Paul Falkowski, Ph.D., adjunct instructor, UNO Department of Gerontology and president, VolunCheerLeader LLC.
Nancy Kelley, Ph.D., professor, UNO Grace Abbott School of Social Work.
Chris Kelly, Ph.D., Leo Missine professor of gerontology, UNO Department of Gerontology
Data analysis of the fifty-two nursing homes surveyed revealed statistically significant inverse correlations between volunteer "personalized" activities, such as feeding assistance, combing hair, doing nails, letter writing and six quality measures, i.e., pressure sores, urinary tract infections, depression, use of restraints, falls, use of antipsychotic and hypnotic drugs. Results of this study indicate that there is a significant and positive correlation between volunteer activities and nursing home quality measure scores. A larger study of these relationships is warranted as well as promoting the expanded use of trained volunteers for providing personalized activities to mitigate the use of psychotropic drugs.
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