Rosanne DiZazzo-Miller, Preethy S. Samuel, Jean M. Barnas, Keith M. Welker; Addressing Everyday Challenges: Feasibility of a Family Caregiver Training Program for People With Dementia. Am J Occup Ther 2014;68(2):212–220. https://doi.org/10.5014/ajot.2014.009829
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© 2021 American Occupational Therapy Association
OBJECTIVE. The purpose of this study was to examine the feasibility and efficacy of the Family Caregiver Training Program for assisting with the basic activities of daily living of people with dementia.
METHOD. A one-group pretest–posttest research design with a 3-mo follow-up was used to examine the efficacy of a manualized education program for caregivers. The 6-hr training was delivered to 72 family caregivers over 3 consecutive weeks (2 hr/wk) by trained clinicians.
RESULTS. Caregivers showed a significant gain in knowledge of how to effectively assist with communication and nutrition, t(52) = 7.05, p < .000; transfers and toileting, t(45) = 3.10, p < .003; and bathing and dressing, t(44) = 2.71, p < .01, of their care recipients.
CONCLUSION. Our findings demonstrate that this manualized intervention protocol is a promising method of equipping family members with the skills needed to face their everyday challenges in caring for people with dementia.
People with dementia may have a lack of interest in food. This may be due to:A) improved senses, B) an increased need for calories, which may accompany aging, C) depression, D) dehydration
People with dementia may have a lack of interest in food. This may be due to:
A) improved senses, B) an increased need for calories, which may accompany aging, C) depression, D) dehydration
Are you still performing the skills you learned in the training modules? Yes/No
Do you still remember the skills you learned in the training modules? Yes/No
Are these skills helpful in your role as caregiver? Yes/No
Time 1: Before the first module, all caregivers completed informed consent, the baseline questionnaire on medical visits, the GDS Short Form, and the pretest to measure existing knowledge of communication and nutrition. At the end of this module, caregivers practiced positioning and feeding each other while trainers observed for proper technique, and then caregivers completed the knowledge posttest.
Time 2: At the start of the second module, caregivers completed the knowledge pretest on toileting and transfers, and at the end they practiced transfers and completed the knowledge posttest.
Time 3: At the start of the third module, caregivers completed the knowledge pretest on bathing and dressing, and at the end they practiced dressing, completed the knowledge posttest, and completed the quality assurance form.
Time 4: Three months after training, caregivers completed a phone call follow-up on care recipient and caregiver use of general and ADL-related medical services. Caregivers were also asked three questions related to retention and application of training.
“It also gave valuable information on new techniques (verbal) and confirmation [about whether my] current activities were correct.”
“Training helps for safety issues.”
“It especially helped [me] with learning how to lift [my] mother.”
A caregiver in her late 40s approached me and asked, “Could you review transfers today as well?” Because my time was up and I had to return to work, I assured her that transfers would be covered the following week. With tears beginning to well, she asked, “Could you just show me something to get through this week?” She had been caring for her mother, with her brother’s help, for well over a year—yet neither of them had received training in any area. In particular, both feared back injuries because of their mother’s declining ability to transfer independently. After briefly assisting the caregiver with some basic transfer skills, it became evident that she was likely to acquire an injury as a result of poor body mechanics, yet a simple review of proper procedures was enough to significantly increase her skill in a critical technique.
Few caregiver training programs have focused on BADLs, and even fewer have trained caregivers in safe and effective ways of assisting with BADLs.
A number of studies have documented that caregiver challenges related to safety and burden increase as the care recipient’s disease progresses (Miyamoto, Tachimori, & Ito, 2010).
More studies have reported the need for ADL education for caregivers (Smale & Dupuis, 2004), as addressed in this training program.
On the basis of this study, the Family Caregiver Training Program appears to be an effective educational tool for family caregivers of people with dementia.
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