NET Therapy: Dementia Care Best Practices + Rehab = Success
Here’s my latest article on McKnight’s Long-Term Care News:
When I learned about Neurocognitive Engagement Therapy for rehabilitation residents, I had the same reaction I did when I first heard about geriatric emergency rooms: Palm-smack to the forehead, “Why didn’t we think of this before?!”
Of course people with dementia aren’t going to do well in traditional rehabilitation settings. We’ve been putting them in large, over-stimulating rooms and asking them to accomplish tasks that are meaningless to them. No wonder they become agitated or withdrawn and are unable to engage in treatment.
Enter NET therapy. Using a $25,000 grant from the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America, Phoebe Ministries, in conjunction with various academic partners, developed and studied neurocognitive engagement therapy, which combines the best practices of dementia care with the tasks of occupational, physical and speech therapies.
The elements of NET Therapy
Like geriatric emergency rooms, one aspect of the NET model involves changing the physical environment so that it’s calming and more conducive to engagement in treatment, such as working one on one rather than in a group.
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