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Keywords:

  •  burden;
  • caregivers;
  • dementia;
  • positive cognitions;
  • resourcefulness

Abstract

Currently, 5.4 million persons in the USA are diagnosed with dementia, and this number is projected to rise to 7.7 million by the year 2030. Family caregivers provide up to 80% of the care needed by persons with dementia and published work suggests that caring for persons with dementia can be very costly to caregivers' health. This study examined the mediating and the moderating effects of positive cognitions on the relationship between caregiver burden and resourcefulness in 80 caregivers of persons with dementia. A descriptive, correlational, and cross-sectional design was used in this study. The researcher contacted the administrators at the Alzheimer's Association early stage programs in Southeastern Wisconsin and questionnaires were distributed to interested caregivers. Positive cognitions explained 31% of the variance in resourcefulness (F (1, 78) = 35.46, P< 0.001) and as positive cognitions increased, caregivers' resourcefulness increased. Positive cognitions were found to be a mediator as evidenced by a substantial drop in the beta weight of caregiver burden from B= −0.28 to B= −0.11 when positive cognitions were entered into the equation. Interventions to strengthen positive thinking among caregivers of persons with dementia are needed to help caregivers overcome their burden.