’s disease (AD) are cared for by family members in their home. Research from several studies has shown that these care providers have rates of emotional morbidity three times that seen in age-similar individuals. This paper will review the epidemiological data on the incidence and prevalence of emotional disability in caregivers. It will also review the 11 treatment studies in the literature in which blinded intervention was carried out. Nine of these 11 studies show that intervention was more beneficial than the placebo comparison treatment. Both educational and emotional support were effective. However, when compared with each other, emotional support was more effective; the combination may be more effective than either alone. Preliminary evidence suggests that intervention on behalf of caretakers may delay the need for institutionalization of family members with AD.

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