Attendance in Recreational Groups for Persons With Dementia: The Impact of Stimulus and Environmental Factors

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Abstract

Objectives:

Participation in group activities can benefit persons with dementia, alleviating boredom, improving affect, maintaining function, and decreasing problematic behaviors.

Methods:

We describe patterns of attendance of residents with dementia at nursing home activity groups and investigate stimulus and environmental factors that may affect attendance.

Results:

Residents participated in 60.8% of the activities, with reasons for nonattendance including refusal (9.7%), not being on the unit (7.8%), being asleep (6.8%), and being involved in activities of daily living and other activities (8.3%). On average, 3.5 other residents not recruited for the study chose to participate in each group session. Group attendance was significantly related to group topic.

Implication:

The need for activities was evident by the attendance of both invited and other residents. Understanding the factors that affect attendance is the first step toward developing procedures to maximize participation in activities in order to decrease loneliness and boredom in this population.

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