Non-Pharmacological Interventions for Aggression in Persons with Dementia: A Review of the Literature

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The term “dementia” refers to decline in a number of cognitive abilities such as attention, language and memory that negatively interferes with daily functioning (APA, 2000). Dementia can be caused by many different conditions, some of which are reversible (e.g., vitamin B12 deficiencies, dehydration, adverse reactions to medications) and some that are not reversible (e.g., Alzheimer’s disease, vascular dementia, frontotemporal dementia). In cases where dementia is irreversible, behavioral disturbances are common, particularly as the disease becomes more severe. Although behavioral disturbances come in many different varieties, verbal and physical aggression presents one of most the challenging and dangerous situations faced by caregivers. The purpose of this paper is to describe the problem of aggression, review the empirical literature investigating nonpharmacological interventions for managing aggressive behavior, and provide suggestions for future research.



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Behavioral Analyst Today

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