Date of Paper


Type of Paper

Clinical research paper

Degree Name

Master of Social Work (M.S.W.)


Social Work

First Advisor

Jessica Toft


Social Work


Dementia is a growing problem in the world; not only for those with the disease, but also for their families, friends, and caregivers. Adult day services can provide much needed respite for caregivers of people with dementia. This systematic review was devised to answer the question: what are the benefits of and how effective is adult day services as a form of respite for caregivers of persons with dementia? Searches for peer reviewed articles in SocINDEX, Social Work Abstracts, PsycINFO, and PubMed were performed using the terms “adult day services” or “adult day care” or “adult day health care” AND “caregiver respite” or “respite care” or “caregiver” or “carer” AND “dementia” or “Alzheimer’s disease”. After inclusion and exclusion criteria were applied, 10 articles remained and were reviewed. Seven themes emerged from the literature after review, and these included: 1) role overload, 2) care related stressors, 3) mood, 4) health, 5) relationships, 6) cost, and 7) symptoms management. These themes pointed to the benefits that caregivers gain from using adult day services as respite and suggest that adult day services can be an effective form of respite. Future research on this topic should include research regarding the impacts adult day services as respite can have on caregiver depression, economic status/stress, physical health, and caregiver’s use of respite time. Adult day service agencies can use the findings from this research in order to provide services that can benefit caregivers the most.

Included in

Social Work Commons