Dementia care coordination
Background: Dementia is a chronic, irreversible condition that currently affects millions of Americans. With increasing life expectancies and an aging population, it is predicted that this number will triple within the next fifty years, possibly affecting 16 million Americans by 2050. The majority of care for these patients is provided by informal caregivers, usually their spouses or children. However, studies have shown that most informal caregivers feel they need more information about the disorder and the services available to help them, as well as on how to effectively care for their family member. Caring for a dementia patient is more stressful and burdensome than caring for someone who is solely physically impaired. Dementia caregivers experience higher rates of anxiety and depression, less time for personal activities, and greater difficulties maintaining jobs. Thus, interventions that provide caregivers with support and train them to properly care for dementia patients can be beneficial for both the patients and their families by reducing the adverse effects caregiving has on the caregiver’s mental and physical health while also improving the patient’s quality of care. Purpose: The purpose of this study is to evaluate the effects of the Alzheimer’s Association’s Dementia Care Coordination intervention on dementia patients and their caregivers. This study will determine whether the intervention improves the qualities of life of patients and caregivers, lowering their depression and hospitalization rates while also reducing caregivers’ levels of burden, distress, and anxiety.
Thesis (M.A.)--Boston University