When talking about dementia caregiving, researchers are often working toward new treatments and strategies for supporting people with Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. But how can we push the topic further and learn how we can better support dementia caregivers themselves? Dr. Eric Larson joins the podcast to discuss possible interventions to support patients with dementia and their caregivers and care partners. Dr. Larson chaired a National Academy of Medicine committee focused on researching dementia caregiving interventions. As part of their report titled “Meeting the Challenge of Caring for Persons Living with Dementia and Their Care Partners and Caregivers: A Way Forward,” the committee found that two models, the Collaborative Care Model and REACH (Resources for Enhancing Alzheimer’s Caregiving Health), had the most evidence of benefits for supporting people with dementia and their care partners and caregivers. Discussing this new report, the recent approval of aducanumab, and the field of geriatrics as a whole, Dr. Larson shines a light on the nuances of dementia research and dementia caregiving.
Guest: Eric Larson, MD, MPH, Senior Investigator, Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute
1:07 - What sparked your interest in becoming a geriatrician and Alzheimer’s disease/dementia researcher?
2:35 - What would you say to young medical students looking for a specialty, and even considering geriatrics?
3:33 - Why do you think the field fails to attract younger doctors?
5:13 - What is the role of the National Academy of Medicine, and why did it conduct and release this report on caregiving?
7:29 - Can you offer us a brief summary of the findings or the key things that you think our audience should know about?
10:48 - What are the current limitations of the existing research on dementia care interventions for patients and caregivers, and how can we overcome those limitations?
12:38 - What is the difference between a care partner and a caregiver as you note in the report?
14:03 - What are some community, policy, or societal interventions that really should be explored?
15:46 - Does this report mean that we stop programs with low-strength of benefits, and if not, how do we continue to evaluate these programs and expand on them?
17:12 - Given the FDA approval of aducanumab, do you worry that more attention and resources will be pulled away from care work and care partner/caregiving that’s needed in research and clinical care toward this medication?
19:42 - What would you say to someone about to become an Alzheimer’s disease caregiver or care partner?
Read Dr. Eric Larson’s bio on the Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute’s website.
Find a free download of the National Academies’ report, “Meeting the Challenge of Caring for Persons Living with Dementia and Their Care Partners and Caregivers: A Way Forward,” here.
To learn more about the National Academies, find them on their website. For information about their research, publications, and events focused on dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, visit this page from their website.
Find other resources related to this report by the National Academy of Medicine here:
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