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The purpose of the project was to provide behavioral consultation and services to aging persons with cognitive impairment at skilled nursing facilities in Michigan. The goal was to use empirically supported non-pharmacological approaches to reduce behavioral and psychological symptoms of dementia (BPSD; wandering, agitation, disruptive vocalizations, etc.) and help slow down or remediate lost skills, reduce the use of medication to manage BPSD, to improve staff knowledge and abilities, and to develop modules that can be adopted and used by other skilled nursing facilities.The project was led by Dr. Janet Hahn, a social gerontologist with extensive experience studying nursing home culture change and the quality of long-term care services. The intervention project team consisted of doctoral, masters and undergraduate level behavior analysts with advanced training in working with aging populations, under the direction of Dr. Jonathan Baker (doctoral level board certified behavior analyst and behavioral gerontologist).

The project was funded by the Civil Money Penalties fund of the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services from May 2016 and to April 2019. The project was conducted with oversight by the Western Michigan University Human Subjects Institutional Review Board, under approved protocol HSIRB Project Number 16-09-07, titled Implementing Behavior Analysis and Intervention for Individuals with Cognitive Impairment in Skilled Nursing Facilities.

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