Managing Agitation Using Nonpharmacological Interventions for Seniors With Dementia

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Approximately 36 million people have Alzheimer's disease worldwide, and many experience behavioral issues such as agitation. The purpose of this study was to investigate the perceptions of long-term care (LTC) staff regarding the current use of nonpharmacological interventions (NPIs) for reducing agitation in seniors with dementia and to identify facilitators and barriers that guide NPI implementation. Qualitative methods were used to gather data from interviews and focus groups. A total of 44 staff from 5 LTC facilities participated. Findings showed that both medications and NPIs are used for the management of agitation. The use of NPIs was facilitated by consistency in staffing, and the ability of all the staff members to implement them. Common barriers to NPI use included the perceived lack of time, low staff-to-resident ratios, and the unpredictable and short-lasting effectiveness of NPIs. This study offers insight into perceived factors that influence implementation of NPIs and the perceived effectiveness of NPIs.

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