Fresh research has discovered the factors that help people with dementia and their carers to live as well as possible.
Brought by the University of Exeter, the research attempts to inform support services and guide policy on where resources should be spent to support the 50 million people worldwide who have been diagnosed with a dementia to optimize their ability to “live well. ”
Now, a large-scale study has produced two new papers posted in Alzheimer Disease & Associated Disorders. A large range of factors were found to play a role in living well. The team found that psychological aspects, such as optimism, self-esteem and whether they encountered loneliness and depression was closely from the ability to optimise quality lifestyle and wellbeing in both people who have dementia and carers. Experience in other areas of life influences emotional well-being and perceptions of living well. Physical health and fitness was important for both groups. Regarding both carers and people with dementia social activity and interaction also positioned highly.
For people with dementia, their social situation and the ability to control everyday life were important factors.
Carers rated their caregiving experience, and whether or not they felt trapped or separated, as a key sign in whether they could live well.
The research was conducted in the Improving the experience of Dementia and Enhancing Lively Life (IDEAL) cohort. Financed by the National Start for Health Research and the Economic and Sociable Research Council. The examine comprised 1, 547 people diagnosed with mild to moderate dementia and 1283 carers. Both sets of members provided ratings of these quality of life, satisfaction with life and wellbeing, in relation to dementia and overall health.
The research team combined the conclusions as one overall “living well” score for those with dementia, and another for carers.
Business lead author Professor Linda Clare, of the University of Exeter, who also leads the best study, said: “It’s essential to find ways for the 50 , 000, 000 people worldwide who may have dementia to live as well as possible. Our research sheds new light on what factors play a key role in increasing factors such as well-being and quality of life. This must now convert into better ways to support people with dementia. ”
Co author Dr Anthony Martyr, of the University of Exeter, said: “Our research gives more specific guidance on where we should focus efforts to help people live as well as possible with dementia. For example, looking at how we can help people with dementia to avoid depression or stay physically and socially active. For carers it could involve strengthening community ties and building strong networks. We now need to develop and research programmes to establish what works in these areas. inch
Dr James Pickett, Mind of Research at Alzheimer’s Society, said: “People with dementia have the right to live well — however without clear description it can be hard to figure out what ‘living well’ really means. After looking at several factors, the IDEAL programme has found that psychological health has the biggest impact on people influenced by dementia living well. Too many people face dementia alone without enough support, and interventions that improve self-esteem, challenge negative perceptions towards ageing and reduce depression or isolation could all help increase the psychological health of men and women impacted. Research will beat dementia and while we try to find a remedy, we also need to improve life for the 850, 000 people with dementia in the united kingdom today. Alzheimer’s Society is proud to be supporting this research and looking further into these interventions — as well funding over £12m of other research to enhance dementia care. “