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Alzheimer's Case Functional Assessment

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The case is on a man named Luther.

•Summarize the case: Synthesizes the interview data from a case study correctly and describe how the data is used to formulate a hypothesis.
•Summarize the information obtained from the interview.
•Summarize the ABC data: Discuss how the data is used to formulate a hypothesis.
•Identify the hypothesis.
•Discuss expected results and risks, if any: Summarize ways in which the risks or consequences may be mitigated.
•Explain procedures to establish and strengthen new behaviors, increase desirable behaviors, decrease undesirable behaviors, and review other behavior change procedures.
•What strategies could be implemented to promote generalization?

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Solution Summary

The solution provides information, assistance and advise in tackling the task (see above) of putting together a functional assessment of a problematic behavior of an elder Alzheimer's sufferer named Luther. Resources are listed for further exploration of the topic. Luther's case description is also attached.

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Positive Psychology Case Study: Luther


In cases aimed at self-management, the purpose is to assess behavior and determine, from a functional perspective measures and strategies to help in decreasing and hopefully getting rid of undesirable behavior. The case of Luther, 80 appears to be simple enough - at the nursing home he resided, he is often found walking outside alone. Admitted by his wife who could no longer look after him because of Luther's Alzheimer's and their advanced age, Luther always found his way outside even with restrictions imposed that does not at all allow residents to walk outside for their own safety. He appears to enjoy the walk being physically fit and the staff think that perhaps he finds his way outside because of disorientation because of his memory problems due to Alzheimer's while others assume that it can be due to the contingency reinforcements, especially in relation to entrance and exit doors into the home. This assessment is aimed at finding out the causes behind Luther's problematic (and risky) behavior so as to decrease and perhaps eliminate his current tendency to stray outside, made much more risky with him finding his way out without the proper protection for the weather.


Staff at the nursing home caring for Luther has been interviewed to explore Luther's behavior. Luther is observed opening the door to 'go outside' to see his wife or somebody else or as in most times, he just 'opens the door' to go outside. He appears to like using the 'nurses' station door' and has never used the courtyard door. He is usually stopped before he can truly 'walk off' but it appears that Luther 'goes out' when the nurses are most busy and this allows him to 'slip out' which then necessitates a staff member to get him then to sit him in the break room and 'talks' to him over coffee and some refreshments to explain to him why he can't go out. On the few occasions he went to the courtyard, they left him alone as the space is enclosed. He doesn't go out there anymore.

Data Used

The data utilized is text-data from specific interviews with staff of the nursing home witness to Luther's behavior because of their role in the nursing home and in Luther's current residency. The text data is a direct interview, utilizing a structured set of questions but one that allows for a 'free ...

Solution provided by:
  • MPhil/PhD (IP), Open University, Milton Keynes, UK
  • MA, Open University, Milton Keynes, UK
  • Certificate, Geva Ulpan (via Universita Tel Aviv)
  • BA, University of the Philippines
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