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Alzheimer's carers need more support

Counselling and support services can help to preserve the health of people caring for a loved one who has Alzheimer's Disease, research shows.

A study of 406 Alzheimer's Disease caregivers found that support and telephone counselling significantly improved their bill of health and delayed them placing their loved one in a nursing home.

The researchers say that caring for someone with Alzheimer's disease can be difficult and time consuming and can take its toll on a person's health.

“Preserving the health of spouse caregivers through counselling and support also benefits the person with Alzheimer's Disease, as caregivers who are in poor health are more likely to have difficulty providing good care,” says Dr Mary Mittelman at New York University School of Medicine.

She found that counselling and support can prevent caregivers becoming depressed and also helps to maintain their physical health.

“Individualised counselling programs that improve social support for caregivers can have many indirect benefits, including sustaining their physical health,” says Dr Mittelman.