CARING FOR A SPOUSE WITH MILD COGNITIVE IMPAIRMENT: DAILY CHALLENGES, MARITAL RELATIONS, AND PHYSIOLOGICAL INDICATORS OF HEALTH
Join the LIVE webinar to be held April 2, 2012, Noon Eastern at www.alzpossible.org/wordpress-3.1.4/wordpress/webinars-2/caring-for-a-spouse-with-mci/
Mild cognitive impairment (MCI) is a term used for early decline in memory and in the abilities to carry out a series of steps in sequence and make appropriate decisions. It is an ambiguous condition because often the person with MCI appears to be healthy and able to function normally in many ways, yet begins to show some signs of memory loss, confusion, and apathy. Physicians usually cannot predict whether or when the MCI might worsen.
The changes associated with MCI are likely to affect spouse care partners as well as those with this condition. Research to be presented during this Webinar examined the effects of having a spouse with MCI on older care partners’ physical health, psychological well-being, and marital relationship. A unique feature is the daily diary approach used to gather the data. Thirty care partners responded to telephone interviews on each of seven consecutive days. They also provided saliva samples five times throughout the day on four of the interview days. Lab tests of the saliva revealed the amount of cortisol and alpha-amylase, hormones indicating stress, at different times of the day and across the days. Sustained high cortisol levels can be detrimental to health. Thus, we had evidence about the effects of caring for a loved one with MCI both from answers to interview questions and from indicators of physiological responses to stress.
Providing support to a loved one encountering cognitive difficulty often requires significant changes in everyday roles and responsibilities. These minor but cumulative changes, have a cascading effect on family relationships and psychological health, and take a toll on the care partner’s physical health. Health workers and other professionals could use these findings to encourage care partners to get needed help and find ways of coping with stress.
The Alzheimer’s Association and the Commonwealth of Virginia Alzheimer’s and Related Diseases Research Award Fund supported this research.
Dr. Tina Savla will present the topic on Monday, the 2nd of April, 2012, Noon Eastern; discussion will be moderated by Dr. E. Ayn Welleford.
More Information and registration at: www.alzpossible.org/wordpress-3.1.4/wordpress/webinars-2/caring-for-a-spouse-with-mci/
Seating is limited so reserve today! Webinar is free and open to all!
Virginia Alzheimer’s Commission’s AlzPossible Initiative