Home-Based Dementia Care Offers Support to Caregiver

Aging in Place, Elder Care Issues
Caregivers of patients with dementia claimed greater caregiver satisfaction when using geriatric care programs that included care management strategies.

Caregivers of patients with dementia claimed greater caregiver satisfaction when using geriatric care programs that included care management strategies.

If you care for a loved one who has dementia, you may have some new caregiver support tools to help better care for your loved one and delay their move to a nursing home.

In a randomized controlled trial, trained non-physician managers used evidence-based protocols to educate and offer support to caregivers through a telephone-based assessment and care management program.

Medscape Medical News reports:

In their study, lead investigator Joshua Chodosh, MD, from the UCLA Health System in Los Angeles and his team randomized 242 patient–caregiver dyads to the dementia-care management program and 256 dyads to usual care.

Care managers were trained social workers, nurses, and nurse practitioners.

Greater Caregiver Satisfaction

All caregivers were surveyed at baseline and at 9 and 18 months.

At 18 months, satisfaction with healthcare was rated higher, on a 100-point scale, by caregivers in the intervention group than in the usual care group (89.6 vs 86.3; P = .06). When caregivers rated confidence in their abilities, scores in the intervention group were 5.6 points higher than scores in the usual care group (P < .05).

The unadjusted rate of nursing home use during the intervention period, documented in patients’ medical records, was lower in the intervention group than in the usual care group (7.6% vs 17.5%; P = .042).

Improvements from baseline were seen for nearly all process measures in both group, but most between-group differences were not significant.

During the first 2 months of the study, the health plan referred 75% of members in the usual care group to geriatric care programs that included care management strategies, which were likely influenced by the intervention, Dr Chodosh reported.

In addition, most patients had moderate-severity dementia. At that stage, patients tend to need more care and are more likely to benefit from care management than those at an early stage

American Geriatrics Society (AGS) 2015 Annual Scientific Meeting: Abstract P1. Presented May 15, 2015.