What is the effectiveness of reminiscence-based interventions on reducing disruptive behaviors in older adults with dementia?

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Jacobs, Amy
Osborn, McKenzie
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2021-05-01
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Occupational therapists can assist in treating symptoms of Alzheimer’s Disease by addressing strategies to improve occupational engagement, provide support for caregivers and support the emotional health of clients by creating and maintaining an emotional connection with the client (AOTA, 2011). One strategy to help create an emotional connection with an individual is through reminiscence therapy (RT) which provides opportunity for an individual to revisit moments from the past through storytelling, photos and other memory-stimulating modalities, and has been shown to improve self-esteem and create a sense of fulfillment about the individual’s life as they revisit those memories (Klever, 2013). RT therapy can include asking open-ended questions throughout everyday activities, such as while enjoying a meal or taking a walk, or it can also include more formalized interactions such as in a group setting and project-based activities (Klever, 2013). This paper critically analyzed the effectiveness of reminiscence therapy interventions to reduce disruptive behaviors in older adults with dementia. Studies suggest that the versatility of reminiscence therapy may be a great option for occupational therapists to consider as they can implement RT with individuals with dementia as a preparatory activity during therapy sessions or utilize RT intervention activities as the primary focus and goal of a therapy session. In creating these emotional connections, the individual with dementia or Alzheimer’s Disease can remain in the present and engage with the therapist and experience improved self-esteem and mood, thus reducing disruptive and agitated behaviors. Reducing these behaviors can be beneficial for the daily caregivers caring for the individual with dementia, reducing the overall burden of care, but can also be effective for improving the individual’s participation in occupational therapy sessions.
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Creighton University
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Copyright is retained by the Author. A non-exclusive distribution right is granted to Creighton University
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