What can be learned from studies on reality orientation?
Reality orientation (Ra) is probably thc most widely applied and empirically evaluated approach to the management of dementia. Undoubtedly, it is an approach with major limitations, and so ihis chapter describes the implications to be drawn from the extensive literature on Ra for the development of more satisfactory approaches. Emphasis is given to the central part played by the attitudes, values and principles of staff and services in the actual implementation of any approach and to the importance of a broader perspective in the evaluation of the effectiveness of such methods. The feasibility of achieving limited learning in some people with dementia is demonstrated, and me ans are described of ensuring that any changes obtained are relevant to the person's actual needs and difficulties.