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Healthy Aging Research Program: Engage Coaching Project

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Aging Research Program Brochure

Study Basics: Are you 50 years of age or older? Do you sometimes feel stressed because you are caring for a family member with dementia? Do you also sometimes feel isolated or left out or that you lack companionship? If so, you may be able to participate in a research study to learn about ways to increase social connectedness and improve well-being for individuals who are caring for a family member with dementia. Participation could last up to 6 months. Compensation provided.

Study Purpose: The objective of the Engage Coaching Project is to develop useful strategies for helping individuals who are caring for a family member with dementia improve their social relationships and social supports.

Could This Study Be Right For You?​

  • Age 50 and up
  • Sometimes feel stressed because you are caring for a family member with dementia
  • Sometimes feel isolated, left out, or that you lack companionship

What Participants Can Expectsmart goals

  • Participation involves completing confidential interviews after completing Engage coaching and three months after that. You will be asked about your physical, cognitive, and emotional health, and about your social relationships. 

All participants will also be offered up to 8 Engage Coaching sessions (free of charge). This involves meeting with an Engage Coach on a weekly basis, but you will have up to three months to complete your sessions if you need to take a week or two off from meeting. These meetings are brief (approximately 30 mins) and can be done in your home or wherever is convenient for you, including via phone if needed. The coaching is designed to help you enhance your relationships and improve well-being while managing stress. Your coach will help you identify aspects of your social relationships that are helpful to you and aspects that are not. Using this information, your coach will help you identify goals for improving your social relationships. Each session, your coach will help you complete a process we call ‘action planning,’ in which you set a goal for the week, brainstorm strategies to meet the goal, and identify concrete steps to take to achieve the goal. You will work with your coach to identify any aspects of caregiving that may present barriers to improving your relationships and develop strategies to address these barriers.

Additional information

  • What is already known about Engage coaching? Engage coaching has been shown in scientific studies to reduce symptoms of depression and to improve social engagement (e.g., spending more time with friends or in social activities) among adults age 55 and older. 
  • In this study, we want to understand whether this program is useful for individuals who are caring for a family member with dementia and if any modifications are needed to make it easier to participate (while balancing providing care to a family member and other aspects of one’s life).
  • This study is funded by the National Institute on Aging and is part of the Rochester Roybal Center for Social Ties & Aging Research

For more information: Call (585) 276-6204 or email: HARP@urmc.rochester.edu

Personnel

Principal Investigator: Dr. Kim Van Orden

Study Coordinators: Kelly Bellenger & April Buttaccio

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