Media Based Curriculum--planning Care for Family Elders

Period of Performance: 02/25/1995 - 08/24/1995


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Northwest Media, Inc.
Eugene, OR 97401
Principal Investigator


The long-range goal of this project is to develop a series of televised instructional programs designed to help families with the process of planning and providing care for an elderly family member. The completed programming will cover a wide range of areas, including family decision- making, managing stress, communicating with medical professionals, organizing the living environment, providing adequate nutritional and exercise needs, and planning for respite care. In Phase I, Northwest Media will produce two 30-minute, broadcast-quality television programs that use studio docu-drama video formats. The programs will depict realistic portrayals of families as they struggle with how to care for a dependent elder family member. The initial program will address issues faced at the beginning of caregiving and a second program will focus specifically on family decision-making skills. The programs will be broadcast via cable-access television to 100 families in Oregon over a four-week period. A randomized control study will be conducted to assess the impact of the televised training program on family caregivers' coping, perceived burden, and behavioral intentions. In Phase II the programming series will be completed and televised in other regions in the United States. PROPOSED COMMERCIAL APPLICATION: Families spend more years providing more intensive levels of care to frail elderly members than any previous generation. This has spawned a fast-growing market for information, education, and support services aimed at helping families deal effectively with caregiving demands. Video materials suitable for television broadcast would give families and gerontology specialists access to much needed information and skills regarding how to plan and provide caregiving support for family.