Training nursing home residents to serve as group activity leaders: Lessons learned and preliminary results from the RAP project

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Abstract

We trained residents in long-term care facilities to fill the role of group activity leaders using a Resident-Assisted Programming (RAP) training regimen. RAP training enabled residents across a wide range of mental status levels to fill the role of group leaders for persons with dementia in two Montessori-based activities and in an activity which focuses on persons with more advanced dementia, based on the work of Jitka Zgola. Our results demonstrate that long-term care residents are capable of leading a variety of group activities for persons with dementia, which increases the number of individuals available for leading activities within programs and facilities providing care for persons with dementia. Most importantly, this provides the opportunity for RAP leaders to fulfill meaningful social roles in these facilities.

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