Alzheimer's training can ease caregivers' burden, study finds

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Simple training for caregivers can keep their loved ones with Alzheimer's disease out of nursing homes for more than a year, according to a new study.

Mary Mittelman of New York University's School of Medicine performed the study with 406 caregivers of spouses with Alzheimer's. Half received customized training where social workers met with caregivers once a week for six weeks to assess each family's circumstances, talk about the disease and teach coping skills. Caregivers were given phone numbers to call counselors for more advice whenever they wanted. Half received just a list of resources.

While the training is not complicated, many caregivers rarely can find the time to complete the training. Another problem is that caregivers encounter waiting lists for these programs or the programs are suited only for caregivers dealing with late-stage Alzheimer's.