News Releases

Galik Awarded Grant to Examine Practices for Implementing Function and Behavior Focused Care for Cognitively Impaired Older Adults

October 7, 2013

Baltimore, Md. – In nursing homes across the United States, residents are confronted with a variety of health issues, including moderate to severe dementia. Elizabeth Galik, PhD '07, CRNP,  an associate professor at the University of Maryland School of Nursing (UMSON), has been awarded a five-year, grant for $1, 025,000, from the National Institute of Aging to examine the challenges of providing care for this population through the Function and Behavior Focused Care for the Cognitively Impaired (FBFC-CI) approach.

Twenty-one to 45 percent of nursing home residents in the U.S. exhibit challenging behavioral symptoms such as physical aggression, agitation, and resistance to care.  It is generally during care interactions when staff attempts to bath and/or dress residents that behavioral symptoms are most commonly exhibited. Unfortunately, the care being provided can often decrease residents’ opportunities to engage in physical activity, contributing to the prevalent problem of functional decline and sedentary behavior.  These symptoms negatively affect quality of life, leading to inappropriate use of psychotropic medication, increased staff burden, and high rates of staff injury and turnover.

The FBFC-CI approach to care is geared toward changing how staff provides care to residents by teaching them how to evaluate and optimize the residents’ underlying physical capabilities and safely and effectively engage them in personal care and physical activity.  In providing care, function is maintained and optimized, falls are decreased, and behavioral problems are diminished.

Galik and her team will implement this trial with 480 residents in 12 nursing homes across the Maryland and Washington, D.C. metropolitan area.

“We are thrilled to have the opportunity to demonstrate the effectiveness of the FBFC-CI across a number of long-term care facilities.  I am confident that this innovative approach will change how care is provided to nursing home residents with cognitive impairment,” Galik said. “The positive impact of a Function Focused Care approach on function and physical activity for older adults in nursing homes has been repeatedly demonstrated. We will now be able to clearly show how allowing older adults to engage in their optimal level of function and physical activity can help decrease the behavioral challenges noted in these settings and improve the residents’ quality of life and the quality of care they receive.”

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The University of Maryland School of Nursing, founded in 1889, is one of the oldest and largest nursing schools, and is ranked eleventh nationally. Enrolling more than1,700 students in its baccalaureate, master’s, and doctoral programs, the School develops leaders who shape the profession of nursing and impact the health care environment