September 27, 2019
(SACRAMENTO) — Agitation and aggression are just a few of the behavioral and psychological symptoms that people with Alzheimer’s disease and related disorders – and their caregivers — can have difficulty understanding and managing.
But an easy-to-use online platform, called WeCareAdvisor, aims to bridge the information gap for caregivers, who are typically family members. The tool educates caregivers about dementia and provides daily tips for managing stress. It also offers a systematic approach for describing, investigating, creating and evaluating strategies, known as the DICE approach.
UC Davis psychiatry department chair Helen Kales and Drexel University’s nursing school dean Laura Gitlin developed the platform with contributions from Constantine George Lyketsos of Johns Hopkins University.
The team received a $4 million grant from the National Institute on Aging to see if WeCareAdvisor helps to reduce behavioral symptoms and caregiver distress. It also will assess caregiver confidence in managing behavioral symptoms and seek their input on improving the tool.