Improving Dementia Caregiving Through Interactive Web Design With the CARES® Dementia-Related Behavior Online Training Program


Previous research indicates that nonpharmacological interventions are potentially successful in managing dementia-related behavior in long-term care facilities, provided staff have the proper training to deliver these programs. However, efforts to train direct care workers in optimal dementia care must overcome multiple barriers, such as the time and cost constraints in long-term care facilities and limitations in how direct care workers can receive such training. Online training programs may offer a solution, but many current online training programs deliver content in an unengaging format. Trainees might remember key information long enough to pass a follow-up knowledge test but are highly unlikely to retain valuable information that could permanently improve care practices. Recognizing the need for a more relevant, engaging training program that could actually improve care for persons with memory loss or dementia in long-term care facilities, the CARES® Dementia-Related Behavior program was designed. Using a novel approach that integrates narrated text with video footage of real, unscripted patients and direct care workers as well as insight from experts in the field of geriatrics, the CARES Dementia-Related Behavior program received excellent reviews from users and shows promise as a means of improving care interactions. This case describes the development of the CARES® Dementia-Related Behavior program; highlights key challenges addressed during the development process; describes the filming of real, unscripted patient interactions; and explores the methods used to evaluate the program in a pilot study.

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