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Improving Well-Being for Older Adult Family Dementia Caregivers


This study will examine the effects of two interventions, the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) program and the Living Well program, on immune function, physical and emotional health, and well-being of older adults who care for a family member with dementia.

Minimum Age Maximum Age Gender Healthy Volunteers
55 Years N/A All Yes
July 18, 2016
April 2021

  • English speaking
  • Primary caregiver who provides unpaid daily in-person care for a family member or close friend with dementia who lives in the community
  • Moderate to high levels of perceived stress and/or caregiver burden
  • Stable medication use before and during trial

  • Person with dementia resides in a long-term care facility, such as a nursing home, without the caregiver
  • Major, uncorrected hearing or vision impairments
  • Cognitive deficits as defined by a Montreal Cognitive Assessment score of 23 or lower
  • Other neuropsychological deficits that could interfere with study participation
  • Current alcohol or substance use dependence
  • Psychotic disorders (current and lifetime), bipolar disorder, and current mood disorder with psychotic features
  • Completion of an MBSR program in the past
  • Allergy to eggs
  • History of Guillain-Barre syndrome
  • Immunodeficiency or receipt of immunosuppressive therapy
  • Recent major surgery
  • Active neoplastic disease

Participants will be randomly assigned to either the MBSR program, the Living Well program, or a usual care group for 8 weeks. MBSR is designed to teach skills for increasing relaxation and awareness, with special emphasis on movement, meditation, and breathing. The Living Well program includes group presentations and discussions on topics related to health and well-being in the context of dementia caregiving.

Name City State Zip Status Primary Contact
University of Rochester Medical Center
Rochester New York 14642 Recruiting

University of Rochester

  • National Institute on Aging (NIA)

Name Role Affiliation
Kathi L. Heffner, PhD Principal Investigator University of Rochester

Name Phone Email
Jeff Swan 585-275-6835


Improving Well-Being for Older Adult Family Dementia Caregivers