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Home intervention 'can help dementia carers'

Home intervention 'can help dementia carers'
1st September 2010

A new trial of a home intervention scheme for people with dementia and their carers has shown positive results.

US researchers designed the Care of Persons with Dementia in their Environments (COPE) method with the intention of reducing overall levels of distress for patients and their carers.

An article in the Journal of the American Medical Association notes that regular direct contact with dementia patients can cause stress and a reduced quality of life for both parties.

However, by simply having professional health workers making 12 home visits in four months, allowing carers to discuss support and identify stressors, the programme significantly improved quality of life.

"The intervention sought to re-engage patients in daily activities and increase functionality, thereby alleviating caregiver burden," said study lead author Dr Laura Gitlin.

According to the Alzheimer's Research Trust, more than 820,000 people in the UK are currently living with some form of dementia.