The following cognitive intervention with NeuronUP recommends a series of activities aimed ata specific case of an older adult diagnosed with Alzheimer’s-type dementia. This is the most common type of dementia and is characterized by being primary, degenerative and associated with damage to cortical regions1. In its early stages, clients with cognitive impairment, specifically with attention deficits,exhibit2:
- Deterioration in selective attention (ability to focus attention on relevant stimuli while ignoring irrelevant stimuli).
- Disturbances in divided attention (ability to attend to two or more relevant stimuli at the same time).
- Impairments of sustained attention are observed in moderate and severe stages of the disease (ability to continuously maintain the focus on one task for a prolonged period of time).
The intervention will be carried out using the web platform NeuronUP 3, which designed for neuropsychological rehabilitation and is focused on functional cognitive deficits. Different activities can be used to stimulate cognitive functions (attention in this particular case).Thus, for the intervention of an older adult diagnosed with Alzheimer’s-type dementia, we will select two paper-and-pencil tasks and one activity involving the use of a tablet (although a computer could also be used). The exercises will be adapted to the client’s cognitive status.
The Occupational Therapist Practice Framework4, an official document of the American Occupational Therapy association (AOTA), will be used toassess the affected performance skills, and cognitive skills in particular. After assessing each one of them, an intervention focused on attention will be developed with the purpose of promoting adequate performance of BADLs and IADLs, and improving quality of life.
The main goal of the intervention for an older adult diagnosed with Alzheimer’s-type dementia, therefore, will be to preservethrough meaningful activities for the client.
Activities for the cognitive intervention with NeuronUP of an older adult with Alzheimer’s-type dementia
Activity 1: Word Search
In this activity, the client must search for hidden words within a word search puzzle. This task will be customized, and for this purpose, the hidden words will be related to aspects of the client’s daily life. In this case, the names of the client’s close relatives will be used. The difficulty level of the exercise can be adjusted, so the client can start with 10 rows and 10 columns and can then be increased further to make the activity more complex. The number of words may also vary, but there will be a specific number of 7 words for all levels.
Learn how to use NeuronUP
Sign up to our free online course
Activity 2: Copy the Letters
This activity consists of copying an incomplete gridby looking at a model grid provided by the web platform. The letters in both grids have different colors so that they are easily recognizable (e.g., the letter ‘A’ will always be light blue and the letter ‘P’ will be pale pink). In this activity, the level of difficulty will be adjusted by the program itselfby presenting agrid of six rows by six columns, and where a total of 20 letters must be inserted.
Activity 3: Fast Numbers
A tablet will be used to do this activity, which consists of finding as quickly as possible the numbers that remain motionless among a set of numbers in constant movement. This exercise has several levels subdivided into phases. To move up one level, five phases must be completed. If more than three mistakes are made during the same phase, the person will go back to the previous phase.
In the first phases, there are more motion less numbers whereas in the more advanced phases, there are fewer motion less numbers and they are scattered throughout the grid; on the last level, there is only one single motionless number. The person will start on the first level and, once the five phases have been completed, he/she will move up levels, completing in the end a total of 10 minutes.
- Daroff RB, Jankovic J, Mazziotta JC, Pomeroy SK, eds. Bradley’sNeurology in clinicalpractice. 7th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2016: chap 95.
- Alberca R, López-PousaS. Enfermedad de Alzheimer y otras demencias. 4th ed. Madrid, Médica Panamericana; 2012: chap 13.
- NEURONUP. NEURONUP [sede Web]. La Rioja: NEURONUP; 2012 [accessed on November 7 2016]. Retrieved from: https://www.neuronup.com/es
- Ávila Álvarez A, Martínez Piédrola R, Matilla Mora R, Máximo Bocanegra M, Méndez Méndez B, Talavera Valverde MA et al. Marco de Trabajo para la práctica de la Terapia Ocupacional: Dominio y Proceso. 2da Edición [Translation]. www.terapia-ocupacional.com [portal de Internet]. 2010 [20/10/2015]; [28p.]. Retrieved from: http://www.terapia-ocupacional.com/aota2010esp.pdf. Translated by theAmerican OccupationalTherapyAssociation (2008). Occupationaltherapypracticeframework: Domain and process (2nd ed.).
If you liked this blog post about cognitive intervention with NeuronUP in an elderly person diagnosed with Alzheimer’s-type dementia, the following posts might interest you as well:
- Basic activities of daily living: cognitive intervention with NeuronUP for improving dressing performance
- Tips on cognitive stimulation with NeuronUP
- NeuronUP intervention in children with mild intellectual disabilities - July 31, 2020
- Intervention with NeuronUP in attention - April 14, 2020
- Language session for people with mild cognitive impairment - January 8, 2020