Studying Relationships Between Older Adults and Their Parents Living With Dementia

Kathrin BoernerRelationships between senior children and their very old parents can be complicated enough. How does those relationships change when the parent is living with dementia?

UMass Boston Gerontology associate professor Kathrin Boerner has spent two years studying the relationships between older adults and their parents, an increasingly common phenomena involving people in their 60’s and 70’s with parents living well into their 90’s. The ongoing project has already attracted broad interest and media coverage in The New York Times and The Boston Globe.

The study’s original design, funded by the National Institute on Aging, was based exclusively on interviews with senior children and their parents together. But researchers found they had to turn away a significant number of volunteering senior children whose parents, living with dementia, could not be interviewed. They were missing an important part of the story. Continue reading

Panel Recommends Ways to Improve Identification, Treatment For Hospital Patients With Dementia

Nina SilversteinHospitalization is a stressful experience for most patients. But a person with dementia typically needs three days to recover pre-hospital function for each day hospitalized.

That caution has always stuck with Nina Silverstein, a professor of Gerontology at UMass Boston’s McCormack Graduate School. She kept it in mind as a member of a state Alzheimer’s and Related Dementias Acute Care Advisory Committee.

The 16-member committee recently published its recommendations for Massachusetts hospitals treating patients with dementia. Their report is intended to drive future discussion that will ultimately shape best practices to identify dementia and/or delirium and adjust care plans accordingly. Continue reading

Measuring Dementia Caregiver Mindset That Can Impact Well-Being at Work

By Meghan Hendricksen

The way professional caregivers of persons with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia think about dementia can have a significant impact on their well-being at work. The risks of burnout and negative emotions are clear.

Lena Kunz of Groningen University in the Netherlands has conducted research focusing on professional caregivers in Germany, examining different aspects of well-being such as burnout, overall job satisfaction, affective well-being as well as self-reported behavior at work. She developed a new scale measuring the mindsets of those workers while trying to answer the question: What makes a good caregiver good at giving care? Continue reading

UMass Gerontology Alum Natalie Leland Receives $4.7M Contract for Dementia Care Research

A research team led by UMass Boston Gerontology alumna Dr. Natalie Leland has received a $4.7 million contract to compare the effectiveness of two care delivery models for nursing home residents living with dementia.

The contract from the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute will fund a five-year study comparing care models at 80 nursing homes in 10 geographic regions across the United States. More than 700,000 Americans residing in nursing homes live with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia. Continue reading

Grad Research Assistant Wendy Wang to Present Report at China Conference

A new report prepared by UMass Boston Gerontology Institute researchers on resources for elders and those living with dementia in Massachusetts will no doubt be read far and wide.

How far? Wendy Wang, the lead graduate research assistant on the report prepared for the Tufts Health Plan Foundation, will present the findings at the Chinese Congress and Exposition on Gerontology and Health Industry in Suzhou, China, next month. Continue reading

Report Focuses on Services, Needs For Elders and Those Living With Dementia

Tufts Health Plan Foundation has released a new report prepared by UMass Boston Gerontology Institute researchers that provides a comprehensive look at current activities and resources in place to support Massachusetts populations over age 65 as well as those living with dementia and their caregivers.

Researchers led by associate professor Elizabeth Dugan prepared the Report on Demographics, Programs, and Services for an Age- and Dementia-Friendly Commonwealth: What We Have and What We Need. It offers recommendations for building age- and dementia-friendly communities, identifies gaps in resources for this growing population and includes strategies to increase those supports. Continue reading

McCormack Professor Nina Silverstein On Innovative Care For Patients With Dementia

Nina Silverstein was one of 40 experts worldwide who contributed to a ground-breaking new study of innovation in dementia treatment, prevention and care across the world’s largest developed countries.

 “Dementia has no borders,” said Silverstein, a professor of Gerontology at the McCormack Graduate School at UMass Boston. “Addressing the challenges of living with dementia while researching prevention, treatment and ultimate cures takes innovation and commitment on a global level.” Continue reading