Improved Strain and Psychosocial Outcomes for Caregivers of Individuals with Dementia: Findings from Project ANSWERS.
Research that has examined the relationship between caregiving stress and elders' symptoms of mental impairment has focused primarily on cognitive incapacity. This research expands the symptoms of mental impairment to include caregivers' reports of problems in elders' social functioning and the presence of disruptive behavior, in addition to the traditional measure of cognitive incapacity. Results from a study of 614 families living with and caring for an impaired elder show cognitive incapacity to have a less important direct effect on caregiving stress than disruptive behavior and impaired social functioning. Cognitive incapacity does have an important indirect effect through its influence on disruptive behavior and social functioning.