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Exploring the Impact of Caregiving on Family Social Environment

Laurel Maik is a doctoral student conducting a research study titled, "Caring for Alzheimer's Disease: The Caregiver Role and its Impact on Family Social Environment."  Since her study has been approved by the national Alzheimer's Association's TrialMatch and is posted on their site, I agreed to help her spread the word. Laurel offers all Alzheimer's caregivers a chance to help move the research forward. Please consider helping her. Carol

Exploring the Impact of Caregiving on Family Social Environment

While a significant amount of research has been conducted to explore the constituents of individual caregiver burden, fewer studies have been done to further the understanding of familial caregiver burden. Much of the existing information regarding familial impact has been discovered indirectly—mainly as a by-product of research designed to investigate individual caregiver burden.

As a graduate student and familial co-caregiver for the past several years, I am attempting to address this research deficit by dedicating my dissertation project to exploring familial caregiver burden. As co-caregiver for my mother, I understand the helplessness that family members feel when faced with the realization of their inability to stop the progression of this devastating disease. I also understand the enormous amount of physical attentiveness and emotional exhaustion that intertwines with the daily care of an afflicted loved one. What most intrigues me is the relationship between family members who are forced to work together to make difficult decisions for their loved ones.

In general, this research study explores the question, “When a family member assumes the role of caregiver for an Alzheimer’s patient, does the family’s social environment both positively and negatively change based on this role assumption?”

With permission from Minding Our Elders, I invite interested parties to help me explore this question and contribute to an area of needed research. This study has been approved by TrialMatch and can be accessed via either of the following links:

https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/caringforfamily

https://trialmatch.alz.org/trialsearch/Public/TrialSummary.aspx?trialID=85339&diseaseID=1626&subdiseaseID=1666&i_user_type=physician

Thank you for your support!

Laurel Maik

 

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The positives are I have been able to write more as a result of being home more with my husband. I am a published writer and have a third book at the publisher's now. The book has an Alzheimer's theme and will result in a new discussion around the topic of caregiving. Looking forward to a launch date this Fall, 2014.

“When a family member assumes the role of caregiver for an Alzheimer’s patient, does the family’s social environment both positively and negatively change based on this role assumption?” Yes it does. I am caregiver to my husband and I definitely see positive and negative changes in this role. Positive: I, we, both stay home more often. He withdraws from social events, or goes and does not say much. Sometimes, I would rather go alone than prep for me and him for an outing. I end up ordering for him, paying the bill, filling out forms, assisting with Dr. visits...my calendar is loaded with him appts. My first thought is does he have something to do before I commit to something. It goes on and on. Hopefully, this helps. Often, I am frustrated, angry, and tense. Prayer and aloneness helps.

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