In the proposed project, we will conduct a three-year study in which older adults in early or middle stages of dementia participate in intergenerational programming with preschool children. Based on a demonstration project conducted at the Menorah Park Center for the Aging in Beachwood, Ohio, the study will determine if the positive effects of intergenerational programming observed in the earlier effort can be replicated in a controlled pilot efficacy study with larger samples in two sites,--Adult Day Care (ADC) and a dementia Special Care Unit (SCU). The effects of the program on Disability will be assessed with Proximal Measures (direct observation of disengagement from the environment and problem behaviors) and Distal Measures (survey measures of behavioral problems, affect, IADLs, taking part in pleasant events, and mental status). The study has the following specific aims: 1) To determine if the intergenerational program produces positive results as an effective intervention for Disability associated with dementia, 2) To determine if positive effects of the intervention increase with amount of time spent in the intervention, 3) to determine if positive effects of the intervention are maintained after the program ends, 4) To determine if positive effects of the intervention replicate across sites (ADC and SCU), 5) to determine if site differentially affects outcomes, and 6) To create training materials and procedures which will allow site staff to implement the program effectively. This proposal is submitted under Program Announcement PA93-093 entitled Exploratory Development Grants (R21) for Psychosocial Treatment Research. The objectives of the proposed study reflect those of the R21 program--to conduct research on the early stages of the development of a new psychosocial treatment for a mental disorder. While the intervention is still exploratory and therefore submitted as an R21 proposal, it offers the advantage of having already shown promise in a small-scale trial. Should this project be funded and produce positive results, support will be sought for an extension of the intervention into multiple settings and trials involving larger numbers of children and participants. The proposed intervention study would make use of theoretical work on multiple learning/memory systems in dementia, while extending the implications of this basic research into a real world application. Finally, this research may affect policy by emphasizing the benefits of bringing cognitive/psychosocial interventions for disability into the area of dementia care.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)
Exploratory/Developmental Grants (R21)
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Mental Disorders of Aging Review Committee (MDA)
Program Officer
Niederehe, George T
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Menorah Park Center for Senior Living
United States
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Camp, Cameron J; Lee, Michelle M (2011) Montessori-Based Activities as a Trans-Generational Interface for Persons with Dementia and Preschool Children. J Intergener Relatsh 9:366-373
Lee, Michelle M; Camp, Cameron J; Malone, Megan L (2007) Effects of intergenerational Montessori-based activities programming on engagement of nursing home residents with dementia. Clin Interv Aging 2:477-83
Camp, Cameron J; Cohen-Mansfield, Jiska; Capezuti, Elizabeth A (2002) Use of nonpharmacologic interventions among nursing home residents with dementia. Psychiatr Serv 53:1397-401