Date of Award


Document Type

Scholarly Project

Degree Name

Master of Occupational Therapy (MOT)


Occupational Therapy

First Advisor

Jan Stube


Caregivers -- education; Alzheimer Disease


There are currently 10 million Americans who care for a loved one with Alzheimer's disease or another form of dementia (Alzheimer's Association, 2008). Monitoring and maintaining the health of the caregiver is important because it allows the individual with Alzheimer's disease to remain in their familiar home environment for as long as possible. It has been proven that both physical and emotional health of a caregiver decline with the demands associated with caregiving (O'Rourke, Cappeliez, & Neufeld, 2007). Healthcare professionals are responsible for assisting caregivers with maintaining their own health while caring for their loved one. Therefore, it is important to develop and implement health education directed toward a caregiver to promote their overall health and well-being.

A review of the literature revealed that emotional and physical health of a caregiver is negatively impacted with the increased demands associated with caregiving (O'Rourke et al., 2007). Demographic differences including gender, age, race, premorbid relationship satisfaction, education, and income all are found to affect the experience felt by the caregiver. A variety of interventions including education, psychoeducation, supportive therapy, respite care, psychotherapy, and multicomponent approaches have been shown to be beneficial to the caregiver population and have been useful in decreasing burden and in improving overall health and well-being.

This educational resource forum was designed to maintain or improve a caregiver's physical and emotional health enabling them to adequately care for their loved one for as long as possible. The forum used an interdisciplinary, multicomponent approach and incorporated education, psycho education, supportive therapy, and community resources into the interactive six-session course. Future plans consist of pilot testing and implementation of this educational series into community settings within the region.