Rural Support for Care Partners of People with Dementia

People talking to each other in a support group setting

Award Date: 2017

Project Lead(s): Paul Yost, Enhancing Care Counsellor

Project Title: Rural Support for Care Partners for People with Dementia

What is the issue?

In rural areas, there is a lack of support for care partners looking after loved ones with dementia. As a result, there are more trips to emergency rooms for help with providing dementia care.

What did we do?

We provided a support group for eight care partners to attend. At the same time, we held a recreational program for their loved ones with dementia.

What did we find?

Care partners felt like they could focus better while participating in the support group, knowing that their loved ones with dementia were looked after in the social recreation program. Care partners felt more supported and benefited from the education and coping strategies provided. The program significantly reduced caregiver burden: 50 percent said they felt less burned out, and emergency room visits declined to zero after the last eight months of the program compared six before the program started.