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Jefferson Elder Care Occupational Therapists Make a Difference with Mindstart Alzheimer Activities   By PRWEB

Minneapolis, MN 55443 (PRWEB) November 27, 2012

There are 5.4 million Americans living with Alzheimers disease or other forms of dementia according to the Alzheimers Association 2012 Facts and Figures; 60 to 70 % of these people live at home. These people gradually become less and less involved in daily tasks and hobbies, which leads to inactivity and challenging behaviors. Jefferson Elder Care, a dementia services and training program, is changing these patterns for people with dementia through use of evidence-based techniques and use of MindStart dementia activities.

Research conducted at Thomas Jefferson University showed that when individuals with dementia are kept active with customized, meaningful activities, their challenging behaviors, such as agitation, are minimized and quality of life is increased. This research is being applied to work in the homes of individuals with dementia through the Jefferson Elder Care program. This program works with the individual and caregivers to improve the individuals safety and daily function.

The Jefferson Elder Care program is implemented by specially trained occupational therapists who teach new skills and coping techniques to individuals with dementia and their caregivers. The program includes an individualized assessment of the persons cognitive capacities and interests, followed by implementation of appropriate activities that the person can successfully engage in. They also train caregivers in how these activities can be used as a strategy to minimize challenging behaviors.