Nutricia has launched a free, tailored support programme that offers carers and people with mild Alzheimer’s disease who are taking Souvenaid, practical advice and skills to help them address the challenges they may experience. Complementing the care given by healthcare professionals, the Souvenaid Connections programme aims to build carers’ and patients’ understanding of mild Alzheimer’s disease.
Souvenaid is a “Food for Special Medical Purposes”, for the dietary management of early Alzheimer’s disease. It should be taken as part of an Alzheimer’s disease care plan and used under medical supervision. Patients with mild Alzheimer’s disease must speak with a doctor, specialist nurse, dietitian or pharmacist to see if it is right for them.
The Souvenaid Connections programme includes the following stages:
- Enrolment and Welcome: When a carer or patient with mild Alzheimer’s disease first purchase Souvenaid, either via the Souvenaid website or the Souvenaid Information Line, they will have the option to join the Souvenaid Connections programme and will be able to choose how they receive their tailored information - either by email or post.
- Continued Support: Over the following six months, the patient and/or their carer will choose to receive telephone calls from the Souvenaid Connections Registered General Nurse to provide complementary support e.g. discussion around the programme resources, the importance of the carer taking care of themselves and the role of nutrition and brain health. Via email or post, carers will also receive further guidance about the importance of keeping mentally active, strategies to improve communication between one another, as well as reading other patient and carer real life stories on how they are coping with the condition.
- Evaluating Souvenaid Connections: At months three and six on the programme, with consent, the patient or carer will be surveyed during a routine telephone call from the nurse advisor to ask how informed they feel about mild Alzheimer’s disease, perceived responses noticed whilst taking Souvenaid in terms of the patient’s ability and behaviour; and their overall experience of the Souvenaid Connections programme. These results will be shared, with consent from the patient or carer, with the patient’s healthcare professional providing complementary insights from the programme.
The Patient Experience Programme (PEP) provided insights and anecdotal feedback from both carers and patients about their experiences whilst taking Souvenaid once daily, over a three month period. Evidence from the PEP highlighted that 32% of patients and carers reported an improvement in their condition relating to areas such as memory, language, communication, daily functioning, control, confidence, mood and general health. Encouragingly, a further 59% reported no change in their condition; a marker for no deterioration.
Dr David Wilkinson, consultant in old age psychiatry at Southampton’s Memory Assessment and Research Centre, and a leading expert in the field commented: “Over half a million people in the UK have Alzheimer’s disease and this is set to increase substantially over the next ten years. Yet despite increasing numbers, one of the biggest challenges we face is that there is little progression towards any new medication to tackle this disease. Therefore, it is imperative that we expand our efforts in other areas of the care pathway addressing lifestyle and risk factors to ensure people with Alzheimer’s disease are receiving the best health advice and guidance possible. Offered to carers and people who are taking Souvenaid, the Souvenaid Connections programme will provide valuable support for carers and those with mild Alzheimer’s disease. Moreover though, it will provide healthcare professionals with reassurance that their patients are receiving tailored support calls conducted by a nurse advisor employed by a third party, Atlantis Healthcare. Healthcare professionals will also benefit from regular insights from the programme to evaluate its success.”
Souvenaid Connections is offered free to carers and people with mild Alzheimer’s disease when they order Souvenaid via the website: www.souvenaid.com or via the Souvenaid Information
Line: 0800 093 3676.