LeadingAge New York Adviser Fall 2015 Vol. 1 - Page 19

Therapy’s Role... • • (Continued from page 17) surface is smaller than the feet Stepping strategies: step taken in any direction to prevent falls and realign base of support Training strategies: • Provide progressive therapeutic tasks to facilitate balance reactions/postural strategies • Provide visual and proprioceptive/tactile cues, demonstrate task while providing cues Swallowing and Self-Feeding • • • Analyze diet for safety and efficiency of swallow to maintain nutrition/hydration Develop compensatory strategies to ensure safety with least restrictive diet Modify dining environment to facilitate performance including such things as limiting people or distractions at the dining table, food presentation, positioning at the table, utensil choice or adaptive equipment Communication • • • Develop cognitive-communication strategies to facilitate social interaction, identification of wants and needs Behavior management strategies including how the task/environment is structured and approach methods Develop external memory and communication aides for residents with appropriate visual acuity and visual graphic skills Activities • • • Determine activities of interest based on history and adapt these for current dementia stage Analyze activities for constructs such as attention span, problem solving, sequencing and new learning ability to determine leisure pursuits with which the resident will find success Determine compensatory techniques, adaptive equipment, environmental modification and cueing strategies Now is the time to come together as an interdisciplinary team and focus on the resident to realize CMS’ goal, decrease use of medications for individuals with dementia, and demonstrate quality of life improvements that will impact state survey. Therapists will develop a functional maintenance program and educate staff on topics such as ADL status, safety issues, cuing techniques known to work, task sequencing, communication tips and assistive devices. These techniques, in combination, are known to ease caregiver burden, optimize function and reduce behavioral outbursts. Josh Royston, director of business development, Select Rehabilitation can be reached at (412) 508-3912 or jroyston@selectrehab.com. leadingageny.org 18