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Care of Older Persons in their Environment (COPE)

Funded by the National Institutes of Health, Grant # R01 AG061945-01
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COPE is an evidence-based program that can help individuals living with dementia maintain and improve their quality of life and help their care partners better manage daily care challenges and reduce their own upset and distress. The program addresses the unmet needs of families, providing individualized, targeted strategies to make life better. Through its assessment approach, provision of education and specific skills, it helps families manage common clinical symptoms of dementia such as functional dependence, behavioral and psychological symptoms of dementia and caregiver distress. COPE is designed for persons living at home with any form of dementia, who have a care partner, and are experiencing deteriorating quality of life. Home sessions are conducted by nurses and occupational therapists trained in the COPE program and number of sessions may vary based on payment model and family need.


Laura N. Gitlin, PhD, FGSA, FAAN

Distinguished University Professor and Dean

Drexel University College of Nursing and Health Professions


Nancy A. Hodgson, PhD, RN, FAAN

Anthony Buividas Term Chair in Gerontology, Associate Professor of Nursing

University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing


Catherine Verrier Piersol, PhD, OTR/L, FAOTA

Professor, Department of Occupational Therapy, Chair, Department of Occupational Therapy

Thomas Jefferson University, Department of Occupational Therapy

Research Team Members

Drexel University
Rose Ann DiMaria-Ghalili, PhD, RN, FASPEN, FAAN, FGSA
Zachary Hathaway, BS, CIP
Sokha Koeuth, MPH

University of Pennsylvania
Karen B. Hirschman, PhD
Ani Nenkova, PhD
Susan M. Renz, PhD, DNP, RN, GNP-BC
Emily Summerhayes

Trinity Health
Melanie Wright, PhD, Trinity Health
Caroline (Carrie) Hays McElroy, MSN-HCA, Trinity Health
Patricia (Patty) Pokrandt, MS, Gero-BC, Trinity Health PACE

Mercy Health System of Southeastern Pennsylvania
Anna Marshalick, MSN