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Adult Day Plus Program for Family Caregivers


This study will evaluate the effectiveness of an "Adult Day Services (ADS) Plus" program to improve caregiver well-being and reduce depressive symptoms, compared to routine ADS use after 6 and 12 months. Thirty ADS programs throughout the United States will be involved. 

Minimum Age Maximum Age Gender Healthy Volunteers
21 Years N/A All No
October 2016
June 2022

  • Intake at a participating adult day services program (30 sites)
  • Expect to use ADS for a minimum of 6 months
  • Primary caregiver; provides care at least 8 hours per week
  • English speaking

  • Plan to move from the area within 6 months
  • Either caregiver or care recipient has been hospitalized more than three times in past year
  • Either caregiver or client is in active treatment for a terminal illness or in hospice

Caregivers typically assume care responsibilities without training or support and may, in turn, experience multiple health risks, including depression. To address this problem, this study will compare two groups of caregivers: those who care for an older adult in an ADS program and those who receive an augmented "ADS Plus" program that includes five key components: care management, referral/linkage, education about dementia, situational counseling/emotional support/stress reduction techniques, and skills to manage behavioral symptoms (e.g., rejection of care, agitation, aggression). Of the 30 participating ADS programs, 15 will provide usual services, and 15 will be ADS Plus sites.

The intervention begins with two face-to-face sessions with the site interventionist to discuss the caregiver's concerns and needs and develop a care plan. The interventionist then meets with caregivers face-to-face at convenient times to implement the care plan, every other week for the first 3 months, and then for monthly reassessments for newly emerging care concerns. Contact occurs about a minimum of 1 hour per month over 12 months. The care planning process is collaborative and flexible, reflecting caregivers' fluctuating needs. 

Name City State Zip Status Primary Contact
Johns Hopkins
Baltimore Maryland 21205 Recruiting Katherine Marx, PhD
University of Minnesota
Minneapolis Minnesota 55455 Recruiting Joseph Gaugler, PhD

Johns Hopkins University

  • University of Minnesota
  • National Institute on Aging (NIA)

Name Role Affiliation
Laura Gitlin, PhD Principal Investigator Johns Hopkins University
Joseph Gaugler, PhD Principal Investigator University of Minnesota

Name Phone Email
Katherine Marx, PhD 443-287-8633
Daniel Scerpella, BA 410-502-2604


Improving Outcome for Family Caregivers of Older Adults With Complex Conditions: The Adult Day Plus (ADS Plus) Program