Research

There are multiple opportunities for families, persons with memory loss/other chronic conditions, and care professionals to participate in research projects that seek to design and evaluate innovative programs.

Summary of Current Projects

*Indicates projects or studies where you can get involved.
†Indicates projects or studies directed by the Families and LTC Projects.

University of Minnesota Caregiver Registry* †
Becoming part of the registry provides the Families and Long-Term Care Projects permission to contact you in the future about any upcoming opportunities to participate in our research as well other basic information. It does not enroll you in any study.

Sign up online:
Family Members
Professionals

CarFreeMe* †
The loss of one’s ability to drive during Alzheimer’s disease and Alzheimer’s related dementias (AD/ADRD) may adversely influence sense of identity as well as independence. This project will feature an international collaboration between the University of Minnesota and the University of Queensland to tailor and examine the feasibility of a novel adaption of CarFreeMe, a seven-module support program to help families and their cognitively impaired relatives navigate the driving cessation transition in joint fashion.

Geriatrics Workforce Enhancement Program (GWEP)*
Goals of this collaborative are to educate and train Minnesota’s primary care and geriatrics workforce to care for older adults in integrated models and to partner with community-based organizations across the state to address gaps in the care of older adults. Current initiatives for the Families and Long-Term Care Projects team are state outreach by Dr. Gaugler through presentations in each of the 87 counties in Minnesota and offering resources and referrals to attendees following these presentations.

Adult Day Service Plus Program (ADS Plus) †
This study will evaluate the effectiveness, cost benefit, and implementation potential of a caregiver support program within adult day services for older adults. Over 50 adult day programs across the US and 200 or more family caregivers and older adult clients living with dementia will be enrolled in this study.

African Immigrant Memory Loss Project †
The goal of this project is to fill the gap in knowledge of dementia prevalence, care needs, and resources among African immigrants in Minnesota. A community-engaged assessment will be conducted, based on our partnership with the African Career, Education, and Resources, Inc. (ACER) and guided by a project advisory board.

The NIA IMPACT Collaboratory
The National Institute on Aging (NIA) Imbedded Pragmatic AD/ADRD Clinical Trials (IMPACT) Collaboratory works to build the nation’s capacity to conduct pragmatic clinical trials of interventions embedded within health care systems for people living with dementia and their caregivers. The goals of the IMPACT Collaboratory are to:

  • Develop and disseminate best practice research methods;
  • Support design and conduct of pragmatic trials, including pilot studies;
  • Build investigator capacity through training and knowledge generation;
  • Catalyze collaboration among stakeholders, healthcare providers, and investigators; and
  • Ensure the research includes culturally-tailored interventions and people from diverse and under-represented backgrounds.

A Mobile Informatics Solution to Aid in Memory
The objective of this Small Business Innovation Research Award is to develop, test, and evaluate a Smartwatch Reminder (SR) System for persons with memory concerns (PWMC) and their care partners.

The BOLD Public Health Center of Excellence on Dementia Caregiving
The Public Health Center of Excellence on Dementia Caregiving employs a public health dissemination strategy to achieve the outcomes of increasing access to topic-specific tools and materials and increasing use of topic-specific best practices and proven strategies to support unpaid caregivers of people living with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias (ADRD). The Center features a robust, engaged network of 17 leading national organizations that represent caregivers of people with ADRD from diverse communities, care contexts/settings, and backgrounds.

Designing and Evaluating a Comprehensive Support Program for Families Caring for Relatives Living with TBI-AD/ADRD

This study will be the first of its kind to develop a support program for caregivers of people living with traumatic brain injury as well as Alzheimer’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease related dementia (TBI-AD/ADRD). We call this program the TBI-AD/ADRD Caregiver Support Intervention (TACSI).

Addressing the Needs of Key Subgroups of Caregivers of Persons with Dementia After Loss Using Self-Determination Theory: A Mixed Methods Approach

This project aims to understand the needs of bereaved AD/ADRD caregivers while accounting for the differences in the ways those needs are satisfied among key subgroups. The wider goal of this research is to use the understanding of bereaved AD/ADRD caregivers’ needs to create interventions to satisfy those needs, thereby reducing the clinical and subclinical consequences of bereavement.

The Porchlight Project

Recommendations of the National Alzheimer’s Project Act as well as the National Research Summits on Care, Services, and Supports for Persons with Dementia and their Caregivers have called for continued creation of innovative, scalable, and sustainable community-based supports for older persons with Alzheimer’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease related dementias (AD/ADRD) and their caregivers. The proposed real-world efficacy trial (Stage III of the NIH Stage Model) features an established collaboration between Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota and the University of Minnesota to evaluate a novel adaption of a statewide volunteer program (the “Porchlight Project”) to assist people with AD/ADRD and their family caregivers better manage dementia at home. If successful, the Porchlight Project will offer a potentially efficient, wide-ranging service model for states and communities to implement for volunteers, persons with AD/ADRD, and family caregivers.

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