Residents of nursing homes with a dementing illness constitute a challenge for direct practitioners because of the presence of behavioral problems often accompa nying the illness. A before-after evaluation design was used to assess characteris tics of patients and their staff caregivers at baseline and 1 year after the educa tional intervention. Overall, resident cognition and functioning declined at post test, as would be expected due to the nature of the illness. Thirty-six behaviors were assessed to identify staff perceptions of the frequency and difficulty of managing these behaviors. The most frequently reported behavioral symptoms at baseline were poor personal hygiene and bladder and bowel incontinence; however, after the intervention there were no reports of frequently occurring disruptive behavioral symptoms. Overall, staff perceptions of the frequency and difficulty in managing behavioral symptoms declined by 47% at the post-test. Although managing diffi cult behaviors of dementia patients is a challenge for staff in long-term care facil ities, results of this study suggest that through training staff may perceive behav ioral symptoms as less problematic and thus be enabled to respond more effectively to specific behavioral problems of the residents.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Geriatrics and Gerontology