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Caregivers needed for study

News Leader - 9/6/2017

African-American dementia caregivers participating in the African-American Alzheimer's Caregiver Training and Support Project 2 over the past 24 months report their stress has decreased and their spiritual and emotional support has improved greatly, according to a news release.

The ACTS 2 study is currently recruiting African-American adults who provide at least six hours of direct care for a loved one with dementia and have a strong need to reduce their own stress. Caregivers are involved in the program for 12 to 14 weeks and receive up to $90 for their participation. Group facilitators are also being sought.

The free, five-year project is coordinated by Rob Glueckauf, Ph.D., a faculty member in the Florida State University College of Medicine. ACTS 2 receives financial support from VALIC Inc., the Sandy Halperin Alzheimer's Research Fund, the 11th Episcopal District of the African Methodist Episcopal Church, Florida State Primitive Baptist Convention and private donors.

"Our five-year goal," Glueckauf stated in a the news release about the program, "is to serve African-American caregivers across the entire state from Pensacola to Key West and to expand our collaboration with a wide range of African-American faith community organizations."

ACTS 1 demonstrated that telephone counseling is just as effective as in-person counseling in relieving caregivers' stress and providing support. Moreover, telephone delivery reduced the costs of transportation and respite care. Previous research has shown such expenses are major obstacles in caregivers receiving needed assistance. ACTS 2 builds on those results by using lay pastoral care workers from the African-American faith community to deliver skills training and support.

Among adult caregivers reporting high distress, African-Americans are twice as likely as non-Hispanic whites to seek assistance from faith ministries.

To register for skills-training classes, get information or make a donation, call (850) 274-4945 or toll-free 866-778-2724, or visit bit.ly/2wufItd.

 
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