Hopeful Mindsets®

Global Challenge: Caregiving Health

An estimated 44 million Americans age 18 or older provide assistance and support to older people and adults with disabilities.

Studies report consistently higher levels of depressive symptoms and mental health problems among caregivers than among their non-caregiving peers.

Estimates show between 40 to 70% of caregivers have clinically significant symptoms of depression, with approximately one quarter to one half of these caregivers meeting the diagnostic criteria for depression.

Both caregiver depression and perceived burden increase as the care receiver's functional status declines.

Caregivers who experience chronic stress may be at greater risk for cognitive decline including loss in short-term memory, attention and verbal IQ.

Caregiver depression affects the caregiver’s ability to care for a person with dementia Alzheimer’s, and other disease states.

Global Opportunity

Improving Caregiver Health with a behavior and Biological Intervention

  • Behavioral: Improve Hope Scores by Teaching Hope
  • In a study of caregivers with children, when parents felt higher levels of closeness with their offspring and expressed higher levels of hope, they were more likely to indicate that caregiving yielded benefits. (Schwartz, 2007)
  • A significant positive relationship has been found between hope and well-being in family caregivers of persons with dementia living in the community. (Duggleby, 2013)
  • Hope is also important and essential for family caregivers of persons with dementia residing in a LTC facility. (Duggleby, 2013)
  • Additionally, Higher Hope corresponds to, Greater emotional and psychological well-being, Superior academic achievement-  above personality, previous achievement, and intelligence, 14 percent of productivity in the workplace, more than intelligence, optimism or self-efficacy, Better physical health, Less Anxiety and Depression, Better problem-solving skills, Employee retention & workplace safety, Better stress management, Superior athletic performance, Improved social connection and enhanced personal connection, and a longer life.
  • Biological: Measure and Improve HRV with HRVB

Study Design: Look at no intervention, behavioral intervention, biological intervention, and combined intervention, and test hypothesis that mental health is behavioral and biological – that combining interventions is most effective for addressing mental health. Also look at real time HRV impact on caregiving.

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