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.


First International Conference; Italy, 2001

Event Details

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Special Event #78
Behavioral Gerontology: Promoting Engagement in Meaningful Activities
Friday, November 30, 2001
11:00 AM–11:50 AM
Tapestry Hall
Area: DEV
Chair: R. Mark Mathews (University of Kansas)
Behavioral Gerontology: Promoting Engagement in Meaningful Activities
Abstract: The conventional wisdom surrounding persons with Alzheimer's Disease is that their behavioral problems are inevitable and will only get worse as the disease progresses. While the behavioral decline of persons with Alzheimer's Disease may be inevitable, a supportive environment may have a significant impact on the rate and nature of that decline. The tutorial will describe a series of evaluative studies on changes in institutional environments to make them more supportive of desired behaviors and measuring the impact of those changes on the behaviors of persons with Alzheimer's Disease who live in residential care. These studies took place in locked dementia care units that were a part of larger residential care facilities. The studies were designed to evaluate (1) the effects of training on certified nursing assistants (CNAs) ability to use the system of least prompts in caregiving interactions with residents, (2) the impact CNA training on contact with residents, praise for desired behaviors, and activity choices by residents, (3) the impact of staff's use of prompts on residents' independence during dressing, (4) the effects of external memory cues on resident ability to locate their own rooms, and (5) the effects of a music therapy intervention on resident participation in group exercise activities. Taken together, these data suggest that staff training and reporting procedures, along with other environmental changes that promote engagement and independence, can have an important positive impact on the behavior persons with dementia living in institutional settings.
R. MARK MATHEWS (University of Kansas)



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