Association for Behavior Analysis International

The Association for Behavior Analysis International® (ABAI) is a nonprofit membership organization with the mission to contribute to the well-being of society by developing, enhancing, and supporting the growth and vitality of the science of behavior analysis through research, education, and practice.


33rd Annual Convention; San Diego, CA; 2007

Event Details

Previous Page


Symposium #138
Behavior Analysis in Dementia Care
Sunday, May 27, 2007
9:00 AM–10:20 AM
Molly AB
Area: DEV/CBM; Domain: Service Delivery
Chair: Jane E. Fisher (University of Nevada, Reno)
Abstract: The cost of caring for persons with dementing illnesses is estimated to exceed $70 billion annually (National Institute on Aging, 2004). Institutional long-term care and the need for fulltime supervision greatly contribute to this expense. However, in addition to care within the medical model, behavioral treatment planning for persons with dementia should be considered within the context of their social and physical environments. The presentations will outline the necessity and timeliness of introducing behavior analysis in home and facility-based dementia care; discuss the adjustment of behavioral plans to the unique aspects of degenerative diseases; and address the implementation of behavior analytic interventions by family caregivers and in rural areas with limited access to behavioral health services.
The Necessity and Timeliness of a Behavior Analytic Approach to Dementia.
CLAUDIA DROSSEL (University of Nevada, Reno), Jane E. Fisher (University of Nevada, Reno)
Abstract: Historically as well as currently, care plans in dementia are firmly entrenched within the medical model and often limited to custodial care. A brief overview of research in medicine and cognitive science will be presented and reinterpreted from a behavior analytic perspective. While providing evidence for a functional approach, the detrimental consequences of the topographical approach to behavioral difficulties will also be illustrated. Given supporting evidence and current developments in psychopharmacological research, now may be the time to gain acceptance for behavior analytic interventions in medical settings.
Behavior Plans in Dementia Care.
STACEY M. CHERUP (University of Nevada, Reno), Jane E. Fisher (University of Nevada, Reno)
Abstract: While traditional treatment planning involves successive approximations to behavioral targets, behavioral care plans in degenerative dementia require a focus on skill maintenance and behavioral problem prevention by strategically adjusting task demands to the potential loss of repertoires. The value of an ideographic approach for addressing inter- and intra-individual variability will be outlined and illustrated with behavioral plans.
Training Family Caregivers to Implement Behavioral Plans.
RUTH GENTRY (University of Nevada, Reno), Jane E. Fisher (University of Nevada, Reno)
Abstract: Given the lack of resources in dementia care, family member rather than professional staff are called upon to implement behavioral plans. Consequently, the Nevada Caregiver Support Center, funded by the Division for Aging Services, routinely coaches older adults to provide effective behavioral care to family members with dementia. This integrative model of care as well as barriers to implementation will be discussed. Moreover, the role of effective caregiver responding in the maintenance of care recipient skills will be emphasized.
An Analysis of Access to Services in Rural Areas.
MERRY SYLVESTER (University of Nevada, Reno), Clair Rummel (University of Nevada, Reno), Jane E. Fisher (University of Nevada, Reno)
Abstract: Behavioral services for elderly persons with dementia typically focus on the individual with dementia or caregiver/care recipient dyad as the unit of analysis. Recent national initiatives have called for improving access to services within underserved rural communities. The lack of medical and behavioral health services within rural communities may require intervention at the level of the community infrastructure. Community interventions should focus on increasing access to evidence-based services through public health education, and the integration of behavioral services within the extant community health and social service system. Techniques to quantify and accurately track community behavior change will be discussed. Treatment modalities including bibliotherapy, telehealth, and internet-based services will be offered as alternatives to in-person behavioral interventions. Empirical findings relevant to various service modalities as well as barriers to access will be discussed.



Back to Top
Modifed by Eddie Soh