Impact of the Caring for Aging Relatives Group Program: An Evaluation
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Caregiver support programs have been developed with the goal of alleviating the stress associated with the demanding role of caring for an older person. The majority of these programs, however, have not been formally evaluated. This study is a formal program evaluation which assessed the impact of a caregiver support program on its participants. Both the intervention and matched comparison groups included a convenience sample of 23 female caregivers. A quasi-experimental pretest-posttest design was used to measure morale, social support, and information. Findings showed there was a positive relationship between morale and social support. In the comparison group only, there was a positive relationship between morale and information in both the pretest and posttest. Within the intervention group, there was a significant increase (t = 2.79, p = 0.01) in the information scores between the pretest and posttest. Caregivers in the intervention group reported that the Caring for Aging Relatives Group (CARG) provided them with social support. The results of this study partially supported the usefulness of a caregiver support program; that is, information was gained, morale was maintained, and caregivers perceived the support program as helpful. Future research is needed to address what factors lead caregivers to attend a support program and what type of social support they receive from attending such a program.