Special Care Units for Persons with Dementia: Expected and Observed Effects on Behavioral Symptoms

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Behavioral symptoms are common in nursing home residents with dementia, and have negative consequences for the residents, their families, staff members, and nondemented residents who live in close proximity to them. Special care units are intended to provide appropriate environments and methods of care that in turn are expected to reduce the incidence of behavioral symptoms. Studies of the effectiveness of special care units in reducing behavioral symptoms have had contradictory findings. Further research is needed to identify the particular environments and methods of care that are effective in reducing specific behavioral symptoms in these residents.

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