Graduation Year


Document Type


Degree Type

Open Access Capstone

Degree Name

Doctor of Occupational Therapy (OTD)


Occupational Therapy


Background: Alzheimer's disease or related dementias (ADRD) are one of the most rapidly growing epidemics that the world is facing. Caring for a person with ADRD is challenging and often causes informal caregivers stress, loneliness, and social isolation.

Purpose: The aim of this qualitative instrumental case study was to obtain a better understanding of how informal caregivers of persons with ADRD experience stress and which supports helped mitigate the effect of these stressors in their role as a caregiver.

Theoretical Framework: The Model of Human Occupation focuses on therapy helping persons to engage in occupational behaviors that maintain, restore, reorganize, or develop their capacity, motive, or lifestyle.

Methods: Semi-structured interview was used as the data collection tool to gain knowledge from the caregiver on how they experienced stress and what supports help to mitigate the effect of these stressors, as this was an effective way to gain the thoughts and concerns from this population.

Results: There were three participants that were interviewed for the study. Fourteen categories were identified by grouping the codes together and three themes developed from those categories. The three themes were Bad days are rough, little damper on everybody, and we try to keep normal.

Conclusions: The participants’ stressors were consistent with other studies that stated behaviors cause increased burden on caregivers. Although there are programs and assistance for caregivers, there is a deficit in caregivers’ referrals to resources and occupational therapy.

Faculty Mentor

Dana M. Howell, PhD, OTD, OTR/L

Department Affiliation

Occupational Therapy

Committee Member

Cassie Ginn, OTD, OTR/L

Department Affiliation

Occupational Therapy

Department Affiliation

Occupational Therapy

IRB Approval Number (if applicable)