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Agitated behaviors and dysphoric moods in nursing home residents with dementia may be a response to a lack of personalized, meaningful activity and stimulation. To address this deficiency, a personal computer was adapted to play favorite music and display photographs, movies and messages that were selected or made by family members. The system (called Memory Box) is accompanied by a simplified interface to help people with dementia access material independently.
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Increasingly more attention has been paid to non-pharmacological interventions as treatment of agitated behaviors that accompany dementia. The aim of the current study is to test if personalized one-to-one interaction activities based on Montessori principles will improve agitation, affect, and engagement more than a relevant control condition.
We conducted a randomized crossover trial in nine residential facilities in metropolitan Melbourne, Australia (n = 44).

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The objective of this study was to compare the effectiveness of two individualized psychosocial treatments in reducing the frequency of physically and verbally agitated behaviors in nursing home residents whose dementia was complicated by marked behavioral disturbance.
Thirty nursing home residents with frequent, severe behavioral disturbances were observed by research staff before, during, and after multiple, randomized, single-blind exposures to 15-minute audiotapes of simulated family presence (a conversation prepared by a family member about positive experiences from the past), music preferred by the resident in earlier life, and a placebo condition of a reading from a horticultural text. Selected (usually multiple) physical and verbal behaviors were counted as present or absent at regular intervals.

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A randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trial was undertaken to determine the efficacy of nonpharmacologic individualized interventions (individualized to address unmet needs such as boredom or pain) in decreasing agitation in persons with dementia.
Agitated nursing home residents with advanced dementia (from 9 nursing homes in 5 locations in Maryland, United States) were randomized into an intervention group (n = 89) and a placebo control group (n = 36). On the basis of data from baseline assessment, a systematic methodology for individualizing nonpharmacologic interventions, Treatment Routes for Exploring Agitation (TREA), was used with the intervention group: an unmet need was hypothesized, a corresponding treatment category was identified, and specifics of the treatment were chosen to fit the person's need, past identity, preferences, and abilities.

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Older people with dementia may display negative emotions, memory problems, sleep disturbance, and agitated behavior. Among these symptoms, agitated behavior has been identified by families and nursing staff as the care problem that presents the greatest challenge. Several studies have found that music therapy reduced agitated behaviors in those with dementia and recommended use of music as an effective strategy in managing this behavioral problem.

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