Connecting with Caregivers: How One Company Is Improving Software to Help Caregivers of Those with Dementia

Taking care of individuals with dementia can require increasing levels of care, and sometimes transitions from institutional care to home, or from community services to nonclinical services. To help these transitions, the Generation Connect platform came to be. This gerontological-focused software is a therapeutic platform to support informal and formal caregivers in their care of persons living with dementia. After researchers who comprise Generation Connect earned a grant, they decided to investigate where improvements could be made in care received through home care agencies. The study, which earned a Bronze 2022 Innovative Research on Aging Award, aimed to get better insight into what older adults and their caregivers need for a more therapeutic setting, and shared five overarching themes that came from focus groups. 

For the study, several focus groups were conducted with home care agency leadership and with formal and informal caregivers. The goal was to have a rounded conversation with differing perspectives, thoughts, and ideas, while allowing for an unrestricted generation of ideas and comments on how to best enable home care providers to (a) improve the well-being of patients; (b) involve informal caregivers more; and (c) allow for the flexibility of persons living with dementia to age in place. The hope was that the focus groups would generate helpful feedback that would help guide the development of the Generation Connect platform to be used with patients with dementia. The results of the focus groups indicated that stakeholders had a desire for technological use and produced five overarching themes and subthemes: technology-related concerns, care services, data, documentation, and outcomes; cost, finance, resources, and resources for caregivers. 

The group creating the Generation Connect platform will continue to incorporate this feedback as they build their software, always keeping in mind their priority of reducing the burden of caregiving for persons living with dementia, while also preserving independence, and general caregiver engagement between the patient and the caregiver. 

 

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Source:  

Gilson, A., Gassman, M., Dodds, D., Lombardo, R., Ford II, J. H., & Potteiger, M. (2022). Refining a Digital Therapeutic Platform for Home Care Agencies in Dementia Care to Elicit Stakeholder Feedback: Focus Group Study With Stakeholders. JMIR aging, 5(1), e32516.  https://aging.jmir.org/2022/1/e32516/  

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