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STUDY: Dementia-Focused Care Intervention Helps Elders Remain in Own Homes

February 19, 2014

A dementia-focused home care pilot program allows people with dementia to remain in their own homes and communities longer, a study found.

In the program, Maximizing Independence at Home (MIND), a nurse and a memory care coordinator made an in-home visit to people with dementia in order to assess their care needs and help develop a personalized care plan, in which family members and home care aides were involved.

Researchers evaluated MIND’s effectiveness over the course of 18 months. More than 300 people with dementia, all aged 70 and up and living in the Baltimore area, were evaluated.

The researchers found that people with dementia who participated in MIND were able to stay in their homes an average of 9.5 months longer than a control group.

“This can make a huge difference in terms of comfort, money, and quality of life for those involved,” said Quincy Miles Samus, the study’s lead author and an assistant professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.

Additionally, people with dementia who received the MIND intervention were significantly less likely to wander out of their homes, have unmet care needs, or die, the study found.

The study was published on the website of the American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry earlier this month.

— by Matthew Ozga

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