Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Social Work (MSW)


Social Work

First Advisor

Sharon Patten, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Maria Dinis, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Jeanne Onushko, M.S.W.


This study explores the effects recreational activity has on specific dementia behaviors such as wandering, pacing, agitation, calling out and repetitive verbal comments of 15 nursing home residents with dementia. Previous research indicated that too often a resident exhibiting a dementia behavior warranting the need for a restraint is treated with a physical or chemical restraint without careful consideration of the meaning of the behavior. The ethical dilemma of using restraints suggests the need to find alternatives to restraint usage. The study examines how activities affect agitation levels of the residents.

This research consisted of an observational study of 15 residents' behaviors before, during and after recreational activity. Previous research related to dementia demonstrates that physical activity plays a large role in moderating dementia and behaviors in residents.

The four time periods during the observations showed that the residents' behavior did not change due to recreational activity. Not all of the residents actively participated in the activities to measure their behavior changes over all time periods.


SC 11.MSW.1998.Schuelle.N

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