Creative Connections: Innovative Training and Support for Caregivers of Persons with Dementia

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The program teams up students from the University of Virginia Schools of Education, Nursing and Medicine with families dealing with Alzheimer's disease in the community. The students provide assistance in adapting the environment to becoming appropriate for the person with dementia.


Alzheimer's Association Central & Western Virginia

The mission of the Alzheimer's Association is to enhance care and support for individuals, families, and caregivers, and, to eliminate Alzheimer's disease through the advancement of research. The organization's vision is creating a world without Alzheimer's disease.


Charlottesville, VA

How does it work?

The program is the result of a creative partnership formed between the Alzheimer's Association and University of Virginia Schools of Education, Nursing and Medicine. Following comprehensive training, students deliver to families dealing with Alzheimer's disease, tools and strategies for adapting the home environment to include Creative Activity Centers as appealing places for persons with dementia to engage in Creative-Expressive Activities. In addition to environmental modifications, students deliver Cognitive and Guided Intervention approaches to caregivers based on the principles of three practice fields: Therapeutic Recreation; Montessori Based Activities for Persons with Dementia; and, Errorless Learning.

Why is it successful?

Based on evaluation findings, participants were universally engaged, and caregivers reported less stress while benefiting by gaining knowledge and strategies. Persons with Alzheimer's disease demonstrated low to no levels of agitation during the engagement process.

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Tuesday, January 21, 2014