Title page for ETD etd-12172008-063717

Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Hamilton, Claire L.
URN etd-12172008-063717
Title The use of tape patterns as an alternative method for controlling wanderers' exiting behavior in a dementia care unit
Degree Master of Science
Department Housing, Interior Design, and Resource Management
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
McLain-Kark, Joan H. Committee Chair
Marshall-Baker, Anna Committee Member
Travis, Shirley S. Committee Member
  • Human engineering.
Date of Defense 1993-05-01
Availability unrestricted

The number of elderly people moving into long-term care facilities is expected to increase as the population of people 65 and older continues to rise at a significantly high rate. Simultaneously, the number of people expected to be diagnosed with dementia will also increase unless a cure for this devastating disease is found. In the meantime, caregivers face many problems in providing healthy and humane treatments. One such problem that is a major concern for caregivers is controlling wandering behavior. This behavior often places patients in life threatening situations, and the current methods used by many facilities do not promote a high quality of life.

The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of various tape patterns on the wandering behaviors of residents living in a special dementia care unit in Heritage Hall Nursing Home, Blacksburg, Virginia. Similar studies revealed that alternative methods using tape patterns could reduce exiting attempts at a fire exit door or could possibly increase these attempts.

In order to address these inconsistencies, exiting attempts at a fire exit door were recorded during one baseline and two similar test conditions. It was found that exiting attempts was a serious problem in this unit as 40% of the residents attempted to exit the faci I ity during the study. The use of tape patterns reduced exiting attempts by 19.05% and 11.12%; however, this reduction was not statistically significant. In conclusion, the use of these tape patterns affected wandering behavior differently for each of the residents, suggesting that a multi-method approach for controlling exiting behavior may prove to be more successful when dealing with a heterogeneous sample and their multi-needs.

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