Online Resource for Patients with Alzheimer's Disease (AD), DementiaGuide.com Enables Caregivers to Learn More about AD, Track Their Loved One's Symptoms and Progress, and Share Data with Physicians
MDNG is always on the lookout for new online resources for physicians and patients that promotes more effective communication, enhances the physician patient relationship, and helps patients and caregivers take a more active role in treatment. This resource (www.dementiaguide.com), developed by Dr. Kenneth Rockwood, President and Chief Scientific Officer, and the rest of the DementiaGuide team, is designed to help caregivers to better understand and manage the symptoms of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.
Cathy McNutt, vice president of product development, explained that caregivers can sign up for a free trial account and create a symptom profile for their loved one with dementia or AD. The symptom profile lets caregivers describe and track symptoms over time and determine whether individual symptoms have changed, improved, or deteriorated. Symptoms are organized into several pre-set categories, including “thinking and judgment,” “personality changes,” “memory and language,” “behavior,” and “physical changes.” Within each category are listed specific symptoms; for example, “thinking and judgment” includes “decision making (problems with)”, “attention/concentration (lack of),” “insensitivity," "comprehension/understanding,” “following instructions,” and “inappropriate language and behaviors.” Each individual symptom has a definition to help caregivers further understand and categorize content. They can also add their own custom symptoms. Then, each symptom has a list of pre-defined descriptors that help caregivers describe and rank behaviors and characteristics associated with the symptom. Finally, after recording the frequency with which each symptom presents, caregivers rank the symptoms in order of most important to least important to help determine which are having the most effect on the patient’s life. The profile is designed to “reflect the caregiver’s and patient’s background, living arrangements, medications, and general health history.”