Diversional and Physical Activities to Manage Dementia-Related Behaviors

February 13, 2015 | Aging Services Risk, Quality, & Safety Guidance

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​An article in the February 2015 Journal of Gerontological Nursing describes some "diversional and physical" nonpharmacologic interventions for behavioral and psychological symptoms of dementia that have some support in the literature. Diversional activities are intended to divert the person's attention away from the current activity or mood and toward another activity. For example, to encourage reading, the authors suggest offering material related to the individual's interests, using large print, and ensuring appropriate lighting. With guided imagery, people with dementia listen to a description of a place or story and imagine themselves in it. In addition, staff can sing upbeat songs, tailored to the individual's preferences, to get passive individuals up and moving and calming songs to those who are agitated.

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