Care-planning intervention for people living with early-stage dementia

Orsulic-Jeras, S.  et al. The SHARE program for dementia: Implementation of an early-stage dyadic care-planning intervention. Dementia. Published online before print October 13, 2016.

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This article describes the implementation of SHARE (Support, Health, Activities, Resources, and Education), a counseling-based care-planning intervention for persons living with early-stage dementia and their family caregivers (CGs).

The foundation of SHARE is built upon assessing and documenting the person living with dementia’s care values and preferences for future care. Using the SHARE approach, CGs are given an opportunity to achieve an understanding of their loved one’s desires before the onset of disease progression when the demand for making care decisions is high.

Through working together with a SHARE Counselor, the care dyad begins to identify other sources of support, such as family and friends and service providers, in order to build a more balanced and realistic plan of care for the future.

Data were collected from 40 early-stage dementia care dyads to determine the acceptability of having structured discussions about future care in the early stages of dementia.

Findings from this study demonstrate the importance of planning in the early stages when persons with dementia can voice their care values and preferences for future care. Finally, this paper illustrates the use of supportive strategies such as rapport building, establishing buy-in, and communication to initiate care-related discussions with care dyads in the early stages that will help lead to more effective decision making in the future.

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