New Program Makes it Easy to Find and Participate in a Local Alzheimer’s Clinical Research Study in Kansas City and St. Louis

Complimentary assessments and referrals for clinical trials highlight the CARE-PAC program, providing hope for Alzheimer’s caregivers and patients in Kansas City and St Louis

(Overland Park, KS September 23, 2009) A brand new program offering resources for local Alzheimer’s patients and their caregivers, has just become available in the Kansas City and St Louis area. The CARE-PAC program (Community Alzheimer’s Research Exchange for Patients and Caregivers) is a set of services provided by local eldercare professionals that assist families challenged in an Alzheimer’s caregiving situation.

CARE-PAC coordinators educate families about the availability of new Alzheimer’s treatments, including clinical trials in their area. “Families learn the advantages of clinical trial participation and are referred to a local Alzheimer’s clinical trial site for further optional information and screening,” said local CARE-PAC coordinator and geriatric care manager Cheryl Smith. A geriatric care manager will perform a telephone interview prior to a complimentary in-home visit and pre-screen the patient to ensure they have a reasonable chance to qualify before being referred to a local research site.

Alzheimer’s patients are often misdiagnosed or ignored by the front line medical professionals.  Unfortunately, medical professionals often can’t dedicate the amount of time necessary to diagnose and support an Alzheimer’s patient and their caregivers. Even when there is a diagnosis, there are limited standard medical services provided to relieve the burden that these families face. The CARE-PAC program provides the support and referrals families need to help them seek out their treatment options.

Recently at a CARE-PAC training session three different families who had been affected by Alzheimer’s spoke of their frustration about going to multiple doctors for a diagnosis, the affects of being a caregiver of someone with Alzheimer’s and their thoughts on being involved in a clinical research trial.  All three caregivers reported that being a part of a clinical trial had been a positive experience not because they hoped the new drug was going to cure their loved one but because a team of healthcare professionals were immediately available to them once they were accepted into the trial.  Not only did the healthcare professionals in the trial understand their day to day challenges but also treated them with respect and compassion.

If you are a family or professional caregiver of a patient with dementia or Alzheimer’s in the Kansas City and St Louis areas contact your local CARE-PAC coordinator, geriatric care manager and President of Kansas City Home Care: Cheryl A. Smith,, 913-341-4800.