Using Spaced Retrieval to Effectively Treat Dysphagia in Clients With Dementia
Spaced retrieval (SR) is an evidence-based memory intervention that can be effective for helping people with mild to moderate dementia. It can be used to help clients reach a variety of goals, such as less repetitive questioning, better orientation, greater engagement in activities, improved appointment keeping, safe ambulation, and, in particular, safe swallowing. Thus, therapists using SR can enable clients with dementia to reach dysphagia therapy goals. Achievement of these goals can promote independence and reduce anxiety, as well as improve client-staff interactions. SR has been proven to be effective across a variety of types of dementia. It has been used successfully with clients in their homes, adult day centers, and skilled nursing facilities. It can be implemented during treatment sessions with speech-language pathologists and then maintained by family caregivers or nursing care staff.