By ADRIENNE D. JARET
As the largest source of support for older adults, family caregivers play a vital role with caring for this expanding population. People are living longer and family caregivers are an important extension of the healthcare system. Caring for loved ones is vitally important aspect of a family’s life; however, it is also a taxing responsibility, resulting in many caregivers experiencing emotional and physical health consequences. Being equipped with key knowledge and skills can benefit family members serving in caregiver roles.
To that end, the University of Miami Center on Aging is conducting a research study to evaluate a program that is designed to improve the lives of family caregivers. Family members are invited to apply to the program, which will search for ways to improve a caregiver’s ability to provide care to their loved ones; reduce the stress associated with caregiving and enhance the ability of caregivers to access needed services and support. The study is seeking English or Spanish speaking caregivers who are currently caring for a loved one diagnosed with dementia or Alzheimer’s Disease (AD).
The objective of the study, funded by the National Institute of Health/National Institute of Nursing Research, is to develop and evaluate a computer tablet-based psychosocial and culturally tailored intervention for caregivers of AD patients. The goals of the study are to find out: 1) the level of acceptance of a technology-based program for family caregivers of different ethnic groups and 2) the extent to which the technology-based customized and individually tailored intervention reduces caregiver stress, and enhances caregiving skills and improves the caregiver’s well-being.
Many caregivers who have completed the program reported that it helped them a great deal in being prepared for their caregiving role and to understand their loved one’s illness. They also reported great appreciation of the program’s interventions.
If you or someone you know is responsible for the care of a loved one diagnosed with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease, and are interested in an opportunity to learn skills and information to improve your caregiver experience, contact the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine Center on Aging at 305.355.9020 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Eligible participants may receive a tablet computer for use during their participation in the study and access to web-based skill building sessions. The study will also include videos from experts, resources, information and tips on care giving or nutrition related topics. Selected participants will be compensated for their time and participation.
For more information about other programs at the Center on Aging, please call 305.355.9081 or visit http://centeronaging.med.miami.edu.