Nursing home residents with cognitive impairment are able to participate in a motivational intervention
Research Activities, April 2009
Long-term care professionals are charged with ensuring that residents are restored to their highest level of physical functioning so they retain as much independence as possible. Staff members use many techniques to foster this independence, including encouragement, cueing, role modeling, and positive reinforcement. However, residents who have cognitive impairments such as memory loss or difficulty processing language (aphasia) may not benefit as readily from these restorative care interventions.
Barbara Resnick, Ph.D, C.R.N.P., F.A.A.N., F.A.A.N.P., of the University of Maryland School of Nursing, and colleagues tested a Restorative Care Intervention for the Cognitively Impaired (Res-Care-CI) for 6 months on 41 residents with severe cognitive impairment who were 55 or older and living in a nursing home for people with dementia. The Res-Care-CI motivates nursing assistants by educating and mentoring them on restorative care and helping them develop goals for their nursing home's residents.
Residents experienced a decrease in depressive symptoms 2 months after the Res-Care-CI was implemented, but this improvement was not sustained. Behavioral symptoms (agitation) also lessened after the intervention when baseline measures were compared with 6-month measures. No significant differences in physical function and activity were detected. However, the authors conclude that it is possible to engage residents who suffer from cognitive impairments in physical and functional activities and these activities do not cause behavioral problems or aggravate depression. This study was funded in part by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (HS13372).
See "Pilot testing of the Restorative Care Intervention for the Cognitively Impaired," by Elizabeth M. Galik, Ph.D., C.R.N.P., Dr. Resnick, Ann Gruber-Baldini, Ph.D, and others in the September 2008 Journal of the American Medical Directors Association 9(7), pp. 516-522.