December 4, 2014 – Helping Caregivers


Anchor lead:  Can a program to help caregivers reduce the stress of caring for someone with Alzheimer’s disease? Elizabeth Tracey reports

Mind at Home is a program developed by Constantine Lyketsos, an Alzheimer’s disease expert at Johns Hopkins, and colleagues, to enable people with the disease to remain at home as long as possible.  The program takes a multipronged approach to caregiving, with a recent study looking at how caregivers benefited.

Lyketsos: If you compare the intervention to the control, there are about 10-12 fewer hours per week that the caregiver is spending primarily in supervision.  There’s also a not quite statistically significant, but almost, improvement on the experience of burden.  So our view is that right now, caregivers are probably feeling more confident, they develop more specific skills, and so they feel able to spend less time with the person and at the same time, experience burden a little bit less.  :29

Absolute hours and the feeling of burden both contribute to caregiver burnout and negatively affect the Alzheimer’s patient. Lyketsos is optimistic that as the program is studied further even better outcomes are possible.  At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.