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Psych Congress  

Pilot Project Caring Means Sharing: Psychosocial Interventions

Anna Kimelfeld, DNP, ANP, RN
Kira Oppenheim, DNP, ANP, RN
Vincent Marchello, MD, CMD

Background. Dementia complicated by psychosis is a challenging condition to manage. This progressive disease continues to place increasing demands on the caregiver resulting in burnout and nursing home placement. It is not surprising that 60%-78% of nursing home residents have dementia. In the nursing home, the burden is compounded by barriers between the family caregivers and the facility staff. Dementia is a disease of communication and understanding the individual's life history is vital to care. The source for this information is the family caregiver and their input is key. Equipping the family caregiver with the understanding of the disease and its progression can facilitate in breaking down these barriers. Purpose. Caring Means Sharing is an intervention designed to increase family caregiver's knowledge regarding dementia and behavioral disturbances. Method. This pilot used a pre-post design. The sample consisted of family caregivers of individuals with dementia in a long-term care facility. The educational component consisted of 4 teaching sessions covering 11 topics focused on dementia. The participatory component consisted of the observation of 2-4 therapeutic activities followed by family caregiver comments. Results.The intervention resulted in improvement in all 7 constructs of the satisfaction survey. Knowledge level measured by pre- and post-tests demonstrated improvement in 37.5% of the questions. The most significant improvement was in the areas of dementia, communication technique, and management of behavioral disturbances. Conclusion. This study demonstrated importance of family caregiver education in improving the communication and participation with nursing home staff in caring for individuals with dementia.

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