FYI Daily

Mind Trick Lessens Stress of Alzheimer's Care

Last updated: Nov 11, 2011

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Alzheimer's caregivers carry a special stress burden. But their stress, anxiety, and depression can be cut significantly with a simple idea borrowed from psychotherapy called "cognitive reframing" -- learning to think differently about negative or untrue thoughts, according to a review of the technique in The Cochrane Library, reported by Health Behavior News Service, part of the Center for Advancing Health.

Caregivers who were trained to use cognitive reframing felt better about their situations and developed better relationships with those in their care who have dementia, found researchers in the Netherlands, who examined 11 randomized trials that had featured the technique as one of the main interventions to help caregivers.

In the studies, mental healthcare professionals and primary care providers taught the cognitive reframing. The tactic basically shows you how to identify self-defeating thoughts and reframe them, trying to look at a situation more positively and constructively, without blaming yourself or your loved one, or ruminating over problems. (See more ideas on cultivating a positive attitude as a caregiver.)