Facebook App Offers Opportunity to Help Unpaid Alzheimer’s Caregivers via Friendsourcing

Medical researchers, in cooperation with technical and social media workers, have created a new app for Facebook that may be able to help ease the burden many people face when providing care to loved ones suffering form Alzheimer’s Disease. Working out of Purdue University in Indianapolis, a core campus that is part of the Indiana University system, the researchers hope the app will not only provide support and reassurance to these caregivers, but also help spread word about their plight and encourage others to pitch in.

Alzheimer’s Disease is a cognitive disorder marked by increasing failure in memory, to the point where even basic functions become beyond the patient to handle. Patients will forget loved ones, forget where they live, how to dress themselves, and more. It’s a frightening disease, and many advanced Alzheimer’s Disease patients require round the clock care, sometimes even constant monitor least they wander away from home in a confused state and get themselves into dangerous situations.

Providing care for someone who has lost the ability to function as an independent person is a full time and incredibly stressful job. Though most caregivers are doing so for a loved one whom they do want to help, the toll it places on the caregiver can mount to dangerous levels that leave many at risk for medical, mental, or emotional problems of their own.

Key Points:

  • 1It is possible to improve the stress, burden and support caregivers can receive through online peer support interventions.
  • 2Caregivers experienced feelings of increased support when their Facebook friends enlist as support group members and answer their questions.
  • 3This is the first study that focused on using telehealth innovations like friendsourcing to deliver online support to Alzheimer’s caregivers.

Studies have shown that caregivers have higher rates of depression, anxiety, insomnia and cardiovascular disease.

See the original at: https://medicalxpress.com/news/2018-05-facebook-app-opportunity-unpaid-alzheimer.html

Do you need help in the area of Dementia Care?   Check out this available resource:   Fit Minds Family Caregiver Program


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