The SHARE Program: Supporting Health, Activities, Resources, and Education is a seven-session early stage intervention for care dyads (the IWD and a family CG) that takes advantage of a time when the IWD can still discuss the diagnosis and plan for the future. Communication and planning offers preventive short- and long-term benefits:1 1) IWDs feel reassured that the CG will look after their best interests later in the disease;2) CGs feel empowered to obtain resources that prevent the accumulation of stress;and 3) The erosion of health and well-being over both the short- and long-term is prevented.1,2,4 The SHARE Program is one of few evidence-based interventions that takes a dyadic approach to responding to the needs of early-stage families. Product. The proposed Fast Track project involves the development of a training curriculum package and iPad app to train care professionals to implement the SHARE Program. The package will consist of an innovative multi-module web-based learning platform to learn skills and iPad technology to be used with SHARE participants. SHARE provides education, teaches communication, and helps care dyads create a future care plan that includes the points of view of both the IWD and CG. It assists dyads in the early stages, before stressors leave CGs exhausted and IWDs become unable to express their own preferences. Our prior work found: 1) early-stage IWDs often welcome and have the intellectual competence and willingness to participate actively in discussions about their disease and plan for the future, and 2) CGs have a better understanding of care preferences and appropriate services and strategies for long term care.1-3 Phase I Objectives are to take knowledge gained from our previous controlled experimental settings and apply it to development of the technologies.
Specific Aims are to: 1) Develop content to be included in the technologies;2) Produce 2-3 prototype training modules and a prototype app, and 3) Determine the feasibility and acceptability of the training package based on evaluations from: 18 care dyads who have already gone through SHARE, 6 current SHARE counselors, and 36 dementia care professionals representing a broad range of existing community-based and health care organizations who are new to SHARE (total n=60). Phase II Objectives are to complete the development of the SHARE training package and conduct a fidelity trial to test its effectiveness on new SHARE counselors.
Specific Aims are to: 1) Produce a complete 10-module SHARE web course and develop a website that provides support and supervision materials;2) Complete development of the app that will contain key session tools for counselors to use during sessions, and 3) Conduct a full scale fidelity trial with 20 new SHARE counselors and 60 early-stage dyads (total n=80). Commercialization Potential: There is a market need for programs that train care professionals to serve a fast growing number of early-stage IWDs and their family. The SHARE Program can be implemented within existing community-based programs that increase the capability of these programs to serve this population.
Individuals who are in the early stages of dementia (IWD) and their family caregivers (CG) benefit from being active participants in the planning of the IWD's future care. An IWD's en- gagement allows them to maintain strong bonds to the family and enables CGs to understand the IWD's values, preferences, and wishes when the IWD is still able to communicate these wishes. The SHARE Program is an evidence-based multi-session program for care dyads (the IWD and CG) who are dealing with early-stage dementia. In research trials, the program has been shown to improve short term knowledge and communication and long term mood and well-being.1,2,4 The current application is to develop a SHARE Training Package consisting of a training manual, a web-based course, and apps to train care professionals who serve early- stage dyads. The value of the training package is in increasing the capability of community- based aging services organizations to provide a high level of service to families who are just entering the market for current and long term care.