In working with clients and families living with dementia, SSLD focuses on their unmet needs and pressing concerns. It provides active strategies and practical skills for improving their current circumstances and expanding their capacity for effective coping and management of the challenges they face.
Play Intervention for Dementia (PID) is an exciting recent innovation. Since 2013, Ka Tat Tsang and his R&D team have been experimenting with this program, with extremely encouraging initial results.
Other SSLD programs include caregiver education and support, stress management, communication training, management of dysfunctional and disruptive behaviors, relationship building and collaboration enhancement, activity planning, design for pleasure and life satisfaction, and many others.
PID was initially referred to Play Intervention for Dementia when it was created in 2013 by Professor Ka Tat Tsang of the University of Toronto. The original idea was to play with seniors diagnosed with dementia so as to provide them with a variety of stimulating activities associated with pleasure, creativity, and interaction.
PID is built upon the SSLD™ System, which is a registered trademark in Canada, China, and Hong Kong. We have also completed the invention disclosure of the SSLD™ System with the University of Toronto’s Innovation and Partnership Office.
Practitioners and family caregivers involved with the PID have reported a wide range of benefits including, improved motivation and engagement, positive energy and emotion, better attention, enhanced cognitive functions (memory, language, quantitative abilities, conceptualization, etc.), increased efficacy at self expression and interpersonal communication, increased activity level, better sensory integration. Additional positive changes include: reduced bilateral discrepancy, improved flexibility, less disruptive behavior, and general improvement in sense of self and mental state.
As the program developed, Professor Tsang and his research and development team realized that the letter P can actually stand for psychosocial, person-centered, or polythetic (made up of many components). The program can be considered pleasurable, process-oriented, and pragmatic. It can also be adopted to become a preventive intervention for dementia. Using the acronym PID may be the best way to convey its various possibilities.
Since its creation, the PID program has been tested in several sites in Canada and Asia. While the initial clinical impression is extremely encouraging, we are currently performing additional systematic outcome and process data collection to document its effectiveness, and to understand the associated mechanisms of change. A growing number of organizations and seniors service professionals are joining us, associated with a parallel growth in knowledge, experience, and resources to support practice.
The PID program has the following components:
- Direct intervention program for people diagnosed with dementia, available in group and individual formats.
- Family caregiver education and support.
- Volunteer training and development.
- Community engagement and education.
- Research and development.
- Organizational development and service system enhancement.
The PID is going through active research and development, and we are optimistic that the program will continue to improve and become more helpful to people living with dementia, their caregivers, and the professionals who are serving them.
The following is a summary of recent developments:
- In 2014, in collaboration with the Yee Hong Centre for Geriatric Care, one of the largest publicly funded seniors service organization in Canada, Professor Ka Tat Tsang obtained a grant from the Ontario Trillium Foundation to develop the PID program. This award allows our team to work out the details of the PID procedure, while at the same time enables colleagues at Yee Hong to learn and master the principles and methods, as well as set up a client data system to monitor progress and outcome. The funded initiative also covered caregiver’s education, volunteer development, and community engagement and education.
- From February to September 2015, we completed 3 modules of SSLD training specialized in PID (Basic, Intermediate and Advanced) in Toronto. The series of training programs attracted participants, both at management and frontline practice levels, from an increasing number of seniors service organizations across Ontario.
- In addition to PID training for elderly care professionals, our parallel training programs for caregivers and volunteers have also enrolled quite a few participants from major organizations in Ontario, including senior management leaders.
- SSLD Trainer and Consultant Ms. Linus Ip is working closely with colleagues from various seniors service organizations to develop the PID programs in direct intervention, caregiver education, and volunteer development.
- We are glad to welcome Professor Esme Fuller-Thomson, Interim Director of the Institute for Human Development, Life Course and Aging at the University of Toronto, to join our PID team on research and development. She is now working with Professor Ka Tat Tsang and other team members to develop further research funding proposals to examine the effectiveness of the PID program more systematically.
- William Leung of Yee Hong Centre for Geriatric Care is given a SPARK Award (Canadian Centre for Aging and Brain Health Innovation) to develop program material for caregivers based on the PID model.
- Professor Ka Tat Tsang has made several presentations on the PID, (e.g., Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work, University of Toronto; Seminar on Aesthetics and Aging at the Hong Kong Baptist University; Behavioral Support Rounds at Baycrest Health Sciences Centre).
- Service providers and educators of elderly care professionals in Asia are showing an increased interest in the PID. In the summer of 2015, delegates from the Hong Kong Vocational Training Council and the Hong Kong Society for Rehabilitation, including the superintendent and the head of nursing of a long term care facility based in Shenzhen, China came to visit the Yee Hong Centre, with a focus on learning about the PID program. Another delegation of social work leaders of the Guangzhou Province of China made a similar visit in the Fall of 2015. Additional Chinese and Hong Kong organizations have shown interest in coming to study the PID program.
- Yan Oi Tong, a major multi-service organization in Hong Kong, started a pilot project to introduce PID to its various elderly service centres and units. Several other organizations have approached us to learn more about the possible adoption of the program. A sequence of PID training programs were delivered at the Chinese University of Hong Kong in 2014, and they were extremely well-received.
- Over the last few years, social work students from various social work institutions in Hong Kong have come to Toronto and participated in the PID program as part of their international practicum.
- The PID has been piloted in three organizations in Hong Kong: Yan Oi Tong, HKMLC Wei Kei Hostel, St. James Settlement. Dr. Daphne Cheung, a nursing professor at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University recently obtained a grant to study the PID program at St. James.
- Au Kit Lin, Cecilia Man-Sze Cheung, and Bingyu Li are key members of our training team in Hong Kong. Au Kit Lin and Cecilia Cheung are experienced social work practitioners who have been associated with the development of the SSLD ever since. Bingyu Li was originally part of the Toronto PID team and participated in our 2014 pilot run at the Yee Hong Centre for Geriatric Care. She is now pursuing her Ph.D. at the University of Hong Kong. Earlier this year, Kan Cheong Li joined our team as an associate.
- We are getting encouraging results from the various test sites. Benefits have been observed in gross-motor functions, bilateral coordination and integration, speech, reasoning, memory, fine-motor dexterity, sensory-motor coordination, emotional regulation, mood, and affect, interpersonal synchronization and engagement, social participation, agency, autonomy, self-assertion, etc. Feedback from caregivers and family members, staff and volunteers is generally positive. Objective measures such as the Fuld Object Memory Evaluation, Modified Fuld Speech Fluency Test, and Cohen-Mansfield Agitation Inventory (CMAI) have also recorded statistically significant positive changes.