When a person living with dementia moves into a long term care facility, their family members remain involved in their care. They learn new roles and make significant and often stressful adjustments. These caregivers are an at-risk group, and evidence suggests that their mental health may actually worsen after the person they are caring for moves into long term care. The research team previously created a free, web-based, interactive, intervention called My Tools 4 Care-In Care (MT4C-In Care) and tested it with 37 caregivers in Alberta. Caregivers found the toolkit to be easy to use, feasible, acceptable, and satisfactory, and reported increased hope and decreased loss and grief, after using it. Additionally, they reported that the toolkit helped them through the transitions they experience when their family member lives in long term care.
In this next study we want to see if MT4C-In Care can improve the quality of life, hope, social support, self-efficacy, and decrease the loss, grief and loneliness of family caregivers. During phase 1 the existing MT4C-In Care toolkit was reviewed with input from family caregivers of persons living with dementia in long term care through focus group interviews. The toolkit is now being revised and will be tested, during phase 2, with 280 caregivers of persons living with dementia in long term care across 4 provinces in Canada (Alberta, Ontario, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba). These caregivers will be randomly assigned into an intervention (caregivers with access to MT4C-In Care) and a control group (no access to MT4C-In Care).