Lessons learned from offering a telehealth intervention for people with dementia and their caregivers

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BACKGROUND: There is good evidence that dyadic interventions (working with people with dementia and their caregivers) are beneficial for both the person and their caregiver. Dyadic interventions typically involve information provision, education and skills training in order to work towards goals or overcome particular care challenges. A key limitation of dyadic interventions is that they have typically been delivered over a number of consultations in the person's home. In the context of scarce resources in health care and a global pandemic there has been increasing interest in how to offer evidence-based services using telehealth delivery. METHOD: In this presentation we will share our experience and tips on telehealth delivery for people with dementia and their carers. We conducted a randomised controlled trial in which 63 dyads all received the same dyadic intervention. However, 32 dyads received visits in their own home and 31 dyads used telehealth methods to access the program. We collected information about whether or not the person had existing internet access or devices and we loaned a device (connected to the internet) if required. We established procedures for troubleshooting and for ensuring that people with dementia and their carers could use the technology easily, could communicate effectively and could adapt in-person consultations to telehealth consultations. RESULT: Caregivers took primary responsibility for use of the device and scheduling appointments. The average age of caregivers was 69 in the telehealth group. None of the participants withdrew due to challenges in technology and few technological issues arose or impacted on the trial. Our experiences in using telehealth with this population will be discussed. CONCLUSION: Telehealth for people with dementia and their caregiver poses challenges however these can be overcome. Dyadic interventions can be offered using telehealth delivery and are beneficial in improving access and reducing the costs associated with travel time.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere051024
Number of pages1
JournalAlzheimer's & dementia : the journal of the Alzheimer's Association
Issue numberS7
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2021


  • Telehealth
  • Dementia
  • Carers
  • Health care delivery
  • Dyadic intervention.


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