The Triad in Dementia Care: Methods for Strengthening the Partnership

Live event held December 2, 2011


2005 Alzheimer’s and Related Diseases Research Award*

(see more funded projects here)

The primary objective of this project was to identify the needs of family caregivers and healthcare providers who care for persons with dementia. Participants included 128 self-selected caregivers, who completed a telephone or online survey, and 27 healthcare providers, who participated in a focus group and completed a survey. The hypothesis that primary care providers were more likely to diagnose Alzheimer’s disease than a specialist was not supported.

  • Caregivers reported their primary source of information about the disease was the doctor; however, the majority reported that they were not told about available resources.
  • Healthcare providers identified time with patients and families, and awareness of community services as their main challenges.
  • Policy implications include addressing these health literacy issues.

Recommendations proposed included:

  1. increased awareness of the local Alzheimer’s Association;
  2. promotion of training programs for the dementia care triad; and
  3. utilization of technology for families and professionals to track the needs of persons with memory loss and their primary caregivers.

Dr. Christy Jensen, the author of this study, presented on the topic on the 2nd of December, Noon Eastern; discussion was moderated by Dr. E. Ayn Welleford.

Dr. Jensen can be reached at 757/221-1971

To receive the full final report submitted to the ARDRAF, please contact the investigator or the ARDRAF administrator, Dr. Constance Coogle ( 


Jensen, C. J. (in preparation). Promoting an effective partnership between families coping with Alzheimer’s disease and their healthcare providers. American Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease and OtherDementias.


Jensen, C. J., & Whittaker, L. B. (2006). Supporting Persons with Memory Loss: Enhancing the Family Caregiver – Healthcare Provider Partnership. Presented at the Annual Meeting of the Southern Gerontological Society. Lexington, KY.

Jensen, C. J. (2006). Supporting Persons with Memory Loss: Enhancing the Family Caregiver – Healthcare Provider Partnership. Presented at the Fall Colloquim Series, Department of Psychology, College of William and Mary. Williamsburg, VA.

Jensen, C. J. (2007). An Evaluation of Dementia Education for Healthcare Providers. Presented at the Annual Meeting of the Southern Gerontological Society. Greensboro, NC.

Jensen, C. J. (2007). “You Have Alzheimer’s: Now What?” On-Line radio program for HealthTalk series on Alzheimer’s Disease. Seattle, WA.

Jensen, C. J. (2007) Building on the Benefits: Balancing Caregiver Satisfaction and Frustration. Presented at the Eastern Virginia Medical School Geriatric Grand Rounds, Norfolk, VA.

Jensen, C.J. (2007). Are There Benefits: Balancing the Frustration and Satisfaction of Elder Care. Presented at the Fall Colloquium Series, Department of Psychology, Radford University, Radford, VA.


**Williamsburg Community Health Foundation (November 2008 – April 2010); $37,500 direct
Title: Help for Family Caregivers

*The Virginia Center on Aging which administers the Alzheimer’s and Related Diseases Research Award Fund for the Commonwealth of Virginia, provides seed money to researchers in Virginia to stimulate innovative research into biomedical and psychosocial aspects of dementia, including cell biology, caregiving, and animal modeling.

ARDRAF-Funded Project Title: “Promoting an Effective Partnership between Families Coping with Alzheimer’s Disease and Their Healthcare Providers”


Christy Jensen, PhD, is Director of Community and Health Services Research with the Center for Excellence in Aging and Geriatric Health in Williamsburg and she also teaches at The College of William & Mary and Virginia Commonwealth University. She obtained her PhD in Human Development & Family Studies, with a specialty in gerontology, from the University of Delaware. She is active with the Gerontological Society of America, the Southern Gerontological Society, the Older Dominion Partnership, and the Alzheimer’s Association.

She is currently serving her second term as Chair of the Virginia Caregiver Coalition. In 2009, Jensen drafted the “Williamsburg Community Action Plan on Aging: 2010-2020” for the Senior Services Coalition, and this Plan is now in its second year of implementation. Her research interests focus on elder care and dementia, methods for community assessments, and home and community-based support services.



Ayn WellefordE.  Ayn Welleford, PhD, received her BA in Management/Psychology from Averett College, MS in Gerontology and PhD in Developmental Psychology from Virginia Commonwealth University. She has taught extensively in the areas of Lifespan Development, and Adult Development and Aging, Geropsychology, and Aging & Human Values. As an educator, researcher, and previously as a practitioner she has worked with a broad spectrum of individuals across the caregiving and long term care continuum. As Associate Professor and Chair of VCU’s Department of Gerontology, she currently works to “Improve Elder Care through Education” through her Teaching, Scholarship, and Community Engagement. Outside of the classroom, Dr. Welleford provides community education and serves on several boards and committees. She is the Immediate Past Chair of the Governor’s Commonwealth of Virginia Alzheimer’s and Related Disorders Commission. Dr. Welleford is the proud recipient of the 2008 AGHE Distinguished Teacher Award.

The free webinar was co-sponsored by the Virginia Commonwealth University’s Department of Gerontology, AlzPossible and funded in part by the Virginia Center on Aging’s Geriatric Training and Education Initiative.




Download slides here.