AlzhaTV: A nonpharmacological intervention to manage behavioral and psychological symptoms in nursing home dementia patients


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Abstract

BACKGROUNDCurrently, 5 million seniors who reside in the community or assisted living or nursing facilities are affected by Alzheimer’s disease and other neurocognitive disorders. They experience various psychiatric symptoms. Also, their family members are stressed from caregiving, and may feel guilty for not doing more.METHODSWe created an innovative nonpharmacological intervention, AlzhaTV, to decrease behavioral and psychological symptoms associated with neurocognitive disorders. We offered AlzhaTV to 9 nursing home patients.RESULTSIn our retrospective examination of this case series, we found AlzhaTV was effective in reducing behavioral and psychological symptoms in patients with neurocognitive disorders. We achieved either dose reductions, discontinuation, or avoided initiating the use of antipsychotic medications and benzodiazepines in nearly all patients.CONCLUSIONSAlzhaTV may help decrease behavioral and psychological symptoms of dementia and decrease or avoid the use of antipsychotic medications or benzodiazepines. It may help in reducing the overall cost of health care in patients with dementia or neurocognitive disorders. AlzhaTV helps patients stay connected to their families, friends, and their past while bringing them joy in the present. It also helps families and caregivers feel more connected and less helpless.

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