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Am J Alzheimers Dis Other Demen. 2001 Jul-Aug;16(4):251-4.

Using external memory aids to increase room finding by older adults with dementia.

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  • 1University of Kansas Gerontology Center, Dole Human Development Center, Lawrence, Kansas, USA.


When nursing home residents with dementia are unable to locate their own rooms, it often creates problems for staff and other residents. The impact of placing two external memory aids outside participants' bedrooms was evaluated by using a multiple-baseline design experiment. Three female special care unit (SCU) residents with severe Alzheimer's disease (MMSE = 5.7) participated in the study. Results showed that a combination of a portrait-type photograph of the participant as a young adult and a sign stating the resident's name increased room finding by over 50 percent with all three participants. Room finding stabilized at 100 percent accuracy for all participants within a few days of implementing the environmental intervention.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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