Intervention of Multi-Modal Activities for Older Adults With Dementia Translation to Rural Communities Academic Article uri icon

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abstract

  • A Language-Enriched Exercise Plus Socialization (LEEPS) Program for older adults with Alzheimer's disease and related disorders (ADRD) was implemented in rural Wisconsin communities. Patterned after a university-based research intervention, (1) the LEEPS protocol entailed ongoing weekly to biweekly sessions with a trained volunteer and an individual with dementia, with exercise and language stimulation sessions interspersed with social or volunteer outings. Of 64 persons with ADRD who enrolled, 29 completed an initial follow-up assessment at an average of 10.65 months, and 8 completed a second follow-up at an average of 20.55 months. Results generally show stability in cognition, mood, and physical performance. Improvement was noted at the initial retest on 1 of the 3 physical fitness measures (arm curls; t = 2.61, P = .015), but self-rated quality of life declined slightly from baseline to the first retest (t = -2.09, P = .048). Change in the Mini-Mental State Examination at the first and second follow-ups (mean = +0.18 and -1.0, respectively) was negligible. The maintenance of function observed with LEEPS is an encouraging outcome, given the progressive nature of ADRD, but controlled investigations are needed to establish the efficacy of LEEPS. Barriers to implementation of an intensive activities-focused intervention in rural communities are discussed.

publication date

  • August 2015