Project Title

Utilization of Social Media Support Groups among Family Caregivers of Patients with Alzheimer's Disease and Other Related Dementia Disorders

Academic department under which the project should be listed

WCHHS - Nursing

Faculty Sponsor Name

Mary Dioise Ramos

Abstract (300 words maximum)

Utilization of social media among family caregivers of patients with dementia (PwD)

Background: In parallel with population aging, there is an immense surge in the use and spread of social media worldwide. Family caregivers of persons with Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Dementia (ADRD) often interact with social media support groups and blogs relating to issues encountered when managing health and day to day activities. The purpose of this study is to describe the utilization of support groups and blogs among family caregivers of persons with ADRD. Method: We explored the data from private Facebook support groups and public blogs. We joined several Facebook groups and analyzed posts from the members in the group. We also posted several questions about how Covid-19 has affected these caregivers and analyzed those responses. Additionally, we analyzed some other social media apps such as TikTok, Twitter, and Instagram. Result: We found that the most discussed topics were their day-to-day struggles and advice on things such as managing medication, doctors’ appointment, and activities of daily living. The main issue that family caregivers faced is self-care management during the pandemic. Other issues include managing hygiene care of PwD, managing psychological symptoms of PwD, staying calm and being patient, and caregiver stress and burnout. Conclusion: Social media support groups for family caregivers for a person with ADRD were most used as an open forum where members could express their issues and problems. The groups established a sense of community that allowed members to speak freely and receive support.

Disciplines

Critical Care Nursing | Diseases | Nursing | Social and Behavioral Sciences

Project Type

Oral Presentation (15-min time slots)

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Utilization of Social Media Support Groups among Family Caregivers of Patients with Alzheimer's Disease and Other Related Dementia Disorders

Utilization of social media among family caregivers of patients with dementia (PwD)

Background: In parallel with population aging, there is an immense surge in the use and spread of social media worldwide. Family caregivers of persons with Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Dementia (ADRD) often interact with social media support groups and blogs relating to issues encountered when managing health and day to day activities. The purpose of this study is to describe the utilization of support groups and blogs among family caregivers of persons with ADRD. Method: We explored the data from private Facebook support groups and public blogs. We joined several Facebook groups and analyzed posts from the members in the group. We also posted several questions about how Covid-19 has affected these caregivers and analyzed those responses. Additionally, we analyzed some other social media apps such as TikTok, Twitter, and Instagram. Result: We found that the most discussed topics were their day-to-day struggles and advice on things such as managing medication, doctors’ appointment, and activities of daily living. The main issue that family caregivers faced is self-care management during the pandemic. Other issues include managing hygiene care of PwD, managing psychological symptoms of PwD, staying calm and being patient, and caregiver stress and burnout. Conclusion: Social media support groups for family caregivers for a person with ADRD were most used as an open forum where members could express their issues and problems. The groups established a sense of community that allowed members to speak freely and receive support.

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