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Caregiver training delayed admission of patients with dementia to nursing homes

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Objective

To assess the long term effectiveness of an intensive training programme for caregivers of patients with dementia in delaying nursing home admission and death.

Design

Randomised controlled trial with 8 year follow up.

Setting

Psychiatric ward of a general teaching hospital in Sydney, Australia.

Patients

96 patients (mean age 70 y, 52% men) who were diagnosed with dementia. 93 patients completed the study (65 had probable Alzheimer's disease, 21 had multi-infarct dementia, and 7 had other causes of dementia). Patients participated with their caregivers (93% spouses, mean age 68 y, 54% women).

Intervention

All patients received a 10 day programme consisting of memory retraining, occupational therapy, and relaxation techniques. Caregivers were allocated …

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