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July 16, 1982

The Impact of Dementia on the Family

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore.

JAMA. 1982;248(3):333-335. doi:10.1001/jama.1982.03330030039022

To determine the impact of dementia on the family, we interviewed the primary care givers of 55 patients suffering from an irreversible dementia. Problems reported included disturbances of patient behavior such as catastrophic reactions, waking at night, suspiciousness, and communication disorders, some of which can be alleviated by physician-initiated intervention. Care givers also reported that they themselves had feelings of anger, depression, and fatigue, which can be treated as well.

(JAMA 1982;248:333-335)