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Activity engagement in dementia care: A student-delivered home program

Barbara A. Braddock, PhD, CCC-SLP, Ellen Phipps, CTRS


Purpose: This study examines activity engagement for persons with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementia (ADRD) and caregiver support through “partnered volunteering” at home. The goal of the program was to provide opportunities for persons with ADRD to reengage in activities that had fallen out of their daily routines.
Method: University students engaged participants with ADRD in carefully selected and adapted activity over an eight-week program. Cognitive and engagement observations were completed before and after programing. Caregivers rated burden and self-confidence in implementing activity.
Results: Eleven of 12 participants engaged in activity that once held meaning in their lives. Participants with mild cognitive impairment self-initiated activity with adaptation and setup; while those with more severe cognitive impairment were more likely to self-initiate activity following programing. Caregivers reported significantly reduced burden and tended to be more confident in implementing activity following the student-delivered program.
Conclusions: The results highlight individual differences in activity engagement and provide rationale for partnered volunteering.


partnered volunteering, dementia, activity engagement

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