OSU Team Conducting Survey Research on Dementia Home Care in the Time of COVID-19

Story provided by Aging Advocates

Family caregivers with a relative with dementia often experience what has been called the ‘unexpected career of caregiver,’ facing multi-faceted, complex, and stressful life situations that can have important consequences. Multiple factors make the adjustment to the caregiving role particularly hard, as individuals with dementia may lose grasp of their understanding of their circumstances, relying heavily on their family caregiver for all aspects of their physical and emotional support, as well as activities of daily living (i.e., bathing, dressing, and grooming) and other activities such as cooking, housework, and managing medications. This level of care can be intense and physically demanding and the effects of being a family caregiver for an extended period of time may result in social isolation, physical ill-health, and financial hardship.

The COVID-19 pandemic has introduced a new set of unique challenges for individuals with dementia and their family caregivers. In addition to their need for assistance, individuals living with dementia encounter increased isolation, bringing apathy, frustration, and loneliness, particularly for those who are not technologically savvy. In addition, there may be difficulty with remembering safety interventions and comprehending public health information and updates. Family caregivers, whose resilience may already be stretched due to their caregiving role, face increased health concerns and social isolation, as well as a reduced opportunity for outside help and respite.  A team from Oklahoma State University College of Education and Human Sciences is conducting research on dementia home care during COVID-19 to find out more about the experiences of family caregivers at this unprecedented time. If you or someone you know is currently caring for a family member with dementia at home we would like to hear from you. The purpose of this research is to create a better understanding of the experiences of family caregivers during the COVID-19 pandemic and the role that technology may play in the development of innovative devices to support dementia care at home. Participants must be over 18 years of age and have been a family caregiver of an individual living with dementia for at least 6 months prior to participating in the research survey. The study is funded by the National Institute of Health (NIH) and there is a $25 compensation for participation in the study.

For more information and to find out more about participation in this important research please contact Dr. Emily Roberts, call 405-744-3818, or email emily.roberts12@okstate.edu.

About Aging Advocates

Aging Advocates, a group of area businesses and agencies in the Payne County area meet monthly to advocate for older adults. From their experiences, they innovate ideas and raise awareness of older adult issues. It is important to look at the developing needs of the aging population and support, educate, and identify services valuable to a life fully lived.

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