175424 SESSION ABSTRACT - A Qualitative Approach to Inform Practice: Innovative Supports for Alzheimer's Caregivers

Tuesday, October 28, 2008: 2:50 PM

Clemelia Richardson, PhD, LCSW , Bureau of Human Services, Houston Department of Health and Human Services, Houston, TX
Janice M. Paul, PhD , Bureau of Health Planning and Evaluation, Houston Department of Health and Human Services, Houston, TX
Approximately, 4.5 million people are living with Alzheimer's disease (AD). Research indicates family members are the primary source of support for this population. Estimates project that by 2050, 16 million Americans could be diagnosed with AD (Friedman, 2007). There is likely to be a significant increase associated with Alzheimer's family caregiving. Additionally, services and supports should be tailored to the diverse needs of these caregivers.

To respond to this growing need, Harris County Area Agency on Aging (HCAAA) successfully launched Conversations with Caregivers and The Book of Alzheimer's for African-American Churches (The Book). These resources: (1) address the multiple needs of diverse Alzheimer's caregivers; (2) integrate their voice in services; and (3) blend formal and informal supports for this population. Conversations with Caregivers goes beyond traditional support group models by utilizing caregivers' input to augment AAA services. This quarterly forum offers caregiver selected educational topics and provides opportunities for mutual support. The Book is a tool to train churches on innovative ways to address challenges related to Alzheimer's caregiving. Qualitative evaluation from both is shaping development of standardized training modules for Alzheimer's caregivers and communities.

The purpose of this presentation is to demonstrate the utilization of a qualitative approach in the design, implementation and evaluation of services. Specifically, this workshop will (1) trace the evolution of Conversations with Caregivers; (2) summarize evaluation information from The Book; and (3) discuss HCAAA's Alzheimer's caregivers training modules for implementation in churches and community settings.


Learning Objectives:
By the end of this workshop, participants will be able to: 1. Identify three service models that address the needs of Alzheimer’s caregivers 2. Describe how to integrate qualitative data into service delivery 3. Discuss a process to blend organizational goals and caregivers’ needs

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: My current professional responsibilities include clinical oversight of staff working with this population. I spearheaded the development and implementation of Conversations with Caregivers, a support for Alzheimer's caregivers. Additionally, my dissertation research addresses family caregivers in general.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.