An 89-year-old woman diagnosed with severe vascular dementia cried excessively on van rides home from her adult day center. Authors used a differential reinforcement procedure to decrease levels of crying to zero or near zero levels. Day center staff, however, were not actively involved in application of the intervention.
Warning signs were first used as an intervention to decrease excessive crying. “Throughout the van rides home, therapists informed the woman of the distance to her house, held signs, and provided reminder statements (e.g., ‘You have three stops left”). This intervention was conducted for 6 consecutive days (Figure 1; Sessions 5-10). Warning signs did not consistently reduce crying.” (pg. 1238)
Behavioral symptoms of dementia are highly idiosyncratic and require individualized assessments and interventions. To determine if interventions are effective, behavior data should be collected over a period of time and compared to pre-intervention conditions. Board Certified Behavior Analysts (BCBAs) are uniquely qualified to prescribe behavior intervention plans, monitor progress, and train caregivers.
For more information on differential reinforcement, click here.
For more information on the importance of data collection, click here.
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