- Carol Podgorski, PhD, MPH, MS Associate Professor of Psychiatry, University of Rochester, Rochester, NY
- John Rolland, MD, MPH, Professor of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences, Northwestern University, Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago, IL
Because individuals with dementia become increasingly dependent upon others as their illness progresses, dementia care requires the involvement and commitment of others, usually family, along with support from community resources. The quality and effectiveness of a person’s dementia care are largely shaped by the foundation of family relationships and their social and community networks. While most current dementia care models incorporate patient-centered care principles and acknowledge the critical role of family member caregivers, these approaches tend to focus narrowly on individual caregivers and their dyadic relationship with the person with dementia. They underappreciate the broader relational impact of dementia on couples and families and how family relationships affect care outcomes. Understanding of family history and processes can highlight both untapped resources and threats to effective treatment. Using a multisystemic family model, this presentation will illustrate the value of screening and assessing family processes to promote optimal dementia care; support use of periodic consultations at key junctures in the illness to capture changes in individual family members and family development that may impede adherence to the plan of care; and identify ways in which standard dementia care practices may compromise delivery of safe, ethical care. Because the incorporation of relational care into dementia practice requires interprofessional education, this session will also address professional roles and responsibilities by discipline regarding post-diagnostic care, team collaboration, and communication skills.
- Explain how patterns of family functioning can support or impede person-centered dementia care practices
- Discuss how family relationships influence adoption and execution of the caregiver role, advance care planning, and risk of elder mistreatment
- Describe how integration of relevant information regarding family relationships into care practices can foster delivery of safe, ethical dementia care