School of Social Work, University of Maryland, Baltimore. Wien Center for Memory Disorders, Miami Beach, FL.
Purpose: More than 14 million persons are projected to be diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease (AD) by the year 2020; therefore, it is not surprising that the literature contains numerous caregiver intervention studies. What is surprising is that although minority elders represent one of the fastest growing segments of the older population, they are seldom discussed in the intervention literature.
Design and Methods: A purposive sample of Hispanic caregivers participated in a 5-day, 20-hr psychoeducational program to increase the caregivers’ understanding and acceptance of AD, repertoire of coping skills, knowledge of resources, and expression of concerns and emotions of caregiving. Pre- and posttests were administered to determine if participation in the program improved caregivers’ knowledge of the progression and management of AD, as well as knowledge of appropriate community-based services.
Results: Caregivers demonstrated a significant improvement on the Caregiver Knowledge Survey, an increased awareness of community-based services, increased willingness to attend support groups, and overall satisfaction with the program.
Implications: Culturally sensitive intervention research with minority AD caregivers provides the opportunity to increase understanding and improve coping skills.