Positive Behavior Support-Nevada Aging


Ashley Greenwald
Email: agreenwald@unr.edu
Phone: 775-784-4921

Seniors are the fastest growing population in Nevada (Nevada Governors Commission on Aging Report, 2014). Therefore, providing care to aging family members is becoming more commonplace and support services are in higher need than ever before. 

More than 50% of caregivers become clinically depressed (Fisher & Carstensen, 1990). Research on caregiving shows that behavior problems are the greatest sources of stress for caregivers more so than problems associated with memory impairment alone (Fisher & Carstensen, 1990). Results of Nevadas survey conducted for the 2014 Governors Commission on Aging Report suggest that home care is the number 1 priority across all survey responders, including consumers, providers, staff, and senior center participants. Positive behavior supports should be contained in homecare services to reduce caregiver stress and increase quality of life. However, according to Nevadas 2014 Governors Commission on Aging Report, positive behavior support services were not yet included as a service provided by the Aging and Disability Services Division. 

Since the PBS-NV Aging Project will be in its inaugural year, a good amount of time will be spent in conducting a literature review and creating a model of service delivery, including curricula to provide supports to caregivers and families of aging adults with significant aging related impairments and related behavior problems. The core project staff will attend multiple conferences to enhance capacity to provide support to the aging population as well as engage in collaborative discussions with persons across the state and nationally conducting work in the area. A visit will be made to Eastern Michigan University in which ground breaking clinical work and research is being implemented in behavior support and neurocognitive disorders. The opportunity to review this program will be beneficial in creation of the PBS-NV Aging model. 

Upon completion of the research and program development, a model for service delivery will be created and piloted in the Northeast Region (Reno area) with 10 families. It is anticipated that this service delivery will include multiple workshop sessions for family members and caregivers as well as in-home support with environmental and functional assessments, as well as plan implementation and support with evaluation. Maintenance and follow-up will also be a part of the service delivery model.