- Melissa Welch, PhD, LMFT, Clinical Assistant Professor & Director of Research, University of Florida COM, Destin, FL
- Max Zubatsky, PhD, LMFT, Associate Professor & Program Director, Medical Family Therapy Program, Saint Louis University, St. Louis, MO
Although family-centered care has been emphasized in behavioral health (BH) practice, few family-based interventions and care models have been validated for older adults with cognitive impairment. Dementia care presents need for increased levels of family engagement due to complex care needs that can be systemically addressed within the context of primary care. Much of the literature on family-centered interventions for persons with dementia (PWD) often separate caregiver data from PWD data. Healthcare warrants more systemic tracking of outcomes to demonstrate that family engagement makes a significant impact in older adult health (e.g., primary caregiver involvement leads to improved ADLs). With increasing numbers of geriatric issues in primary care and integrated BH care, the coordination of community resources and development of more non-pharmacological approaches to dementia and older adult issues (e.g., validation therapy, reminiscence therapy, Cognitive Stimulation Therapy) are imperative. This presentation will provide a brief report on current trends related to care for older adults with dementia including evidence-based approaches and opportunities for future growth and improved family engagement. While traditional “pull” interventions such as traditional office visits have demonstrated usefulness, the pandemic has made delivery of these interventions increasingly challenging, requiring greater accessibility for underserved patients and families outside of the clinical setting. Therefore, development of “push” interventions to implement within geriatric care (e.g., group home visits, community-level activities for families and caregivers) is greatly needed in both peri- and post-pandemic landscapes. Using case examples and pilot data from group interventions, we will demonstrate how team-based care and new “push” interventions can overcome common obstacles and promote collaborative, beneficial care for both PWD and their family caregivers.
- Participants will be able to identify current evidence-based family engagement interventions for PWD and family caregivers.
- Participants will be able to describe opportunities for improved "push" interventions to implement with this population.
- Participants will be able to discuss areas of needed research to promote the significance of systemic and family-centered intervention with this popul