Using CBT with Alzheimer’s Patients and Their Caregivers

Anxiety and depression are quite common in patients with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia, particularly for those in the early and middle stages of the disease when they are aware of their declining cognitive functions.

Symptoms of depression look much like the symptoms in people without Alzheimer’s/dementia (apathy, loss of interest in previously enjoyed hobbies and activities, withdrawal, isolation) with a few critical differences. Dementia patients may experience less severe depressive episodes, episodes may come and go, the patients are less likely to talk about being depressed, and they are less likely to commit suicide.

CBT and Alzheimer’s/Dementia Patients

Nearly 50% of Alzheimer’s patients or others suffering from dementia have co-occurring depression and anxiety, both of which can exacerbate the symptoms of dementia and lead to a loss of quality of life. While CBT requires the use of cognition and intellectual functions out of the reach of many dementia patients, some researchers are focusing on adapting CBT for use with this population.

Medication or behavioral therapy?

Low Intensity CBT with Older Adults

The Uses of CBT in Adults with Alzheimer’s Disease or Dementia

How to Adapt CBT for Use in Older Adults

Using CBT for Anxiety in Dementia Patients

CBT with Alzheimer’s Patients and Caregivers

Upcoming Studies Using CBT in Patients with Dementia/Alzheimer’s Disease

 Using CBT in Alzheimer’s Patients

Adapting CBT for Alzheimer’s Patients

CBT in Dementia Clients

Other Resources

Geriatric depression scale

A Clinician’s Guide to CBT with Older Adults

CBT and Alzheimer’s/Dementia Caregivers

Articles on why CBT is useful for the caregivers of Alzheimer’s patients

CBT can help caregivers

Brief CBT for Caregivers

Positive Effects of CBT for Caregivers

Reducing Anxiety in Caregivers Using CBT

Using CBT in Alzheimer’s Patients and Caregivers




Much of the information on this page was taken from the Alzheimer’s Association website,  and their pages on depression and anxiety