Many older adults with diabetes (DM) have co-occurring Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) and AD-Related Dementias (ADRD). Complex treatment plans may impose treatment burden for caregivers responsible for day-to-day self-management. The purpose of this qualitative study was to describe caregiver perceptions of treatment burden for people with DM-AD/ADRD. Caregivers (n = 33) of patients with DM-AD/ADRD participated in semi-structured interviews about their caregiver role and perceptions of treatment burden of DM-AD/ADRD management. Qualitative data were analyzed using content analysis (ATLAS.ti). Caregivers reported high levels of burden related to complex treatment/self-management for patients with DM-AD/ADRD that varied day-to-day with the patient’s cognitive status. Four themes were: (1) trajectory of treatment burden; (2) navigating multiple healthcare providers/systems of care; (3) caregiver role conflict; and (4) emotional burden. Interventions to reduce caregiver treatment burden should include activating supportive services, education, and care coordination especially, if patient treatment increases in complexity over time.
- qualitative research
ASJC Scopus subject areas