WeCareAdvisor is a tool created in an NIH-funded grant (NINR R01NR014200) to help caregivers assess and manage the behavioral and psychological symptoms of dementia.
The tool we have developed is a technology based, easy to use, electronic format that leads the caregiving associate through the assessment, management, and monitoring needed to do the following.
1) Identify and address the underlying causes of behavioral symptoms (e.g. pain, urinary tract infection, communication issues, environmental overstimulation, etc.)
2) Reduce behaviors
3) Reduce caregiver upset
4) Enhance the confidence in managing behaviors by teaching the user new and transferrable problem-solving skills such as enhanced verbal and nonverbal communication.
The WeCareAdvisor is built upon the DICE Approach. Learn more about the DICE Approach here.
The WeCareAdvisor is a web-based tool that can be used on a smartphone, tablet or desktop and requires only brief training to use.
The tool is composed of two major sections. One is a version of the DICE Approach created to walk caregivers through the potential underlying contributors to the behaviors.
In the DICE process within the WeCareAdvisor, the caregiver is led through a series of questions designed to elicit consideration of underlying causes of the behaviors. This process takes about five minutes to complete.
Based on the caregiver’s responses to the questions in the DICE process, a WeCareAdvisor Prescription is generated which reflects a set of strategies tailored to the unique situation of the user. To accomplish this, the software uses an algorithm to select tips from a library of almost 1,000 strategies for disruptive behaviors of dementia. Tips include strategies for managing the behavior caregivers are dealing with, safety considerations, and approaches to help the caregivers themselves reduce their stress. The prescription can be printed or emailed, allowing the caregiver to revisit the material later or review it with others involved in the resident’s care, including the resident’s doctor.
The following is an example of a prescription that a caregiver might receive if she was using the WeCareAdvisor to help Jacob.
The second main section of the tool, the Caregiver Survival Guide, is a comprehensive one-stop resource for answering questions about dementia, health issues, behaviors and medications.