Aging with Pride: IDEA (Innovations in Dementia Empowerment and Action) at the University of Washington is offering a free program for LGBTQ individuals with memory loss and their care partners.
Program leaders say it is the first federally-funded research study examining ways to improve the health and quality of life for adults aged 50 and older in the LGBTQ community with memory loss and their caregivers.
The program tests a tailored approach to address the unique needs of LGBTQ older adults who frequently experience stigma, isolation, and negative interactions with healthcare providers. This study seeks to determine if a program developed by leading experts in dementia is effective in helping people in the LGBTQ community who are experiencing memory loss or caring for someone with memory loss.
Care partners can be a spouse, partner, adult child, relative, friend, or anyone who helps the person with memory loss. Either the person with memory loss or their care partner must be LGBTQ and both participate as a pair. The person with memory loss must be 50 years or older.
IDEA is designed to improve the health and well-being of the pair and includes nine individualized sessions with a trained coach. A coach teaches the pair problem-solving skills to improve behavioral challenges and issues. The coach also strategizes with the pair to address communication challenges related to memory loss. The pair learns a low-impact exercise program including stretching, flexibility, balance, and endurance to strengthen the body, reduce injury and improve mood.
The program is virtual, using easy video chatting. Participants don’t have to leave home to participate, can live anywhere in the U.S., and are compensated for completing phone interviews.