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Dementia team looks at stresses on carers

THE stress levels of partners and relatives looking after people with dementia is the subject of a three-year study being undertaken by researchers at Trinity College Dublin.

The team want to recruit 300 participants for its De-Stress project which will look at the mental wellbeing of the caregivers.

Prof Brian Lawlor, clinical director of the Neuro-Enhancement for Independent Lives programme at the college, said that often these are the people who are forgotten.

"You can't treat the person with dementia without taking the caregiver into consideration," he said.



There are currently 41,740 Irish people with dementia and this figure is expected to rise to 140,000 in 2041.

Up to 70pc of people with dementia in this country currently live at home and there are about 50,000 people in the role of informal caregivers.

These caregivers, over the age of 50, who are looking after a spouse or partner with dementia in the home, can participate.

The study is being funded by the Alzheimer Society of Ireland and the Health Research Board.

Prof Lawlor said that the ultimate aim of the research was to improve the quality of both people and to allow the person with dementia to be able to stay at home with a good quality of life for as long as possible.

The average cost of caring for a person with dementia is estimated to be about €40,500 which is similar to other countries.