Physician Assistant M.S.

Year Approved


First Advisor

Michener, Mary


Dementia is an umbrella term for a group of disorders marked by a decline from baseline in memory, executive function, and other cognitive functions such as reasoning, handling complex tasks, and spatial orientation, all of which interferes with activities of daily living and independence (Larson, 2019). Current pharmaceutical management of dementia and related symptoms is limited (Press & Alexander, 2019b). As dementia progresses, the cognitive skills required to maintain social interactions and familial relationships decline, therefore affecting the perceived loneliness and isolation of the person living with dementia. This research was conducted to understand the role of socialization in the care and management of people who live with dementia in long-term care facilities. Video interviews were conducted with ten long-term care facility workers who work directly with residents diagnosed with dementia. Participants were asked to describe the socialization opportunities at the facilities they worked at for residents living with dementia as well as their feelings regarding the impact that socialization has on the dementia-related behaviors of the residents. All participants noted opportunities for organized socialization at their facilities, and all participants felt organized socialization was beneficial for residents with dementia. All participants believed that organized socialization activities decreased dementia-related behaviors.

Degree Name

Masters of Science in Physician Assistant

Document Type

Masterʼs thesis

Included in

Primary Care Commons