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activities of daily living, ADL's, communication, dementia, falls, gait, mobility, pain, rehabilitation



  1. Staples, Susan PT, GCS


The profound effects of dementia on a person's ability to participate in rehabilitation services have significant impact on outcomes and overall quality of life. The long duration of the disease process, with some persons living with dementia for more than 10 years, makes it imperative that therapists utilize the existing clinical evidence to modify traditional approaches to the specific needs of this patient population. This article outlines comprehensive modifications for evaluation and treatment to assist with the many challenges therapists face when providing rehabilitation for persons with dementia. Communication strategies, bed mobility, transfers, gait, balance, fall risk reduction, activities of daily living, and pain issues are presented with an evidence-based approach. Also included are clinical expertise, hands-on evaluation, as well as treatment approaches for direct application across all settings. Therapists can achieve positive outcomes with rehabilitation for persons with dementia when utilizing patient-specific communication and approaches.