It is with great pleasure that I present to you this issue of Topics in Geriatric Rehabilitation: Focus on Dementia. Many healthcare providers feel called to serve and/or specialize in one particular area of interest. Providing rehabilitation for older persons with dementia has been that special calling for me. It is an honor and privilege to walk beside an older person with dementia and his or her family through their journey with this disease that progressively diminishes quality of life and steals hope and joy. As healthcare providers, we can have a tremendous impact by assisting older persons with dementia to achieve their highest functional potential and quality of life.
This issue addresses the need for a comprehensive and interdisciplinary approach when serving this rapidly growing population. Our interdisciplinary team of authors includes a physical therapist and geriatric clinical specialist, an occupational therapist, a nurse practitioner and doctoral candidate, a nurse practitioner and professor, a speech–language pathologist, a pharmacist and clinical assistant professor, an activities director, and a physician with specialty in internal medicine and geriatrics.
It is my hope that readers will find this issue clinically relevant, with a strong evidence-based approach. I thank all of the authors for their efforts, all of my past and present patients and their families for teaching me so much, and Dr Carole Lewis for her role as a leader in the field of geriatrics. I also thank those who take the time to read this journal issue. Your time is valuable, and you are showing that providing quality healthcare services to older persons with dementia is a priority.
Susan Staples, PT, GCS