In 2013 The Alzheimer Society of Ireland co-funded a three year research project on the wellbeing of dementia spousal carers. 

The project titled ‘Cognitive function, caregiver stress and cortisol: mechanisms and implications for prevention of adverse health consequences in spouse dementia caregivers’ or De-Stress is being carried out by researchers in the NeuroEnhancement for Independent Lives (NEIL) programme in Trinity College. . 

In Ireland much of dementia care is provided by people who are spouses. In fact there are an estimated 50,000 family carers of the 48,000 people with dementia in Ireland today and with 63% of people with dementia living in the community this care is crucial and vital. Findings from De-Stress will for the first time in Ireland provide information on the factors that affect the health of spousal dementia carers.

What’s the aim of De-Stress?

The study will assess caregiver stress, cognitive function (memory and attention), psychological and physical well-being. It will also look at genetic information and physiological data on stress at baseline and 12 months later in a group of 300 spousal dementia caregivers. 

The research findings will inform the ASI’s work in supporting carers of people with dementia and can also inform policy, future research and the development of targeted interventions to improve carers’ health. 

For further information about De-Stress call Dr. Maria Pertl on 01 896 8414 or e-mail /

De-Stress is co-funded by the Health Research Board (HRB) through the Medical Research Charities Group – HRB Joint Funding Scheme.  

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