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Journal Club: “Just Make It Stop”

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…

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How To Make Your Own Picture Communication Cards

Anyone can make picture cards. All you need is a word processing or presentation program, the Internet, and a printer. First, make a list of picture cards needed for clients/loved ones. Then, search online for images that best represent those activities or items. Cut and paste those images into a…


Picture Card Communication for Individuals With Dementia

As dementia patients decline, their ability to communicate using words decreases. Individuals become aphasic or mute and cannot communicate basic wants. Ineffective ways of communicating leads to challenging behaviors, caregiver depression, and isolated patients. Picture or text reminders are frequently used in cognitive rehabilitation or during reminiscence activities. Pictures can be used…


From Blog to Blog: The Importance of Age Appropriate Activities

Activity engagement is a vital part of maintaining or increasing quality of life for individuals with dementia. In fact, researchers recommend that it be part of daily routines, alongside exercise and proper nutrition. Activities can increase happiness and boost affect, while decrease agitation and boredom. All too often, I find that…

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From Blog to Blog: Emphasizing Dr. Laird’s Advice to Those With Dementia

I try to keep up with many resources in aging — scholarly journals, news media, and fellow bloggers. This week I ran across a new blog — Dr. Rosemary Laird’s Caregiver Corner. Dr. Laird was the AGS Clinician of the Year in 2013 after establishing a caregiver center, case management…


Medicare Highlights

On Monday I attended the DC Senior Resource Group (DCSRG) meeting for the second time. The DCSRG is a networking event for people who work with the aging population. It’s held once a month at the Methodist Home church in Northwest DC. This month, Alfred J Chiplin, Jr. or “Chip,” a…

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The Gerontological Society Of America Conference

This past weekend I attended my first Gerontological Society of America conference. I have attended conferences in behavior analysis and geriatric medicine, but never the year’s largest gerontology conference, where researchers and clinicians in biological, behavioral, and social disciplines gather to discuss issues in aging. The theme, “Optimal Aging Through…

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The Path To 2025

Nearly 10,000 baby boomers turn 65 every day. It is estimated that by the time these individuals reach age 85, one in every two will develop dementia. This will drastically change the way older adults spend their golden years and poses a serious impact to our economy and healthcare industry….

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How Much Time Is Needed For ABA Therapy?

Everyone’s behavior changes at a different rate. However, the more often ABA therapy is used by family or staff members outside of scheduled visits, the quicker behavior will change. The ABA therapist will only visit once or twice a week. Intensive programs may involve up to five or ten hours…

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What Does Staff Training In ABA Therapy Involve?

ABA therapy is a comprehensive program of services — it is not a “one size fits all approach,” nor is it a “canned” set of programs. We teach caregivers how to respond to challenging behaviors and how to modify tasks to encourage appropriate behaviors in individuals with dementia, but all…