The Tailored Activity Program (TAP): New Ways for Better Days is an evidence-based program designed for people living with dementia and caregivers. TAP can be delivered in the home, hospital, residential, or adult day services settings. TAP provides occupational therapists (OTs) and other health professionals (who work closely with or who are supervised by OTs) with a tested protocol to identify interests and abilities of people living with dementia, provision of disease education, and an approach to instructing caregivers (formal and family members) in using selected, tailored activities as part of daily care routines and managing their own distress.
TAP has been tested in several randomized trials. Studies consistently show reductions in behavioral symptoms, time spent in caregiving, and improvements in well-being of persons with dementia and caregivers. On-going evaluation of the program continues.
TAP in the US and Around the World
The program is currently in use throughout the United States and in other countries including Australia, Brazil, Chile, Hong Kong, Italy, Poland, Russia, Scotland, and Singapore.
Why is a Tailored Activity Program Important?
In comparison to a control group, TAP resulted in significant cost savings in hospital, caregiver time, nursing home, respite care, and other fees:*
*Figures are per participant per month based on a 6-month study
Who is Eligible for the Tailored Activity Training Program?
Occupational Therapists (OTs) and other health professionals (who work closely with or are supervised by OTs) working in home care, community-based programs (adult day services), hospitals, and long-term care facilities are all eligible for this program.
How Does TAP Make a Difference?
"The TAP is a unique and powerful reasoning tool for rehabilitation in dementia. Its strong point is undoubtedly that of developing simple and concrete solutions to complex problems and situations. Its flexibility makes it adaptable to any care setting while respecting the cultural peculiarities and values of the caregivers. The empirical use of this method has proved effective in several Italian regions."
"TAP at its foundation is OT at its best. We integrated an amazing program on our hospital unit. It changes and expands the role of OTs to include behavioral management. It opened up new opportunities – more time with patients, more time with caregivers, and more time billed."
Occupational Therapist & Clinical Supervisor
"TAP has been extremely helpful in dealing with my mother, and the OT has been very instrumental in providing both my mother and myself with many different ways to make our everyday routines much less stressful and more enjoyable."
The Tailored Activity Program Training Features
The program is delivered or supervised by occupation therapists and involves three phases.
- Completion of six, 50-minute online learning modules
- Completion of reading materials (manuals, select articles)
- Participation in up to a 2-hour (virtual) webinar training
- Up to three coaching calls
- Review of assessment reports and activity prescriptions for up to three cases
- Access to manuals, forms, and chat rooms to share cases
The program has been shown in randomized trials to:
- Improve quality of life of persons living with dementia
- Reduce behavioral symptoms
- Reduce caregiver time providing care
- Improve caregiver engagement and sense of efficacy and overall wellbeing
Tailored Activity Program Online Modules
Module 1: TAP Overview
- TAP is designed to help persons living with dementia re-engage in daily life and by doing so prevent, reduce, and manage behavioral symptoms and functional dependence that are the hallmark of dementia.
Module 2: The Assessment Phase
- Assessment is the integral first step in evaluating the person with dementia, caregiver, and environment so that meaningful tailored activities can be developed. Over the course of this module, we’ll introduce you to a variety of tools and measures you can use to start evaluating the person living with dementia, and their caregivers.
Module 3: Brainstorming & Activity Planning
- Learn "Brainstorming," a key component of developing tailored activities. This module will provide some background on best methods and tips for brainstorming and provide several examples and opportunities to try brainstorming yourself.
Module 4: Introducing and Implementing Activity Prescriptions
- Use TAP principles to develop activity prescriptions for the caregiver and the person with dementia and how to implement an activity prescription effectively. This module will continue to focus on ways to gain buy-in from caregivers, demonstrate activities to caregivers, and provide strategies for responding to feedback from the person with dementia as they engage (or don’t engage) in activities.
Module 5: Generalization
- Learn how to teach the caregiver how to modify activity prescriptions as the disease progresses and how to apply the principles learned to problem solve additional care challenges, even after they’ve completed TAP.
Module 6: Tying it Together
- In this final module, best practices, and tips are provided and specific challenges of implementing the program are reviewed.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the TAP Program?
- The Tailored Activity Program (TAP), is designed to prevent, reduce or manage common behavioral and psychological symptoms of dementia, enhance the quality of life of people with dementia, minimize time spent in caregiving, and improve well-being of family caregivers. It is an individualized, family-centered approach for individuals at the mild, moderate, or moderate severe stage of the disease of any etiology who are experiencing behavioral and psychological symptoms.
The program provides a comprehensive assessment of the person with dementia including their preserved abilities and intrinsic interests from which activities are selected and tailored to cognitive and functional profiles, and caregivers are trained in their use as part of daily care routines. The program helps people with dementia reengage in meaningful ways in their environment to provide quality of life.
Is the program evidence-based?
- Yes. The program has been tested in several randomized trials. Studies consistently show reductions in behavioral symptoms, time spent in caregiving, and improvements in wellbeing of persons with dementia and caregivers. On-going evaluation of the program continues.
In what settings can the program be implemented?
- Home Care
- Community-Based Programs (Adult Day Services)
- Long-Term Care Facilities
- Assisted Living Facilities
- Nursing Homes
Who can provide the program?
- Occupational therapists and other health and human service professionals who can consult with an occupational therapist can be trained in the program.
Is training in the program required?
- Yes. Training is required to obtain a certificate of completion.
How much does training cost?
- Costs vary based on country, number of individuals trained from an agency/clinical setting. The cost for an individual U.S citizen is US $1,595. If you are an agency, health care organization, group, or living in a country other than the U.S., then please contact us for more information and group rates.
Is there a license agreement and fee?
- Cost of training includes the initial license fee
- After two years, renewal of license is required ($100) to enable continued use, access to updated manuals, and access to chat room of program users
- License agreement can reside with an agency or individual trainee
TAP in the News
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