Dementia residents and caregivers say invest in direct care, not research: survey

Most people with dementia and their caregivers would rather have funding go toward resources in short-term and long-term care settings rather than research for a cure, a new survey has found.

A nationwide survey interviewed 700 people with dementia and their providers from Alzheimer's disease advocacy and patient-support groups. The participants were asked to rank how funding from the National Alzheimer's Project Act should be used.

Short term and long-term care support ranked first and second. respectively, while research for curative medicines and treatments came in third. Last year, more than $100 million of NAPA funding went toward searching for a cure, while only $10 million went to care services and education, according to the Department of Health and Human Services.

The study, published in the Journal of Gerontological Nursing, also found that respondents preferred that not all research funding be used for finding a cure. The money could also be used for workforce issues, impact on quality of life, therapies and treatments.

"Sure, most people in our surveys would love for there to be a cure, but in the meantime, they all have this disease and they need help," said head researcher Davina Porock, Ph.D.

Other main priorities of the participants were to have NAPA funding go towards education, training and awareness of the disease.