The complex nature of dementia emphasizes the relevance of how care is delivered in a multifactorial approach. One speaker addressed six goals to close the research gap at the Alzheimer’s Disease Research Summit 2015.
“If we can reduce disease burden by addressing these six goals, we may have an opportunity to slow the disease progression,” Laura N. Gitlin, PhD, professor and director in the Center for Innovative Care in Aging, at the Johns Hopkins School of Nursing, said during a presentation. “We have a real gap between what the agreed on dementia care goals are, and the reality of living with dementia.”
Laura N. Gitlin
Gitlin said the following six goals may improve intervention effects:
- improve and maintain quality of life;
- prevent, reduce/minimize and address behavioral symptoms;
- maintain function and engagement in activities;
- attend to medical management of comorbidities;
- support families; and
- coordinate care for disease progression.
Caregivers often live with unmet needs, and families often need interventions such as basic education and resource referrals.
“Taken as a whole, most of these interventions are multimodal, targeting different ways to impact symptoms,” she said.
The interventions also target functional status, quality of life, depression, cognitive status, and other outcomes, according to Gitlin.
“People living at home with dementia need comprehensive care,” Gitlin said. “As a research community we really have to ask ourselves…What is the balance we should achieve? If we target ways to reduce disease burden, we may be able to reduce the disease progression, save monies and improve quality of life within families.”– by Samantha Costa
Laura Gitlin, et al. Research Gaps in Integrating Care for AD. Presented at: Alzheimer's Disease Research Summit; Feb. 9-10, 2015; Bethesda, MD. http://www.nia.nih.gov/about/events/2014/alzheimers-disease-research-summit-2015. Accessed February 10, 2015.