Principal Investigator: Diane K. King, Ph.D
This research is supported by the Alaska Mental Health Trust Authority, grant #4743.
In 2010, the prevalence of Alzheimer's disease (AD) and related disorders in Alaska was estimated at about 7,600 and is increasing exponentially every year. Adult day services offer an opportunity for individuals with AD to participate in activities that will help prolong their functional mobility and skills and prevent or slow the need for skilled nursing care.
Results To Date
Guests enrolled in the study completed physical and psychological assessments before the start of the EM program (baseline), and again four and eight months after the start of the program. Performance measures included a timed 10 meter walk test, to evaluate gait speed- a predictor of falls risk, standing balance assessments, and chair stands - to measure endurance. Researchers conducted interviews with caregivers and Serendipity staff to learn more about how the EM program is affecting guests.
Based on results from key informant interviews and researcher observations at Serendipity, Enhance Mobility continues to be viewed as a positive program and staff report physical, psychological, and social benefits for guests. Our assessments indicate increased ability among guests to perform the exercises: however there were few measurable changes in physical or functional performance from baseline to four-month and eight-month follow-up, based on guest assessments and caregiver quantitative reports. Given the population and the four-month and eight-month follow-up time frames, a finding of sustained performance over time may be positive, given the importance of slowing the rate of decline and sustaining functional ability as long as possible.
"Jill * has fun doing exercises, and doing them in a group is a motivator for her." -- Guest caregiver
"Bob* is just so much more stable and independent and in a better frame of mind...he has been able to do other programs with us. He dances better and some of our bowling and soccer and things like that, he is more capable of participating in. And he is just a happier person." --Serendipity staff
"I've seen people maintain their body strength for helping transfer themselves with another person from off their chair for toileting which is really a big deal. That's been really cool to see." --Serendipity staff
*pseudonyms used to protect guest confidentiality