Encouraging research results: After using Constant Therapy for 6 weeks, a resident diagnosed with dementia in the Special Care Unit of a large retirement community showed functional improvement and more independence.
Computer-Mediated Cognitive-Communicative Intervention for Residents with Dementia in a Special Care Unit: An Exploratory Investigation
Original research by Whitney A. Postman, November 2016, St. Louis University, St. Louis, MO
As published in Perspectives of the ASHA Special Interest Groups SIG 15, Vol. 1(Part 2), 2016
According to the most up-to-date statistics reported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 17% of residential care communities in the United States house special care units (SCU's) for residents with dementia. Residents of Special Care Units in skilled nursing facilities, constitute a population of rapidly escalating needs. These entail rising demands for speech-language pathology services to treat and manage symptoms of dementia.
This study recounts an exploratory investigation of rehabilitation sessions with an elderly resident of a Special Care Unit, using a new computer-based program targeting cognitive-communicative capacities. Preliminary results suggest that this resident with moderate dementia achieved a higher degree of functional recovery and superior quality of life than would have been possible with more traditional therapeutic approaches alone.
- Constant Therapy tasks were incorporated into a 6 week course of skilled SLP treatment with a resident with moderate dementia residing in a Special Care Unit (SCU).
- The resident demonstrated improvements in task performance and required less clinician cues over the course of treatment (see Table 2).
- There was functional improvement in the resident’s independence during ADLs, safety, adaptation to surroundings and reduction of negative behaviors. The resident was successfully transferred from the SCU to a long-term care wing that provided more freedom.
- Findings suggest that using the customized Constant Therapy program as part of speech language therapy “achieved a higher degree of functional recovery and superior quality of life than would have been possible with more traditional therapeutic approaches.”
Read the full research report here.
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