By Interactive Metronome - July 29, 2015

Improving attention isn’t just for kids



Claudia is an older woman who has been diagnosed with dementia. She has a limited ability to carry out tasks with simple instructions, despite being physically capable and able to comprehend what’s asked of her. In addition, Claudia was severely distractible and could only attend for about five second intervals, which is very disabling. Claudia’s family wasn’t sure what to do or how to help her. They spoke to her therapist, who suggested Interactive Metronome® (IM), in addition to her family receiving counseling for patients with dementia.


The main focus for Claudia’s IM training was to increase and improve her attention. Initially, she required hand-over-hand guidance to initiate the exercises and again throughout the session when she became distracted. As Claudia’s ability to attend to task improved, she also improved in her ability to redirect herself with verbal or demonstrative cues rather than hand-over-hand.


Ultimately, Claudia was able to attend to a cognitive diet of daily activities including folding towels and sorting silverware while standing at the kitchen counter. Following directions such as “step into the shower” became much easier for Claudia. She has also become able to carry out these requests without growing distracted, which allowed caregivers to readily assist as needed.


Case By 

Janie Gant, COTA/L 


Gainesville, FL 


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