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Geisinger enrolling patients, caregivers in dementia care study

Geisinger is enrolling people with dementia and their caregivers in a national research study that will compare three models of dementia care over an 18-month period.

The effects of dementia include memory loss, confusion and disorientation, poor balance and falls, incontinence, swallowing disorders, recurring pneumonia and behavioral issues. These conditions often lead to caregiver stress and illness.

As healthcare systems work to provide the best care for both dementia patients and their caregivers, the D-CARE study will compare three different approaches to dementia care.

Patients and caregivers enrolled in the study will be randomly assigned to one of three groups:

• Enhanced care, which includes 24/7 access to the Alzheimer’s Association hotline and referrals to local support programs and resources;

• Community-based care, which includes support from a trained care consultant from the Alzheimer’s Association, check-ins via phone and access to additional resources; or

• Health system-based care, which includes telemedicine video visits with a dedicated dementia care specialist who works with your primary care doctor.

The lead investigator on the study is Maya Lichtenstein, M.D., Geisinger neurologist.

Participants will complete questionnaires at enrollment and through phone calls at regular intervals throughout the study. Patients will receive $20 at enrollment and $15 after 18 months (total of $35). Caregivers will receive $20 at enrollment and after 18 months (total of $40). No in-person visits are necessary, and participants do not need to have a Geisinger primary care provider.

Interested patients and caregivers may call 570-808-7215 or visit geisinger.org/dcare.

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