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Integrating palliative care for dementia into primary care
Date:7/14/2008

INDIANAPOLIS Greg A. Sachs, M.D., has received an award from the National Palliative Care Research Center to conduct a study aimed at improving quality of life and decreasing suffering for older adults and their family caregivers. The award is one of only two pilot project support grants funded by NPCRC in 2008.

Dr. Sachs will evaluate the feasibility of incorporating an outpatient palliative care program for patients with dementia into the primary care setting. Dr. Sachs's multidisciplinary team will build on a successful model that he previously developed for a geriatrics specialty clinic. That model, the Palliative Excellence in Alzheimer Care Efforts (PEACE) Program, provided improved symptom management, enhanced family support, and assistance with difficult decision making.

The Indiana version (IN-PEACE) will try to extend this approach into primary care practices where most older adults receive their health care.

"I'm most excited about working with other Indiana University clinicians and researchers who have used this collaborative care approach with primary care to improve the care of older adults with depression, dementia or frailty," said Dr. Sachs. "This will allow us to reach out into the community to help more patients and their families and to do so before they've experienced needless suffering."

This two-year pilot project has the potential to significantly improve care for community-based individuals with dementia, and to shape future program development and policy for older adults living at home, in assisted living environments, or in nursing homes.

A noted researcher in the fields of geriatrics and medical ethics, Dr. Sachs is an IU professor of medicine and the chief of the Division of General Internal Medicine and Geriatrics; a Regenstrief Institute, Inc. research scientist, and an IU Center for Aging Research center scientist.

"People with dementia are an especially challenging gro
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Contact: Cindy Fox Aisen
caisen@iupui.edu
317-274-7722
Indiana University
Source:Eurekalert

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