March 11, 2015

EDC to Develop Dementia Care Training and Implementation Initiative for Professional and Family Caregivers

WALTHAM, MA | EDC will design a comprehensive training and implementation initiative for Boston-based Seniorlink to promote evidence-based care for individuals with dementia being cared for at home. In collaboration with Seniorlink, through its operating subsidiary Caregiver Homes, and Northeastern University, EDC will develop an interactive training program and support system for Seniorlink staff, family caregivers, and care recipients designed to maximize the ability of older adults with dementia to remain at home if they choose, instead of going into a nursing home.

“Research has identified effective strategies for caring for individuals with dementia and for enhancing the engagement and well-being of family members who are increasingly caring for loved ones at home while also juggling other responsibilities,” said Brad Karlin, Ph.D., ABPP, EDC’s chief of mental health and aging. “We are excited about this new collaboration and the opportunity it provides to empower family caregivers and to best enable older adults with dementia to remain at home, in their communities, and close to those they love.”

Over the past several months, a team of Northeastern University researchers, led by Irina Todorova, Ph.D. and Alice Bonner, Ph.D., R.N., conducted in-depth interviews with Seniorlink staff, leadership, consumers, and family caregivers to identify training and care needs.

“We believe caregiver needs have not been adequately addressed in public policies and programs for individuals with dementia living in the community,” said Bonner, a former director of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Division of Nursing Homes. “Enhancing understanding of the specific needs of diverse families and current practices will enable EDC to develop effective and targeted approaches.”

As part of the collaboration, EDC will design an evidence-based training program along with implementation support mechanisms to enhance and sustain the skills and competencies of Seniorlink staff and family caregivers.

“Caregiver Homes from Seniorlink is an innovative model where clinical teams support family caregivers who live with older adults and individuals with disabilities as a high quality, cost-effective alternative to facility-based care,” said David Young, Ph.D., Vice President of Seniorlink. “We are pleased to be working with EDC because of its experience and reputation in designing, developing, and evaluating evidenced-based programs and interventions.”

EDC is expanding its portfolio of programs to address critical needs in mental health and aging. The collaboration with Seniorlink builds on EDC’s body of work in mental health and on Karlin’s experience developing, implementing, and evaluating initiatives to nationally disseminate evidence-based psychological treatments and geriatric mental health programs throughout the Department of Veterans Affairs health care system.

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