People caring for family members with dementia are under great stress. Because of the expected increase of dementia diseases in Germany, the Federal Ministry of Health has great interest in improving the health care of these patients as well as providing increased support for family members who are caregivers. The Tele.TAnDem research study is investigating whether telephone counseling can improve the lives of family caregivers. When this study was begun in 2008, it was the first time in Germany that caregiving family members were given on-going telephone consultation on individual issues and problems which may arise in connection with home care.
The phone calls serve to convey information about Alzheimer’s disease and thus improve nursing care skills. They help to relieve caregivers, who can improve their skills in dealing with behavioral problems of dementia patients.