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Jefferson Elder Care Presents at International Alzheimer’s Conference


Since 2008 Jefferson Elder Care (JEC) has been focused on implementing evidence-based programs into practice and training health professionals in dementia care. The Jefferson Elder Care Dementia Service has been providing home based occupational therapy since 2010. When the 2012 Alzheimer’s Association International Conference (AAIC) added a new educational track on social behavioral and care research and practice at its July event in Vancouver, British Columbia, JEC leadership presented “A model for social behavioral care: Community-based Dementia Treatment” to an international audience of researchers and clinicians.

JSHP Dean Janice P. Burke, PhD, OTR/L, and JEC Director Cathy V. Piersol, MS, OTR/L, presented outcomes on 50 patients with dementia and their family caregivers who completed the evidence-based occupational therapy program. Tracey Vause Earland, MS, OTR/L, assistant professor in the Department of Occupational Therapy was an additional author on the paper. The program includes Skills2Care™, which teaches families about dementia and helps them modify the environment and activities to enhance a patient’s life and reduce caregiver upset.

“The strategies we use have been developed and are implemented in a culturally sensitive, tailored manner to address the physical and social environments and unique needs of each individual family with the goal of increasing the patient’s participation and safety in daily activities,” says Piersol.

“Being a part of the first social, behavioral track at the AAIC was an important contribution to the growing body of evidence supporting the efficacy of non-pharmacological interventions to promote quality of life for individuals with dementia and their families,” reports Burke.