A Review of Behavioral Treatments for Persons with Dementia

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The term "dementia" is used to describe the widespread decline in cognitive abilities that results from an organic process such as Alzheimer's disease, stroke, or Huntington's disease. Regardless of the cause, dementia is characterized by a decline in various intellectual abilities that is sufficient to interfere with normal daily functioning (Hutton, 1991). Dementia is also characterized by changes in behavioral functioning that can be very challenging for caregivers and patients alike. The purpose of this paper will be to briefly review the most common causes of dementia and common symptoms of dementia. Next, the paper will describe behavioral excesses and deficits that are most often associated with dementia and a review of empirically-supported interventions will be provided. Finally, the effectiveness of behavioral interventions as it related to public policy issues will be discussed.



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Behavior Analyst Today

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