Helmholtz Association

Improving care for dementia patients

Helmholtz Zentrum München – German Research Center for Environmental Health

Gerade bei Demenzerkrankungen sind die Angehörigen des Patienten mit der Betreuung häufig überfordert. Foto: shuterstockRead more


Beratungsangebote müssen weiter verbessert werden, damit Patienten mit Demenz länger zu Hause wohnen können. Foto: shuterstock

A large number of people with dementia are currently cared for at home, mostly by relatives who are supported by community services and their general practitioners.

This approach demonstrably reduces the high cost of care for society as a whole. However, in the coming decades the proportion of very old people who have a particularly high risk of developing dementia will increase. At the same time relatives will no longer be able to provide the same amount of care. So what can be done to postpone the admission of seniors with dementia to expensive nursing homes? This question was addressed in an IDA study conducted by Professor Rolf Holle of the Institute of Health Economics and Health Care Management at the Helmholtz Zentrum München in collaboration with colleagues from the Erlangen University Medical Center. The researchers observed 390 dementia patients still living in their home environments and tested various support services for family caregivers in comparison to routine care. An important factor was the provision of easily accessible caregiver counseling by specially trained personnel. At the end of the four-year study, no significant differences were detected in terms of caregiver burden or the length of time before seniors had to be admitted to a nursing home. “These unexpected results in a major study with high methodological standards show that several obstacles may exist that prevent potentially helpful interventions from yielding expected impacts under routine care conditions. These obstacles include acceptance thresholds among relatives,” explains Holle. Care strategies must therefore be individualised to find the best solution for each family. This and the careful choice of the time point for intervention seem to be important factors in further developing dementia care.

Helmholtz Zentrum München/Red.

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Helmholtz Zentrum München




Dr. Phillip Hahn

Research Field Health

Helmholtz Association

Phone: +49 30 206329-15
phillip.hahn (at) helmholtz.de

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