When you think about research being conducted concerning dementia, you likely think in terms of new treatments or a cure.
However, a recent group of researchers who believed it is equally as important to look for ways to allow people with dementia to achieve a better quality of life. To that end, they looked for factors that affect the happiness and well-being of people with dementia.
About the Study
Researcher Linda Clare, a professor at England’s University of Exeter, worked with a team of researchers to review the literature of 198 previous studies with a combined participant base of more than 37,000 individuals.
Their review discovered that certain factors are indicative of a poor quality of life for dementia patients. Those factors include:
- Poor health, either mental or physical.
- Unmet needs.
- They also identified factors that indicated a good quality of life, such as:
- Good relationships.
- Being socially engaged.
- Good physical and mental health.
- Better ability to function on a daily basis.
- High-quality care.
Some experts believe that the key to better lives for people with dementia really lies in their social connections and participation in enjoyable activities. They say that these things are important to all people, and that doesn’t change when an older adult develops dementia.
Social Engagement with Dementia
One thing that often happens when someone is diagnosed with dementia is that friends and relatives stay away out of fear and uncertainty. They may not know what to say or expect. You can help them to stay involved by advocating for them. Keep in touch with relatives and friends with updates on the senior’s health and encourage them to visit.
Communicating with someone who had dementia can be difficult, so it may be helpful to offer visitors advice on the best way to talk to the older adult. Remind them to:
- Speak slowly and use simple sentences.
- Give the senior extra time to respond.
- Keep the conversation positive.
- Express affection with a gentle touch, holding hands, smiling, or hugging.
- Avoid arguing about the senior’s differing perceptions.
One way to help older adults with dementia to live a better quality of life and remain socially engaged is by hiring a senior care provider through an agency. A senior care provider can help the older adult to interact with visitors. They can also take them to places where they can socialize with others, such as to events at the local senior center, church events, or to a friend’s house for a visit. At home, the senior care provider can keep the older adult involved in meaningful activities to prevent boredom and give them a sense of purpose.
If you or an aging loved-one are considering Senior care in Noblesville, IN, please call the caring staff at Home Services Unlimited. Serving Greater Indianapolis Area. Call for Immediate Info & Assistance: (317) 471-0760
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