Date of Award

Spring 4-23-2020

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Occupational Therapy (OTD)


Occupational Therapy

First Advisor

Susan MacDermott, OTD, OTR/L

Second Advisor

Becki Cohill, OTD, OTR/L

Third Advisor

Erin Schwier, EdD, OTD, OTR/L

Medical Subject Headings

Occupational Therapy, Alzheimer Disease, Dementia, Social Participation, Needs Assessment, Activities of Daily Living, Aged


Alzheimer’s disease is a degenerative form of dementia, which can impair an individual’s executive functioning, orientation, and memory; ultimately leading to mood and behavior changes (Alzate, 2018). Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia, affecting approximately 60% to 70% of the older adult population aged 65 and older (Santos da Silva, de Oliveira Alves, Barros Leite Slagueiro & Bezerra Barbosa, 2018). Currently, the number of individuals with dementia is estimated at approximately 50 million people worldwide and is expected to climb to 152 million people by the year 2050 (Rathbone, et. al, 2019). Damage to the brain develops slowly; about 10 to 20 years prior to the presentation of signs and symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease, and the individual progressively declines over time, with death occurring approximately 7 to 10 years after onset (Alzate, 2018). While there is no current cure for Alzheimer’s disease, treatments to temporarily slow the worsening of symptoms are available to improve quality of life, as research continues (Pedroso, et al., 2018).

Alzheimer’s disease has yet to reach an effective cure. However, based on the recent literature search, limited evidence-based research exists regarding the effectiveness of reminiscence therapy and its impact on occupational performance for individuals with Alzheimer’s disease.

The objectives of this capstone project were to complete a needs assessment identifying the activity engagement and social participation related needs of individuals with Alzheimer’s disease and dementia at an adult day care reminiscence therapy program and then propose program recommendations to the staff on adapting current activities to meet the identified population needs.


Capstone project submitted to the University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Occupational Therapy.

Available for download on Wednesday, January 01, 2025