Caregiver Burden Syndrome

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Caregivers of patients suffering from Alzheimer's Dementia encounter a variety of signs and symptoms that lead to dreadful caregiver burden syndrome.  This disease impacts caregivers in a multifaceted way. The caregiver may or may not be aware of the disease's progression, the behaviors associated with the condition, such as nervousness and the complete loss of body function, to name just a few stressors.  Caregivers can experience depression and anxieties on top of the stress which can affect their own lifestyles and/or quality of life. 


            Dementia is a group of irreversible brain disorders that alter the cognitive abilities of more than 5.7 million people over the age of 65 annually (Mayo Clinic, 2017). Alzheimer's disease is also categorically interchangedwith Dementia and grouped along with other types of brain disorders of Dementia. Alzheimer's disease (AD) refers to "a progressive disease that destroys memory and other important mental functions (Mayo Clinic, 2017). In Alzheimer's disease, the brain cells degenerate and die, causing a steady decline in memory, mental function, and control (CDC, 2018). Unlike a computer that can be re-booted through the use of the Control-Alt-Delete command, once the wires of the human brain are crossed, there is no cure (CDC, 2018).  The best defense is prevention, early diagnosis, and care of the patient and patient’s caregiver.  Under-reported are the devastating effects of caregiver burden as it relates to the conditions associated with Alzheimer's Dementia. The condition can possibly be delayed through prevention, treatment, and reduction of the burden to Caregivers (Mayo Clinic, 2018). This paper explores the nature and just cause for AD stigmatization.

The Stigma Associated with Alzheimer’s Dementia

            In 1906, the AD was discovered by Dr. Alois Alzheimer. Dr. Alzheimer discovered AD after observing alterations of brain tissue; death of neurons; loss of communication between neurotransmitters; as well as plaques and tangles in the Dura Matter of a 50-year old woman, who initially appeared to have suffered from an unusual mental illness. Although there is no known cure, the evidence-based practice continues to affirm ongoing research on prevention and search for the cure as evident in the quest to identify biomarkers for the disease in the preclinical and prevention stage (Mayo Clinic, 2017). Such strides, in conjunction with cognition and behavioral drugs approved by The US Food and Drug Administration, are at the forefront of the battle of finding a solution to the disease (NIA, 2018). Treatment and care of AD patient could be prolonged with early detection, adequate care and rapid intervention (NIA, 2018).

         Culturally, in America, parents rear children during their informative years in such a way that the burden is ingrained so that the expectation relays the value of the aforementioned gift, which becomes due during one’s dotage years, otherwise known as the Caregiver burden syndrome (Mayo Clinic, 2017). This phenomenon, however, lacks character in the sense that, often times, the Caretaker does not recognize this process as a burden. Rather, the problem is inherent or systematically distributed mostly due to shame. Alzheimer’s continues to be stigmatized; it receives negative publicity due to its ability to alter both patients inner and outer being (NIA, 2018). The AD is not only associated with a common stigma, but also a pervasive stigma as noted by CDC (2018).  The level of AD stigmatization is so high to the extent that no one even bothers to ask about the progress of an AD patient, as if they are scared (NIA, 2018). Besides, people do not treat AD patients in the same way they would treat, say a differential diagnosis of Cancer (CDC, 2018). 


            From the description of AD stigmatization, it is evident that there is an extreme need for AD awareness and intervention.  Caregivers can prevent and or manage stress by first organizing and managing their lives, becoming aware of community support groups, as well as being certain to take time for themselves. It is a horrible thing to live a life that you have no control over and even more difficult to forfeit the control you have over your own life. Caregivers need to control, alter their lifestyles and delete memories created in their brain due to the burden and timeless exhaustion of providing caregiver services to AD patients. Complete deletion of such memories forms a significant step towards minimizing AD-related stigmatization.


Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). (2018). Alzheimer's disease. Retrieved from

Mayo Clinic. (2017). Alzheimer's disease. Retrieved from

National Institute of Aging (NIA). (2018). Alzheimer's disease & Related Dementias. Retrieved from

October 13, 2023




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