Taylor Greenberg Goldy

MDE

Gem: Equipping Family Caregivers with the Tools to Engage and Care for Dementia

Advised by Arianna Mazzeo (SEAS) and Fawwaz Habbal (SEAS)

In the US alone, there are 15 million unpaid family caregivers supporting six million loved ones with dementia. These caregivers are faced with an incredible challenge of balancing their own lives and caring for their spouse/loved one for years on end. Unfortunately, with that balance comes high levels of stress, fear, and burnout among family caregivers because, in part, they feel discouraged that their care can make a difference in their loved one’s well-being and don’t feel confident in their ability to care effectively. After understanding different interventions to help caregivers and care recipients, I learned that cognitive therapies (i.e., reminiscence, music, and storytelling) have the potential to improve mood and slow down the of decline of dementia symptoms. Gem, my solution, is an interactive, personalized digital tool that utilizes cognitive therapies and creates a “learning-by-doing” activity for new family caregivers to do remotely or in person with their loved one with dementia. The goal of this tool is not only to provide training wheels for new caregivers on how to do cognitive therapies, but also to provide companionship and resilience for families in this situation.

Taylor Greenberg Goldy, MDE. Image of an electronic tablet screen with the words, "Let's Begin! We've tailored activities for you and your mom to do together." To the right are two icons showing a Caregiver and a Care recipient under the word "Gem"
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