Alzheimer Café: an approach focused on Alzheimer’s patients but with remarkable values on the quality of life of their caregivers

  • Paola Merlo
  • Maria Devita
  • Alessandra Mandelli
  • Maria Luisa Rusconi
  • Raquel Taddeucci
  • Alice Terzi
  • Gianpiero Arosio
  • Maria Bellati
  • Maura Gavazzeni
  • Sara Mondini
Original Article

Abstract

Background

Alzheimer’s disease (AD) affects the global quality of life of persons who suffer from it and their caregivers, because of the behavioral and psychological consequences associated with the pathology and its caring. The Alzheimer Café (AC) is one example of approach aimed to help persons and caregivers deal with their disease.

Aim

This is a pilot study focusing on the efficacy of AC in relieving caregivers’ and persons’ burdens due to dementia.

Methods

The quality of life of both caregivers and persons who attended the AC was compared with the quality of life of those who did not. Basic and instrumental daily activities and neuropsychiatric functioning were assessed. Caregivers also answered to general well-being and caregiving burden questionnaires. The evaluation took place at the beginning of the intervention and after 1, 3, 6, 9 and 12 months.

Results

Caregivers who joined the AC with their persons with dementia showed to have significantly benefited in the daily care of persons with dementia, in terms of total well-being, vitality, and emotional burden.

Discussion

Although improvements were not observed in persons with dementia who attended the AC, significant benefits were reported by their caregivers, suggesting that the intervention may produce better management of social and economic problems and lead to better emotional support.

Conclusions

The AC seems to help families of AD persons to better manage the disease, and also delay the institutionalization of these persons, which is certainly an ambitious goal for an incurable disorder such as Alzheimer’s disease.

Keywords

Alzheimer Café Alzheimer’s disease Caregivers Quality of life Burden 

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Paola Merlo
    • 1
  • Maria Devita
    • 2
  • Alessandra Mandelli
    • 1
  • Maria Luisa Rusconi
    • 2
  • Raquel Taddeucci
    • 3
  • Alice Terzi
    • 1
  • Gianpiero Arosio
    • 1
  • Maria Bellati
    • 3
  • Maura Gavazzeni
    • 3
  • Sara Mondini
    • 4
    • 5
  1. 1.Neurological UnitU.V.A. Centre, Humanitas GavazzeniBergamoItaly
  2. 2.Department of Human and Social SciencesUniversity of BergamoBergamoItaly
  3. 3.Humanitas Foundation, Elios ProjectBergamoItaly
  4. 4.Department of General PsychologyUniversity of PaduaPaduaItaly
  5. 5.Human Inspired Technology Research CentreUniversity of PaduaPaduaItaly

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