International Psychogeriatrics


Respite for Dementia Caregivers: The Effects of Adult Day Service Use on Caregiving Hours and Care Demands

Joseph E. Gaugler a1, Shannon E. Jarrott a2, Steven H. Zarit a3, Mary-Ann Parris Stephens a4, Aloen Townsend a5 and Rick Greene a6
a1 Program in Gerontology/Department of Behavioral Science, University of Kentucky, Lexington, Kentucky, US
a2 Department of Human Development, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg, Virginia, US
a3 Department of Human Development and Family Studies, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, Pennsylvania, US
a4 Department of Psychology, Kent State University, Kent, Ohio, US
a5 Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio, US
a6 New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services, Trenton, New Jersey, US

Article author query
gaugler j   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 
jarrott s   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 
zarit s   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 
stephens m   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 
townsend a   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 
greene r   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 


The objective of this study was to determine whether adult day service use was related to decreases in primary caregiving hours (i.e., the time caregivers spent on activities of daily living/instrumental activities of daily living and behavior problems for care recipients) and care recipient function for these domains. Three-month longitudinal data from the Adult Day Care Collaborative Study (N = 400) were used. Adult day service users reported greater decreases in hours spent on behavior problems when compared to nonusers, even after controlling for baseline differences between the two groups. In addition, adult day service users reported decreased frequency of behavior problems in their relatives who attended adult day programs. The findings suggest that adult day services, if used over time, are effective in restructuring caregiving time and may offer potential benefits not only to family caregivers but to community-residing older adults who have dementia as well.

Key Words: Adult day care; adult day programs; Alzheimer's disease; community-based care; families.