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.


Fourth International Conference; Australia, 2007

Event Details

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Invited Paper Session #37
CE Offered: BACB

Engaging People with Dementia in Life.

Monday, August 13, 2007
4:00 PM–4:50 PM
Area: DEV; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
CE Instructor: R. Mark Mathews, Ph.D.
Chair: Linda A. LeBlanc (Western Michigan University)
R. MARK MATHEWS (University of Sydney)
Prof. R. Mark Mathews is Sesquicentenary Chair of Ageing, Health and Disability at the University of Sydney. Professor Mathews received his Ph.D. in 1980 and previously held faculty appointments at the University of Hawaii and the University of Kansas. He is a Fellow of the Gerontology Society of America and received a distinguished teaching award from the Association for Gerontology in Higher Education. His research has been designed to contribute to understanding of factors that affect successful aging and application of that knowledge to social programs that optimize independence and autonomy. His behavioral gerontology research has been published in the Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, American Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, Journal of Clinical Geropsychology, Journal of Gerontological Nursing, Journal of Housing for the Elderly, and Alzheimer’s Care Quarterly. He is currently an investigator on research grants from the Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute and the Australian Commonwealth Department of Health and Ageing. He has served as lead investigator on over USD$3,200,000 in grants funded by the National Institute on Aging, the Alzheimer's Disease and Related Disorders Association, Kansas Department on Aging, Michigan Department of Health, and the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research.

Dementia is the largest single contributor to the cost of care in nursing homes today, and the prevalence of dementia continues to increase at a much greater rate than both the total population and the older population. Dementia is associated with a decline in reasoning, memory, and other cognitive functioning that often results in challenging or disruptive behaviors such as agitation, aggression, repetitive questioning, and wandering. This decline also impairs the ability of the person to carry out many activities of daily living. The physical environment and well-meaning caregivers can exacerbate these behavioral excesses and deficits. Nursing home staff often ignores independent behaviors, but respond to dependent behaviors with enabling responses. This presentation will describe a range of environmental redesign and staff training procedures that have been demonstrated to help people with dementia engage in life and re-acquire a number of daily living.




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