A yearlong pilot of a digital coaching solution meant for caregivers of dementia patients reduced ER visits by 56% and decreased hospitalizations of participants by 21%.

Seniorlink‘s care collaboration app, Vela, connects trained dementia care coaches with family caregivers of people with dementia. Its Vital Outcomes Inspired by Caregiver Engagement dementia care program uses Seniorlink’s proprietary dementia protocols, which is based on peer-reviewed models of care, behavioral science and proven caregiver engagement techniques.

Results from the pilot, conducted in Indiana, were announced at last week’s LeadingAge conference. The analysis was conducted on a pre-program, post-program basis.

“Caregivers use our guidance to take the best possible care of those they love, and the healthcare system benefits from their proactivity in minimizing, or eliminating, predictable, preventable complications associated with dementia,” said William McIvor, EVP and Chief Growth Officer of Seniorlink. “Our work has shown that when you leverage proven care protocols you can increase caregiver confidence, engage them as partners in care management, and have a profound impact on outcomes and cost savings for our healthcare system.”

The pilot focused on four key areas of coaching support: understanding dementia, communication skills, caregiver self-care, and managing dementia patient behaviors that can be challenging.

Data revealed that overall caregiver activation and satisfaction levels increased; the program yielded a 27% increase in caregiver activation, a 37% increase in caregiver knowledge, a 19% increase in caregiver confidence and an 80% improvement in caregiver satisfaction.