Leverage information technology to support the management of caregiver medications for people with dementia

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More than 21 million people are receiving unpaid care for millions of people with dementia in the United States. With contributions from caregivers, researchers at Regenstrief Institute, Indiana University, the University of Wisconsin, and Purdue University are developing and testing a Helping the Helpers. , an evidence-based application to help carers of dementia, who help manage the medications of people who are unable to do it independently — often with medications for a variety of ailments.

Taking advantage of application-based information technology to help manage medications for people with dementia and share their research with caregivers to help others develop or adapt technology, Regenstrief, IU, one of the first Wisconsin studies. and Purdue researchers have published a standard gold standard methodology related to:

  • Remote assessment of the needs of caregivers who manage medications for people with dementia.
  • Design of a prototype application to support caregiver-assisted medications together, including caregiver input.
  • Feasibility testing of the prototype application.

Among other innovations, the researchers added a virtual component to the contextual consultation to find out what caregivers experience during the day while dealing with medication management.

“We want to know what’s going on,” said Richard Holden, author of the study, PhD, MS, human factor engineer, social cognitive psychologist, and implementation scientist. “So we ask participants to record what they have to do with drug management during the day and send something twice a day. It can be a photo, a video, an audio file or a written note. It can be a photo. Depending on the large number of medications to be managed. A patient’s video may be a video that refuses to take medication.

Managing medications for people with dementia is often confusing, time consuming, and difficult, especially if the patient with a cognitive impairment is resistant, belligerent, or both. Caregivers, many of whom have other responsibilities inside or outside the home, typically have little training, resources, and support as drug managers. This can lead to significant burden of caregivers, stress, and mistakes that can be life-threatening for a person with Alzheimer’s or related dementia.

“My family and I understand the daunting challenges of caring for someone with dementia. My mother and brother are my father’s primary caregivers, and I am a remote ‘tele-caregiver.’ We know caregivers need help,” Dr. Holden said. “As the U.S. population grows, the need for user-centered care for caregivers, like our Helping the Helpers app, becomes even more necessary. My colleagues and I are presenting our research methodology in this document for other researchers and developers. access to the field of innovative methods that we designed to produce technology to meet the needs of caregivers. “

According to the Alzheimer’s Association, by 2022, 6.5 million Americans over the age of 65 will be living with Alzheimer’s dementia in 2022. This figure is projected to rise to 7.2 million in 2025 and is projected to reach 13.8 million in 2060, excluding development. Any medical progress in preventing, slowing or curing Alzheimer’s.

“There are many applications available today to manage medications that support a variety of tasks, but very few are developed and designed for caregivers with specific attention to the needs of caregivers,” said Noll Campbell, PharmD, MS, Regenstrief Institute and Purdue University College. Pharmaceutical.

The paper Helping the Helpers concludes that “Ultimately, if successful, our IT (information technology) intervention should be available and acceptable to many users in the United States who can immediately benefit from IT without directly or indirectly affecting physician-related costs.” intensive “.

The study was published in Social and Administrative Pharmacy Research.


Use technology to help informal caregivers manage medications for patients with dementia


More information:
Nicole E. Werner et al, Helping the Helpers – A user-focused technology research protocol to help manage medications for people with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementia. Social and Administrative Pharmacy Research (2022). DOI: 10.1016 / j.sapharm.2022.03.014

Granted by the Regenstrief Institute

Mention: Retrieving Information Technology to Support the Management of Drug Care for People Living with Dementia (June 14, 2022) https://medicalxpress.com/news/2022-06-leveraging-technology-caregiver-medication-individuals- Retrieved June 14, 2022. html

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