Assisting those whose lives are touched by dementia, directly or indirectly, is the focus of research by Katherine Judge, Ph.D., of Cleveland State University.
“Most people are on their own when it comes to navigating the illness,” said Dr. Judge, associate professor of psychology at CSU and adjunct senior research scientist at the Benjamin Rose Institute on Aging.
Individuals with dementia and their family caregivers are at risk for a wide range of negative health-related outcomes, including increased prevalence of chronic health conditions; depressive and anxiety symptoms; increased stress and social isolation; and emotional and physical care-related health strains, according to Dr. Judge.
She develops non-pharmacological intervention programs that address dementia care needs and related issues.
One such program, ANSWERS – which stands for Acquiring New Skills While Enhancing Remaining Strengths – provides practical, easy-to-use cognitive rehabilitation and counseling-based skills for managing the cognitive, functional and behavioral symptoms of dementia while addressing the social, emotional and mental health concerns of individuals with dementia as well as their family caregivers.
Another program, Partners in Dementia Care, is testing a telephone based model for delivering comprehensive care through partnerships created by a health-care organization, such as a VA medical center, and a local Alzheimer’s association chapter.
“In both programs, we’ve found a wide range of beneficial outcomes for individuals with dementia and their family caregivers, including improved well-being, decreased care-related strains and strengthening of their social support system by addressing unmet care needs,” Dr. Judge said.
Have a look at the CSU Office of Research’s Featured Researcher video series for more on Dr. Judge’s work.