Grant Supports Partnership to Translate CARAH’S Evidence-Based Intervention for Dementia Patients and their Caregivers into Home Care
PHILADELPHIA, Pa. — December 3, 2007 — Former first Lady Rosalynn Carter and others have sounded the alarm to researchers and clinicians across the country: there is a national caregiving crisis that must be addressed immediately. Research has shown that the physical and emotional demands of caregiving are profound resulting in caregiver depression and heightened risk for illness and mortality. Ms. Carter put the crisis into perspective, “As the ratio of individuals with caregiving needs continues to escalate, the strains on the health of caregivers and on the nation’s economy are becoming apparent and will only escalate if we do not act now.”
Fox Rehabilitation – Geriatric Therapy at Home of Cherry Hill, NJ, and Jefferson’s Center for Applied Research on Aging and Health (CARAH) have answered Ms. Carter’s call to action. Fox Rehabilitation, a physical and occupational therapy practice specializing in geriatric home care, together with CARAH, is one of five national recipients of the Rosalynn Carter Institute for Caregiving (RCI) Johnson & Johnson Award. The purpose of these awards is to support innovative partnerships between researchers and practitioners to implement evidence-based programs to enhance the well-being of family caregivers of individuals with Alzheimer’s disease or related disorders.
The grant will allow CARAH to translate its tested caregiver intervention programs for use by Fox Rehabilitation clinicians who will be trained to assess the needs and concerns of family caregivers and teach caregivers knowledge and specific skills to manage daily caregiving challenges to reduce their own stress and the well-being of the dementia patient. Fox Rehabilitation will be working in tandem with Laura N. Gitlin, PhD, Director of the Center for Applied Research on Aging and Health (CARAH) at Thomas Jefferson University and her colleagues. Dr. Gitlin is a nationally recognized researcher with over 15 years of experience in dementia research.
Fox Rehabilitation and CARAH share Johnson & Johnson and RCI’s mission to bridge the gap between academia and home-based practice by translating dementia research into services and training for patients and their caregivers. Tim Fox, MS, PT, founder of Fox Rehabilitation, expressed his excitement for the collaboration with CARAH, “Dr. Gitlin and her colleagues have developed a protocol for caregiver education and skills training based on years of research. The goal of our partnership is to translate and integrate her protocol into traditional OT/PT care while maintaining the fidelity of her research. Dr. Gitlin’s research aligns with Fox Rehabilitation’s mission and goals, so it is only fitting that we collaborate.”
The program will be piloted in March 2008 with 30 caregivers in the Philadelphia area. If the program proves to be a success, Fox Rehabilitation will offer the service to their clients in New York, Delaware, and Virginia. “The training will enhance the skill set of OTs and PTs who interact with families dealing with dementia and enable them to provide CARAH’s systematic and proven program to enhance caregiver well-being and their ability to care for their family member with dementia. If this pilot is successful, our caregiving training program has the potential to impact families along the East Coast. This is very exciting and reflects our ultimate goal ,” Dr. Gitlin projects.
Founded by Tim Fox, MS, PT, in 1998, Fox Rehabilitation is a physical and occupational therapy practice specializing in geriatric home care. The mission of Fox Rehabilitation is to provide the highest quality rehabilitation to the geriatric community with compassion and respect, while promoting optimal function and meaningful lives. Fox Rehabilitation employs 180 full-time physical and occupational therapists out of its Cherry Hill, New Jersey headquarters. For more information, visit www.foxrehab.org, or call 877-40-REHAB.
Founded by Dr. Laura Gitlin, the Center for Applied Research on Aging and Health (CARAH), in the College of Health Professions of Thomas Jefferson University, seeks to improve the lives of older adults through research, training of health professionals and implementation of evidence-based clinical services. CARAH is committed to enhancing the quality of life for older adults and family caregivers by developing, testing and disseminating innovative community and home-based health and human services. CARAH explores opportunities for academic-community partnerships and facilitates interdisciplinary approaches to problems of public health importance covering the topics of physical frailty, health disparities, dementia care, end of life comfort care, healthy aging, aging at home in place and quality of life issues. Learn more about CARAH’s research at http://www.jefferson.edu/jchp/carah/