START Project needs carers for new study

MARC investigators are about to start an eight week program of education, relaxation training and counselling for carers of people living with dementia.

Researchers need to recruit carers aged 18 years or over, living in greater Melbourne, who are caring for people with dementia.

Developed in the UK, the program delivered by video conferencing was shown to be effective in reducing the rates of depression and anxiety in carers.

Before and after the eight weeks of the program, you will complete some questionnaires about your wellbeing and quality of life, and the wellbeing and quality of life of the person you care for.

According to Ellen Gaffy, research assistant, the START program will adapt the existing program for the Australian context and be the first to test this approach via video-conferencing technology, enabling access to carers living in remote areas.

Caring for someone with dementia often has adverse outcomes for the carer’s mental health, particularly depression and anxiety. Finding new ways of helping carers to understand and respond to the behaviour of the person they are looking after can help carers to manage their own mental health and reduce depression and anxiety,” Ms Gaffy said.

For further details, contact Ellen Gaffy on (03) 8387 2296 e.gaffy@nari.unimelb.edu.au