|Behavioral Approaches to the Treatment of Alzheimer's Disease: Research Strategies|
International Perspectives: Sweden
Supporting Functional Behavior in Alzheimer's Disease
|Lena Borell a1a2|
a1 Department of Clinical Neuroscience and Family Medicine, Division of Geriatric Medicine, Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden
a2 Stockholm University College of Health Sciences, Solna, Sweden.
Institutionalized persons with Alzheimer's disease (AD) often demonstrate nonfunctional behaviors such as resistance to dressing and washing, disturbed sleep, restlessness, homesickness, and wandering. If behavior is regarded as emanating from the person with impaired cognition interacting with his or her environment, the environment is found to have a very significant impact on retaining functional capacity. For example, studies have demonstrated how behaviors described as wandering and homesickness strongly relate to events and objects in the environment (Zingmark et al., 1993). The context or environment contributes to the success or failure of behavioral strategies. The goal in dementia care must be to have a positive impact on functional behavior. One consequence of this is that functional behavior can be altered, within limits, through environmental strategies.