In Treating Alzheimer's Disease Through Caregiver Family Therapy, Dr. Sara Honn Qualls demonstrates her approach to helping families care for loved ones with Alzheimer's disease. Caregiver Family Therapy (CFT) assists families with recognizing, interpreting, and taking action to address symptoms of growing cognitive impairment while continuing to meet the needs of multiple family members.
In this session, Dr. Qualls works with a young African American woman named Michelle who is married with a family. Her mother, who lives with the client's disabled sister, is becoming less and less able to take care of herself. The night before the session, her mother called 911 to accuse Michelle's sister of abuse. This false accusation is seen as a harbinger of changes that will need to be made in Michelle's sister's living arrangement because of her mother's decline.
In the session, Michelle begins to realize that her caregiving is having a negative impact on her family and marriage. Dr. Qualls helps Michelle to explore restructuring the family and to develop a list of tasks that need to be accomplished to protect the well-being of her mother, sister, and herself and her family.