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Tailored Activity Program Shows Promise for Black People with Dementia and Their Family Caregivers

December 7, 2022

Behavioral and psychological symptoms – such as agitation and aggression – are hallmarks of dementia that occur across disease stages and types, and can negatively impact both the person living with dementia and their caregivers. With most of the 6.2 million Americans living with dementia being cared for by a family member at home, nonpharmacological approaches (management without medications) are the preferred first course of action to slow disease progession, decrease health care utilization, increase quality of life and ease caregiver distress.

The Tailored Activity Program (TAP), developed by Laura N. Gitlin, PhD, Distinguished University professor and dean of Drexel University’s College of Nursing and Health Professions, while at Thomas Jefferson University and then Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing with her research teams, is a nonpharmacological approach, which has been shown to address behavioral and psychological symptoms and other clinical symptoms such as functional dependence. TAP provides activities tailored to the interests and abilities of people living with dementia and instructs caregivers in their use.

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