support group for caregivers of older adults affected by dementia

Report
By:
Yalda Nasrollahzadeh
California State University, Long Beach
May, 2013
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Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is the most common cause of dementia, and it is
the sixth leading cause of death in the country.
The number of people who are diagnosed with dementia worldwide is now
estimated at 35.6 million and will more than triple to 115.4 million by 2050
(World Health Organization , 2012).
People with dementia account for the majority of healthcare users and are at a
higher risk to be hospitalized (California Council, 2009).
Nearly 66 million Americans provide informal care to individuals who are
unable to take care of themselves (National Alliance for Caregiving, 2009).
Caregivers of patients with dementia are more vulnerable to stress and other
mental and physical health problems compared to other types of caregivers.
Programs for caregivers are limited, which is a key issue according to a 2012
World Health Organization report titled Dementia: A Public Health Priority
(WHO, 2012).
Goal:
The goal of this program is to develop and implement a support
group for caregivers at the Silverado Senior Living Center in
Calabasas.
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Caregivers face the brunt of this increasing burden and often
experience mental and physical deterioration. This directly leads
to a poor quality of life as caregivers face increased risk in
depression and other illnesses.
The key phrase when working with caregivers is to enhance
human well-being. Caregivers need an outlet to express their
emotions and issues in a supporting environment. Social workers
are the catalysts for caregivers to reflect and take action towards
improving their quality of life.
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The target population for this grant proposal was
homogenous, however, the need for cultural awareness
is very clear. What works for one culture may not
work for another.
Culture adds to the complexity of finding the best
solution for helping caregivers
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Target population: The program’s target audience will be formal
and informal adult caregivers within the network of the host
agency. The network includes the geographic areas of the Conejo
Valley and San Fernando Valley, California.
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Strategies used to identify and select a funding source: In an
effort to identify a funding source and grant application the grant
writer used a holistic approach that included the following five
steps: Step 1 – identify criteria; Step 2 – gather data; Step 3 – filter
data; Step 4 – apply scores and weights for each criterion and
funding source (three perspectives); Step 5 – select funding source
with rational.
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Identify the funding source selected: To identify the funding
program probability of success, alignment of goals, funding
amounts and sustainability of source were considered and
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Sources used for the needs assessment: To assess the needs of a
support group for caregivers, a thorough analysis of research and
interviews were conducted to determine the priority level of such a
group. Consultation with staff members and formal and informal
caregivers of people with dementia assisted in identifying the need for
caregiver support groups at the Silverado Senior Living. Additional
information regarding dementia, dementia caregiver education, and
caregiver self-care was gathered from the Alzheimer’s Association,
literature such as journals, and the World Wide Web.
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Projected budget range and categories: The budget for year
one will be approximately $50,000. A total of $34,000 of it will
be for the program development and planning and $16,000 for
the operating activities once the program starts.
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Program Summary and Description: There are four overarching objectives in the dual
support program. Each objective will produce a specific outcome, which in turn will
contribute to the ultimate goal of improving the quality of life for caregivers. The first
objective is to facilitate forums for caregivers to share information. The outcome is a
stable and reliable program that meets the demand of caregivers. The second objective is
to increase awareness of the importance of caregivers. The outcome is to have an
awareness level throughout the community that aligns with the importance of
caregiving. The third objective is to provide skills on how to effectively manage the
caregiver-patient relationship. The outcome is for each caregiver in the program to have
the skill set necessarily to be an effective caregiver for his or her patient. The fourth and
last objective is to provide information and resources for managing the caregiver’s
health. The outcome is for each caregiver to have a complete understanding of the stress
points in caregiving and how to successfully manage his or her own physical and mental
well-being. The link between objectives and outcomes will be tied through meticulous
planning and evaluation.
Population Served: The program’s target audience will be formal and informal adult
caregivers within the network of the host agency. The network includes the geographic
areas of the Conejo Valley and San Fernando Valley, California. Cities within these areas
include Calabasas, Malibu, Westlake Village, Thousand Oaks, Agoura Hills, Woodland
Hills, Tarzana, and Encino.
Sustainability: These programs will have a major impact in the development of caregiver
support groups at Silverado but also to serve as a model example for future research
adopted by the Alzheimer’s Association.
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Program Objectives: There are four objectives in the dual support program.
Each objective will produce a specific outcome, which in turn will contribute
to the ultimate goal of improving the quality of life for caregivers.
The first objective is to facilitate forums for caregivers to share information.
The second objective is to increase awareness of the importance of caregivers.
The third objective is to provide skills on how to effectively manage the
caregiver-patient relationship.
The fourth and last objective is to provide information and resources for
managing the caregiver’s health.
Program Evaluation: The staff dedicated to the dual support program will meet
once a month to discuss the progression of each objective and overall health of the
program. If improvements are needed, then an action plan will be developed to
make sure objectives are on track. On a quarterly basis, the dedicated staff will
report the progress of the program to upper management. These quarterly
meetings will also allow staff to escalate unresolved questions/issues.
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There are many funding sources available, so knowing what to
look for in a source takes time and experience. This approach has
a universal application and will serve as a beneficial tool for future
projects.
Research was the most time consuming yet most educational.
Knowledge of dementia and caregiving was limited prior to
starting the grant writer’s thesis, but after reading numerous
articles and analyzing the different therapies, the grant writer’s
understanding of the research landscape become clearer.
The literature review allowed the grant writer’s proposal and
funding source selection to be more accurate.
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California Council (2009). Alzheimer’s disease facts and figures in California: Current
status and future projections. Retrieved from http://www.caalz.org/PDF_files
/CADataReport-3-9.pdf
National Alliance for Caregiving. (2009). Caregiving in the U.S.: Executive summary.
Retrieved from
http://www.caregiving.org/data/CaregivingUSAllAgesExecSum.pdf
World Health Organization. (2012). Dementia cases set to triple by 2050 but still largely
ignored. Retrieved from http://www.who.int/mediacentre/news/releases/2012/
dementia_20120411/en/index.html

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