Do you care for someone with dementia?
Do you sometimes find things difficult?
A recent survey of the Alzheimer’s Society found that nine in 10 carers for people with dementia experience feelings of stress or anxiety several times a week. Many carers also find it very difficult to access any help and support that requires them to leave the house and take time out from their caring commitments or they may live many miles from the person they support and not be identified as a “carer” by their own GP. This highlights the pressing need to provide support that takes the unique circumstances of carers into consideration – support that is tailored, effective and easily accessible.
To address this, researchers at Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust and the Alzheimer’s Society are running a research trial “Caring for Me and You”, investigating whether different kinds of support, delivered online, can help family and friends who provide care for someone with dementia to cope with feelings of stress, anxiety or depression.
The researchers are looking for volunteers to help test three online packages. Carers who are experiencing stress or low mood are invited to register if they are over 18, live in the UK, and are comfortable using a computer. Participants will need access to a PC or Windows laptop and an internet connection. Packages involve 20 sessions, each lasting 20 minutes, which can be completed in the person’s own time over a period of up to six months. Participants will need to fill out questionnaires online at the start, after 12 weeks and after 26 weeks to measure whether the package they have been assigned has been of benefit.
Volunteers for the study do not need to be the primary caregiver – children, grandchildren and friends, for example, are invited to register and complete the online screening questionnaires to see if they are eligible to take part.
Dr Jane Fossey, of the Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust and lead researcher on the study, says: “This study could have important implications for how carers of people with dementia are supported to manage stress and depression – the results from this trial could open up a whole host of new ways for them to access help and advice. If shown to be effective, Caring For Me and You could pave the way for a national roll-out of this tailored and accessible support. “
For more information, or to register, please visit www.caringformeandyou.org.uk