Attendance at Activities with a Geriatric Population: Antecedets and Consequences
The problem. Participation in social and leisure activities enhances both physical well-being and satisfaction with life for elderly adults. However, few residents of nursing homes seem to take part in social and leisure activities. Many strategies have been suggested for increasing attendance at activities of residents in geriatric facilities, but few of these strategies have been empirically evaluated. This study investigated the effectiveness of various intermittently programed and delayed consequences to activities and antecedents to activities in maintaining attendance at activities of residents at a geriatric facility. Procedure. A special, intemittently programmed or a delayed consequence for attendance was added to regularly scheduled activities. Attendance at activities with and without the consequence was compared. Later, antecedent events which typically occurred prior to activities were suspended. These antecedent events were then re-instituted one at a time. Attendance at activities with and without antecedents was compared. Findings. The intermittently programmed and delayed consequences had little effect upon attendance. When the typically occurring antecedent events were removed, attendance dropped markedly. One antecedent, staff encouragement, was more effective than the other two antecedents (calendars of events and announcements). Conclusions. To maintain attendance at activities, staff at a geriatric facility should encourage residents to come to activities and offer to bring them, post large, easy to read calendars of events, and each day announce the activities which will be occurring on that day. Recommendations. Further research is needed to assess the effectiveness of intermittently proqrammed or delayed reinforcing consequences for attendance.
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