Caregivers' resilience in mild and moderate Alzheimer's disease

Aging Ment Health. 2020 Feb;24(2):250-258. doi: 10.1080/13607863.2018.1533520. Epub 2018 Nov 30.


Objectives: To investigate the resilience of caregivers of people with mild and moderate Alzheimer's disease (PwAD) and the related sociodemographic and clinical characteristics.Methods: Cross-sectional assessment of dyads of PwAD and family caregivers (N = 106). Caregivers were assessed for resilience, depression, anxiety, hopelessness, quality of life, burden and cognition. PwAD were assessed for severity of dementia, cognition, neuropsychiatric symptoms, functionality, quality of life and awareness of disease.Results: Most of the caregivers (51.1%) reported emotional problems (symptoms of anxiety, stress and depression). In both mild (p < 0.05) and moderate (p < 0.05) PwAD groups, resilience was inversely related to self-reported emotional problems. There was not a significant difference between caregivers of mild and moderate PwAD resilience (p < 0.05). Upon analyzing the factors related to resilience, we found some differences between the groups of caregivers of mild and moderate PwAD. Neuropsychiatric symptoms of PwAD (p < 0.05) and caregiver's depressive symptoms (p < 0.05) were related to resilience of caregivers of mild PwAD. In the moderate group, caregivers' higher levels of quality of life (p < 0.05) and co-residing with PwAD (p < 0.05) were related to resilience.Conclusion: Caregivers' resilience is driven by different factors according to disease severity. The findings suggest that resilience allows caregivers to manage and respond positively to stressful demands of care.

Keywords: Alzheimer disease; Resilience; caregivers; depression; quality of life.

Publication types

  • Observational Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Activities of Daily Living / psychology
  • Adaptation, Psychological*
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Alzheimer Disease / nursing*
  • Alzheimer Disease / psychology
  • Caregivers / psychology*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales
  • Quality of Life / psychology*
  • Resilience, Psychological*
  • Self Report
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Stress, Psychological*