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An Occupational Therapy Home-Based Intervention to Address Dementia–Related Problems Identified by Family Caregivers

Corcoran, Mary A., PhD, OTR, FAOTA; Gitlin, Laura N., PhD; Levy, Linda, PhD, OTR; Eckhardt, Susan, MS, OTR; Earland, Tracey Vause, MS, OTR/L; Shaw, Geri, MS, OTR; Kearney, Pamalyn, MS, OTR

Feature Topic: Therapeutic Environments

The family caregiving literature suggests that, at the moderate stage of impairment from dementia, family members who provide dementia care often need to manage troublesome behaviors, such as catastrophic reactions (emotional outbursts) and wandering. As a result, families are introduced to a demanding situation of unpredictability and the need for constant vigilance. It stands to reason that care burden reaches its highest level during the moderate stage of Alzheimer's disease, partly due to the emergence of disruptive behaviors. 1

Professor, Department of Occupational Therapy; Director, Community and Homecare Research Division, College of Health Professions, Thomas Jefferson University; Director of Research, Senior Health Institute, Jefferson Health System in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Gitlin)

Professor and Interim Chairman, Department of Health Care Sciences, School of Medicine and Health Sciences, The George Washington University, in Washington, DC. (Corcoran)

All Interventionists, Philadelphia REACH Study, Community and Homehealth Research Division, Thomas Jefferson University, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Levy, Eckhardt, Earland, Shaw, Kearney)

Research reported was supported by a grant funded by the National Institute on Aging (ROI-AG13265). The views contained in this publication are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of the granting agency.

Address all correspondence to: Dr. Mary Corcoran, 2300 K Street, NW, Suite 104, Washington, DC 20037. Voice: (202) 994–3153; fax: 202–994–8531. E-mail:

© 2002 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.