Lewy body dementias (LBD), a term referring to both dementia with Lewy bodies and Parkinson’s disease dementia, are the second most common type of degenerative dementia in older adults. These are complex disorders in which patients may exhibit disruptive behaviors that make caregiving challenging. Compared to other types of dementias, caregivers of people with LBD report higher stress and more severe depressive symptoms. The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has multiplied the challenges that caregivers of persons with dementia face in providing care for their loved ones. As such, support interventions for caregivers of persons with LBD are urgently needed.
In this study, we will adapt our online intervention for older adults with frailty to target the unique needs of caregivers of people with LBD. We will conduct participatory design sessions with potential users to determine their needs and priorities specific to LBD and deploy the re-designed intervention in a pilot study focused on usability and efficacy. Through this newly tailored support system, we aim to bolster the health of caregivers as well as their ability to assist care partners living with LBD.
This intervention could potentially be used in conjunction with usual care and/or as a stand-alone module in emergent circumstances, such as the current pandemic, when routine professional interventions may not be readily available. By fostering the development of a community-driven online support system, this project will begin to lay the groundwork for promoting resilience within families affected by the behavioral challenges of dementia.
January 1, 2021 — September 1, 2022
Garvey Institute for Brain Health Solutions