C-TIPS, Customized Toolkits of Information and Practical Solutions, is an online educational program developed by Mary Corcoran, PhD, OTR/L, Professor in Health Sciences. Dr. Corcoran started C-TIPS to help caregivers of those with Alzheimer's Disease choose and meaningful and fun leisure activities to keep their family members more active and engaged. The program involves online learning activities as well as phone conversations with an Occupational Therapist. C-TIPS provides solutions for adapting activities based on the specific needs and abilities of both the caregiver and their family member.
Twenty-one caregivers from all over the United States participated in the pilot study for C-TIPS. The participants were mostly females who lived with the person who has a memory problem. They were providing care for a parent or in-law, although 7 were taking care of a spouse. The family members being cared for needed help with some or all daily activities.
Results so far show that caregivers report more frequent use of the C-TIPS strategies and greater confidence in their ability to manage issues related to dementia (such as boredom, inactivity, and restlessness). There has also been a strong trend toward feeling more positive in general about caregiving, but this difference has not reached statistical significance.
Some of the most compelling results are captured in the following quotes from caregivers who participated in the C-TIPS program.
I have been blown away by the amount, accuracy and helpfulness of the education C-TIPS provides. I credit C-TIPS as inspiration to continue to strive to make mother's life as meaningful as possible and to become a more patient, understanding, organized and educated CG for my mother.
C-TIPS has helped me realize the necessity of approaching the critical job of caregiving from a different perspective. CTIPS has energized me, my family and my support group.
C-TIPS will remain available for use while it is being revised. The next step is to submit C-TIPS to a more rigorous test with a larger sample and a control group. Dr. Corcoran will seek further funding for this purpose.
Mary A. Corcoran PhD, OT/L, FAOTA
Associate Dean, Faculty Development for Health Sciences