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Targeting Memory Improvement in Assisted Living: A Pilot Study



This pilot study tested an intervention designed to improve memory for assisted-living (AL) residents. Seven residents in one Midwestern AL facility participated in a six-session memory program based on qualitative research that identified typical memory challenges of residents (e.g., remembering names, schedules, and appointments). Scores on memory self-efficacy (the Memory Complaint in Age-Associated Impairment) and performance (Rivermead Behavioral Memory Test) measures were compared before and after the intervention. Self-efficacy improved significantly after the program (z = 2.37,p = .018) for remembering names, phone numbers, lists of items, and facts. Increases in actual memory performance were not statistically significant. However, three out of seven participants (43%) improved in recalling first and last names. Ongoing testing on larger samples with a control group design is needed to verify effects and determine any effects on daily functioning. This study suggests that cognitive interventions targeting frail elder populations are feasible to provide to older adults in AL.