Assessing the Utility and Effectiveness of Monitoring Technology for Reducing Caregiver Burden for Alzheimer's Disease




Ahn, Soongjin


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Although some caregivers (CGs) for a person with dementia (PWD) report positive aspects of caregiving, psychosocial health of CGs is often negatively affected. CGs comment about the worry they experience regarding the safety of PWD, including getting lost. Use of a smartwatch featuring GPS tracking has been proposed as a means to reduce CG burden, but remains largely untested. This pilot study will yield evidence about the efficacy of a technology that represents a new generation in dementia care. Purpose: to assess the usability and user satisfaction of a wearable technology-based approach to interact with a PWD. The goal is to enroll 35 PWD and CG dyads selected from UNTHSC Gerontology Assessment and Planning Program Clinic. The CG completes a pre-survey about their level of caregiver burden. After trial period of three months, a post-survey will be administered to the CG. Demographics of CGs based on their gender and relationship to the PWD were analyzed to explore the types of individuals willing to participate in this study. Striking proportion of CGs were female, approximately 50% were spouses; 30% were adult children; 4.5% were siblings and 9% were categorized as "others." Twenty-five dyads are enrolled to date, but no post-survey data are currently available. Barriers so far were no-show appointments and PWD's lack of participation in wearing the technology. These limitations will be investigated further in addition to analyzing the post-surveys to determine the efficacy of this type of wearable technology for dementia care.