Coler-Goldwater Specialty Hospital and Nursing Facility

An Interdisciplinary Team Building Training Program for Understanding and Managing the Behaviors Associated with Dementia in the Residents of Nursing Facilities: Measurement and Evaluation of the Effectiveness of the Need-Driven Dementia-Compromised Behavior Model as Described in Dementia Practice Guidelines for Recreational Therapy

Coler-Goldwater Specialty Hospital & Nursing Facility, along with Gouverneur Nursing Facility, underwent a two-year study to evaluate the effectiveness of the "Dementia Practice Guidelines For Recreational Therapy" (DPG) in the treatment of disturbing behaviors. Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialists (CTRS) utilized the DPG to address disturbing behaviors in adults with dementia. The Guidelines, by Linda Buettner and Suzanne Fitzsimmons, focused on the use of non-pharmacological treatments to address disturbing behaviors with the view that behaviors are expressions of unmet needs. All staff working on specialized units for people with dementia received training to create supportive, consistent treatment plans to meet each individual's needs. A disciplinary team of caregivers met weekly to clarify outcomes and revise interventions as needed to support the guidelines assessed as appropriate by the CTRS. Three sites were used for implementation and study; each with a different environmental lay out, allowing for environmental impact to be studied as well.

Environment, activity schedules, activity materials and residents' individual needs were assessed to discern the best approaches for individuals using the DPG and the group collectively. Collected data was studied to discern effective interventions, patterns in behaviors and their cause, appropriate approaches, outcomes related to environment, scheduling, human interaction and activity effectiveness. Pre and post studies were given to discern the benefits of the use of the guidelines on staff productivity, morale and stress levels.

Goal: Improve quality of life by: reducing disturbing behaviors, falls, accidents, and incidents; creating a safer and more supportive environment; improving rapport with caregivers; and reducing pharmacological treatment.

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