Aside from memory loss and cognitive impairments, often the most difficult aspect of caring for people with dementia is treating their disruptive changes in behavior. These increase the strain on families and often result in nursing home placement.
Now, with a $1.7 million grant from the National Institutes of Health, Laura N. Gitlin, PhD, Director of the Center for Innovative Care in Aging, and Helen C. Kales, MD, of the University of Michigan Medical School, will lead the development of WeCare, “an innovative caregiver tool to assess and manage behavioral symptoms of dementia.”
“WeCare has potential to improve caregiver skills and the care of individuals with dementia who currently do not receive optimal behavioral management,” Gitlin says.
The project is innovative in its involvement of key dementia stakeholders in the tool development process and tailored approach to detecting and monitoring behaviors and selecting non-drug solutions.