Monday, November 9, 2009

Beyond Bingo: Meaningful Activities for Persons with Dementia in Nursing Homes (part 3)

Activities directors, caregivers, and healthcare professionals,here is some great information
Here is a great dementia resource for caregivers and healthcare professinals,

Here is information on being the best caregiver you can be

Here are more interesting dementia brain boosting activities

Here is a dementia Thanksgiving activity

Annals of Long Term Care

Marianne Smith, PhD, ARNP, BC, Ann Kolanowski, PhD, RN, FAAN, Linda L. Buettner,
PhD, LRT, CTRS, and Kathleen C. Buckwalter, PhD, RN, FAAN

Activities in Dementia Care

An important first step in modifying activity programs for persons with dementia is to understand how dementia-related changes may influence the approaches required to meet activity needs and preferences. Important background information includes understanding cognitive losses that characterize dementia, such as expressing interests (eg, aphasia), identifying and planning activities (eg, executive function), and remembering how to do activities (eg, memory loss, agnosia). In addition, understanding the relationship between behavioral and psychological symptoms of dementia (BPSD) and unmet activity needs is equally, if not more, important for daily care providers.

Theory-Driven Activity Involvement

The Need-Driven Dementia-Compromised Behavior (NDB) model of dementia care4,5 provides an important framework for understanding how caregivers can adjust daily routines to reduce the risk of BPSD and promote comfort, function, and enjoyment in living. The NDB model suggests that BPSD are the direct result of both background factors that are fairly stable (eg, neurological factors, cognitive abilities, health status including physical functional abilities, psychosocial factors including premorbid personality) and more changeable proximal factors (eg, physiological and psychological need states, qualities of the physical and social environments). The interplay between background and proximal factors produces need-driven behavior, the most integrated response a person can make given the limitations imposed by the dementia, strengths preserved from abilities and premorbid personality, and the constraints or supports offered by the environment.

In the NDB model, background factors represent a profile of strengths, weaknesses, and usual coping style, and this information is used to individualize activities by tailoring them to these personal characteristics. Recreational activities that are individually tailored to background factors appropriately enrich the physical and social environment (proximal factors) because they meet individual needs. NDB-derived activities match the resident’s current level of cognitive and physical functioning abilities, so that they are at an appropriate level and afford the opportunity for participation. Activities also match the resident’s style of interest—his/her personality—so that they provide preferred amounts of social stimulation and novelty, thereby capturing interest. Examining the “match” of abilities and interests (background factors) to the type, duration, and timing of activities (proximal factors) provides important framework for daily care providers.

The efficacy of recreational therapies derived from the NDB model was tested in 30 nursing home residents with moderate-to-severe cognitive impairments.6 Older adults in the sample were primarily female (77%), with a mean age of 82.3 (standard deviation [SD] = 7.5) years and Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) score of 8.6 (SD = 7.2). Subjects were randomly assigned to 1 of 6 possible order-of-condition presentations in a crossover experimental design with repeated measures of time on task, level of participation, affect, agitation, and passivity. Three conditions tested included: (1) activities matched to skill level only; (2) activities matched to interests only; and (3) the NDB-derived condition in which activities were matched to both skill level and interests. Findings indicated that significantly more time on task, greater participation, more positive affect, and less passivity occurred under the NDB-derived condition as compared to skill-level-only treatment and baseline levels. Agitation and negative affect improved under all treatments as compared to baseline,6 suggesting that activity involvement is superior to “usual care.”

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