Quality of life issues are particularly important for those who have the least control over their environment. Since quality of life consists of both affective and cognitive components, individuals with significant cognitive deficits, such as dementia patients, in turn experience decreased levels of well-being. Since these individuals are unable to verbalize their psychological discomfort, their frustrations are often displayed as agitation and other problem behaviors. Historically, the treatment approaches such as the use of chemical and physical restraints to decrease problem behaviors have been proven unsuccessful, at times counter-therapeutic, and even dangerous to the patient.
This book suggests therapeutic approaches to quality of life issues which are creative and innovative, while at the same time patient-focused and cost effective. The ten approaches described are divided into two groups: general strategies and specific approaches. The general strategies include overall techniques such as Habilitation, Lifestyle Approach, Sheltered Workshop and Functional Techniques. The specialized approaches focus on various activities specifically designed for this population, such as validation therapy, simulated presence therapy, music therapy, Snoezelen, and light therapy.