Affirmative Therapy Products

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In 2008, we completed a project that suggests it is possible to improve the quality of life for dementia patients. Our project was inspired by and based on the research findings of Barbara Derrick, PhD, a clinical psychologist in South Carolina. (Please refer Dr. Derrick’s research on our website.) (Please refer to Venture Inward, July/August 2004 for additional information about Dr. Derrick’s work.) Dr. Derrick has shown that dementia residents who listen to daily positive affirmation tapes have marked improvements in their behavior and their level of happiness. In addition, the caregivers who listen daily to a tape that affirms their positive and nurturing role with the patients have a significantly lower rate of absenteeism.


Our project was conducted at the Del Sol Residential Facility for the Elderly in Mission Viejo, California. Thirteen out of twenty-three families consented to have their family member participate in our project. We developed two CDs with positive affirmations; Affirmative Therapy for Dementia Patients and Affirmative Therapy for Caregivers. We administered and scored a preliminary Mini-Mental Status Examination (MMSE) on each of the participating residents. We also held an orientation training program with the staff. With the help of the caregiver staff, we identified specific behavior challenges for each of the participating residents (e.g., yelling, lack of cooperation with grooming or meals). Each of the 13 participating residents listened to the CD twice a day (once in the morning and once in the evening before bed). A senior staff member recorded observations of the frequency of behavioral challenges for each resident. Three months later, we administered a follow-up MMSE and reviewed the behavior records.


Unforunately, by the end of the study, three of the participants had passed away. Of the remaining 10 participants, three demonstrated an improved behavior pattern and seven remained the same. Equally interesting and encouraging were the follow-up MMSE scores. One score remained the same, five scores were lower, and four participants actually demonstrated improved scores.


Although our study did not have a control group, this preliminary evidence, as well as that of Barbara Derrick, PhD, suggests that dementia patients benefit from listening to a positive affirmation tape, especially when their caregivers also listen to a tape that affirms the importance of their role as caregivers. Our findings offer mostly subjective; however, we are open to providing assistance with further research in this arena. Meanwhile, we encourage healthcare providers and caregivers in any arena to add our Affirmative Therapy Products to their daily routine. These audio products offer an improved quality of life for dementia patients and ”respite in a CD” for caregivers.

Barbara Klein-Robuck, MS, RN, HN-BC
Donna A. McCullough, PhD

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