A practical guide to caring for caregivers

Am Fam Physician. 2000 Dec 15;62(12):2613-22.


Patients who provide care to family members or friends with dementia are likely to be in a family physician's practice. The caregiver role can be stressful, and identifying these patients can give the family physician opportunities to help patients cope with the challenges of the caregiver role. Family physicians have a systematic approach for assessing the degree of caregiver burden in these patients. Because caregivers are at increased risk for depression and anxiety, screening should be done to exclude the presence of either disorder. The caregiver's skill in managing behavioral problems in the family member with dementia should be assessed. If there are problems, family physicians should provide practical counseling about common caregiving stresses and about resources that benefit caregivers. Helping the caregiver learn strategies for coping with difficulties may help reduce some of the stress the caregiver is experiencing.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological*
  • Caregivers / psychology*
  • Cost of Illness
  • Dementia / nursing*
  • Directories as Topic
  • Family Practice*
  • Home Nursing / psychology*
  • Humans
  • Office Visits
  • Patient Education as Topic
  • Physician's Role*
  • Respite Care
  • Social Support
  • Stress, Psychological / etiology*
  • Stress, Psychological / therapy*
  • Teaching Materials
  • United States