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2006 Grant - McCann
Why Don't People With Alzheimer's Disease Use More Community Services?
Judith J. McCann, D.N.Sc.
Rush University Medical Center
2006 Investigator-Initiated Research Grant
As Alzheimer's disease progresses, an individual's personal care requirements increase and a family often has difficulty meeting the needs of the person with Alzheimer's. Despite the high need for support, only 10 to 15 percent of caregivers use respite services, adult day services and support groups-programs designed to relieve them of some of the physical and emotional demands of care.
Previous studies have shown that caregivers of older adults or adults with chronic illnesses do not use community services for a number of reasons, including lack of knowledge about services, lack of funds, lack of transpor-tation, and general attitudes and beliefs about using community services.
Few studies have examined factors that affect the use of community services by people with Alzheimer's disease and their caregivers. Studies that have looked at this issue have not teased out details about what kind of services- such as caregiver respite or adult day care-are used or not used. And little is known about how socioeconomic factors and ethnicity affect choices.
In this investigation, Judith McCann, D.N.Sc., and colleagues will recruit a total of 240 white, black and Hispanic community-dwelling persons with Alzheimer's disease from Alzheimer diagnostic centers and adult day care sites in Chicago. Through questionnaires and interviews with the clients' caregivers, the researchers hope to better understand current barriers to community service use and to develop strategies for overcoming them.
Findings from this work may lead to interventions that help caregivers make appropriate use of available services, resulting in a better quality of life for caregivers and individuals with Alzheimer's disease.