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Reality Orientation

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Cognitive therapeutic training; Cognitive training


Reality Orientation is a broad-based, therapeutic technique designed to increase cognitive stimulation by orienting an individual with dementia to the present.


Reality Orientation was first described by Taulbee and Folsom (1966) as a treatment for disoriented older adults residing in assisted living facilities (Woods et al. 2012). The “Reality Orientation” approach was based on the view that individuals with dementia “withdraw” from their environment. As such, the goal was to re-engage and stimulate individuals to regain previous functions or develop new ways to compensate for cognitive deficits (Powell-Proctor and Miller 1982; Woods et al. 2012). The intervention consists of presenting information about current time and place and “orienting” the individual to recent events, as well as correcting individuals when they become disoriented (See “Cognitive Training”). The Reality Orientation approach takes...

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Correspondence to Dawn Bowers .

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Belser-Ehrlich, J., Bowers, D. (2019). Reality Orientation. In: Gu, D., Dupre, M. (eds) Encyclopedia of Gerontology and Population Aging. Springer, Cham.

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  • Publisher Name: Springer, Cham

  • Print ISBN: 978-3-319-69892-2

  • Online ISBN: 978-3-319-69892-2

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