An Interdisciplinary Dementia Program Model for Long-Term Care

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An emerging area for geriatric rehabilitation specialists is in dementia care in long-term care facilities. With a high percentage of residents affected by Alzheimer's disease and related disorders, the skills of physical, occupational, and speech therapists can be used to assess cognition and function and to implement programs that allow cognitively impaired residents to maximize their remaining capabilities and avoid excess (unnecessary) disability, and thus improve their quality of life. Residents with mild dementia can learn new skills. This article presents an interdisciplinary model based on a theoretical foundation, using the theory of retrogenesis, developed by Dr Barry Reisberg, and the Allen cognitive disabilities theory, developed by Claudia Allen, OTR/L. Examples of components of the “Forget-Me-Not” dementia program developed by the author are given.

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