Restorative Care With Cognitively Impaired Older Adults Moving Beyond Behavior

More than half of individuals diagnosed with dementia experience significant functional limitations. A restorative philosophy of care focuses on the restoration and/or maintenance of physical function and helps older adults to compensate for functional impairments so the the highest level of function is obtained and complications of physical dependance are minimized. When working with cognitively impaired individuals who commonly exhibit behavioral and psychiatric symptoms, it is essential to move beyond the tendancy to focus only on behavioral interventions, and also implement a restorative philosophy of care that maxinizes physical function and quality of life. This article describes a 4-step approach that can be used to implement a restorative philosophy of care for older adults with cognitive impairment and their caregivers.