Purpose: This study explored the impact of the implementation of the GA REACH (Resources Enhancing Alzheimer’s Caregiver Health) a multicomponent, evidence-based, tailored intervention, in eleven rural counties in Georgia.
Methods: Utilizing up to nine face-to-face (in the home) and three telephone sessions, tailored education and support was provided to 85 family caregivers over a six month period. A pre-post research design was utilized to measure the impact of the intervention. Data was collected on burden, depression, health and healthy behaviors, caregiving frustrations, social support, dementia-related behaviors, and plans for institutionalization. Paired sample T-tests were used to analyze the data.
Results: From baseline to six months, caregivers reported significant (p< 0.05) decreased depression, decreased burden, improved caregiver health, and decreased behavioral problems of the care recipient. Caregivers expressed feeling empowered and more capable of addressing the needs of the care recipient.
Conclusions: Findings in this study indicate that the GA REACH caregiver support program can sustain the rural caregiver and improve the care environment for the care recipient. Hope for the current overburdened health care system includes the incorporation of caregiver support programs and referral to such programs by nursing and other health care providers, especially as the need for family caregivers will increase along with the number of older adults.
Keywords: rural; translation; caregiving; dementia; aging; evidence-based
Authors who publish with this journal agree to the following terms:
- Authors retain copyright and grant the journal right of first publication with the work simultaneously licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License that allows others to share (for non-commerical purposes) the work with an acknowledgement of the work's authorship and initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are able to enter into separate, additional contractual arrangements for the non-exclusive distribution of the journal's published version of the work (e.g., post it to an institutional repository or publish it in a book), with an acknowledgement of its initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are permitted and encouraged to post their work online (e.g., in institutional repositories or on their website) prior to and during the submission process, as it can lead to productive exchanges, as well as earlier and greater citation of published work (See The Effect of Open Access).