In Norway, there is a focus on home-dwelling people with dementia receiving the opportunity to participate in organized meaningful activities. The aim of this study was to elucidate the experiences of home-dwelling persons with early-stage dementia who attend an activity center and participate in adapted physical and social activities delivered by nurses and volunteers.
The study adopted a qualitative approach, with individual interviews conducted among eight people diagnosed with early-stage dementia. The interview texts were analyzed using manifest and latent content analysis.
Four categories, ie, "appreciated activities", "praised nurses and volunteers", "being more active", and "being included in a fellowship", as well as the overall theme "participation in appreciated activities and a sense of feeling included in a fellowship may have a positive influence on health and well-being" emerged in the analysis. The informants appreciated the adapted physical and social activities and expressed their enjoyment and gratitude. They found the physical activities useful, and they felt themselves to be included in a fellowship through cheerful nurses and volunteers. The nurses were able to create a good atmosphere and spread joy in the center together with the volunteers. The informants felt themselves valued as the persons they were. These findings indicated that such activities may have had a positive influence on the informants' health and well-being.
In order to succeed with this kind of activity center, it is decisive that the nurses are able to tailor meaningful activities and create an environment where the persons with dementia can feel that they are respected and valued. The municipality health care service should implement such activity centers with specialist nurses in dementia care together with volunteers.
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After more than a decade of concerted effort by policy-makers in Canada and elsewhere to encourage older adults to age at home, there is recognition that the ageing-in-place movement has had unintended negative consequences for family members who care for seniors. This paper outlines findings of a qualitative descriptive study to investigate the health and wellness and support needs of family caregivers to persons with dementia in the Canadian policy environment. Focus groups were conducted in 2010 with 23 caregivers and the health professionals who support them in three communities in the Southern Interior of British Columbia. Thematic analysis guided by the constant comparison technique revealed two overarching themes: (1) forgotten: abandoned to care alone and indefinitely captures the perceived consequences of caregivers' failed efforts to receive recognition and adequate services to support their care-giving and (2) unrealistic expectations for caregiver self-care relates to the burden of expectations for caregivers to look after themselves. Although understanding about the concepts of caregiver burden and burnout is now quite developed, the broader sociopolitical context giving rise to these negative consequences for caregivers to individuals with dementia has not improved. If anything, the Canadian homecare policy environment has placed caregivers in more desperate circumstances. A fundamental re-orientation towards caregivers and caregiver supports is necessary, beginning with viewing caregivers as a critical health human resource in a system that depends on their contributions in order to function. This re-orientation can create a space for providing caregivers with preventive supports, rather than resorting to costly patient care for caregivers who have reached the point of burnout and care recipients who have been institutionalised.
previously, a randomised controlled exercise intervention study (RCT) showed that combined resistance and balance-jumping training (COMB) improved physical functioning and bone strength. The purpose of this follow-up study was to assess whether this exercise intervention had long-lasting effects in reducing injurious falls and fractures.
five-year health-care register-based follow-up study after a 1-year, four-arm RCT.
community-dwelling older women in Finland.
one hundred and forty-five of the original 149 RCT participants; women aged 70-78 years at the beginning.
participants' health-care visits were collected from computerised patient register. An injurious fall was defined as an event in which the subject contacted the health-care professionals or was taken to a hospital, due to a fall. The rate of injured fallers was assessed by Cox proportional hazards model (hazard ratio, HR), and the rate of injurious falls and fractures by Poisson regression (risk ratio, RR).
eighty-one injurious falls including 26 fractures occurred during the follow-up. The rate of injured fallers was 62% lower in COMB group compared with the controls (HR 0.38, 95% CI 0.17 to 0.85). In addition, COMB group had 51% less injurious falls (RR 0.49, 95% CI 0.25 to 0.98) and 74% less fractures (RR 0.26, 95% CI 0.07 to 0.97).
home-dwelling older women who participated in a 12-month intensive multi-component exercise training showed a reduced incidence for injurious falls during 5-year post-intervention period. Reduction in fractures was also evident. These long-term effects need to be confirmed in future studies.
To identify the health-related needs of community-dwelling older adults with mild memory loss.
Qualitative study using semistructured, audiotaped, face-to-face interviews and focus groups.
A large community in Newfoundland.
Twenty-two adults between the ages of 58 and 80 years.
This needs assessment used a qualitative methodology of collecting and analyzing narrative data to develop an understanding of the issues, resources, and constraints of community-dwelling older adults with mild memory loss. Data were collected through semistructured, audiotaped, face-to-face interviews and focus groups. Transcripts of the interviews were analyzed using interpretive phenomenologic analysis.
Three constitutive patterns with relational themes and subthemes were identified: forgetting and remembering, normalizing yet questioning, and having limited knowledge of resources. Participants described many examples of how their daily lives were affected by forgetfulness. They had very little knowledge of resources that provided information or support. Most of the participants believed they could not discuss their memory problems with their family doctors.
It is important for older adults with mild memory loss to have access to resources that will assist them in understanding their condition and make them feel supported.
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Few rigorous clinical trials have investigated the effectiveness of exercise on the physical functioning of patients with Alzheimer disease (AD).
To investigate the effects of intense and long-term exercise on the physical functioning and mobility of home-dwelling patients with AD and to explore its effects on the use and costs of health and social services.
A randomized controlled trial.
A total of 210 home-dwelling patients with AD living with their spousal caregiver.
The 3 trial arms included (1) group-based exercise (GE; 4-hour sessions with approximately 1-hour training) and (2) tailored home-based exercise (HE; 1-hour training), both twice a week for 1 year, and (3) a control group (CG) receiving the usual community care.
The Functional Independence Measure (FIM), the Short Physical Performance Battery, and information on the use and costs of social and health care services.
All groups deteriorated in functioning during the year after randomization, but deterioration was significantly faster in the CG than in the HE or GE group at 6 (P = .003) and 12 (P = .015) months. The FIM changes at 12 months were -7.1 (95% CI, -3.7 to -10.5), -10.3 (95% CI, -6.7 to -13.9), and -14.4 (95% CI, -10.9 to -18.0) in the HE group, GE group, and CG, respectively. The HE and GE groups had significantly fewer falls than the CG during the follow-up year. The total costs of health and social services for the HE patient-caregiver dyads (in US dollars per dyad per year) were $25,112 (95% CI, $17,642 to $32,581) (P = .13 for comparison with the CG), $22,066 in the GE group ($15,931 to $28,199; P = .03 vs CG), and $34,121 ($24,559 to $43,681) in the CG.
An intensive and long-term exercise program had beneficial effects on the physical functioning of patients with AD without increasing the total costs of health and social services or causing any significant adverse effects.
anzctr.org.au Identifier: ACTRN12608000037303.
Comment In: Ann Intern Med. 2013 Aug 20;159(4):JC1024026274
Comment In: MMW Fortschr Med. 2013 Nov 7;155(19):3224475662
Comment In: JAMA Intern Med. 2013 May 27;173(10):901-223588877
Besides cognitive decline, Alzheimer's disease (AD) leads to physical disability, need for help and permanent institutional care. The trials investigating effects of exercise rehabilitation on physical functioning of home-dwelling older dementia patients are still scarce. The aim of this study is to investigate the effectiveness of intensive exercise rehabilitation lasting for one year on mobility and physical functioning of home-dwelling patients with AD.
During years 2008-2010, patients with AD (n = 210) living with their spousal caregiver in community are recruited using central AD registers in Finland, and they are offered exercise rehabilitation lasting for one year. The patients are randomized into three arms: 1) tailored home-based exercise twice weekly 2) group-based exercise twice weekly in rehabilitation center 3) control group with usual care and information of exercise and nutrition. Main outcome measures will be Guralnik's mobility and balance tests and FIM-test to assess physical functioning. Secondary measures will be cognition, neuropsychiatric symptoms according to the Neuropsychiatric Inventory, caregivers' burden, depression and health-related quality of life (RAND-36). Data concerning admissions to institutional care and the use and costs of health and social services will be collected during a two year follow-up.
To our knowledge this is the first large scale trial exploring whether home-dwelling patients with AD will benefit from intense and long-lasting exercise rehabilitation in respect to their mobility and physical functioning. It will also provide data on cost-effectiveness of the intervention.
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To examine effects of physical and geriatric rehabilitation on institutionalisation and mortality after hip fracture.
Prospective randomised study.
Physically oriented (187 patients), geriatrically oriented (171 patients), and health centre hospital rehabilitation (180 patients, control group).
A total of 538 consecutively, independently living patients with non-pathological hip fracture.
Patients were evaluated on admission, at 4 and 12 months for social status, residential status, walking ability, use of walking aids, pain in the hip, activities of daily living (ADL) and mortality.
Mortality was significantly lower at 4 and 12 months in physical rehabilitation (3.2%, 8.6%) than in geriatric rehabilitation group (9.6%, 18.7%, P=0.026, P=0.005, respectively) or control group (10.6%, 19.4%, P=0.006, P=0.004, respectively). At 4 months more patients in physical (84.4%) and geriatric rehabilitation group (78.0%) were able to live at home or sheltered housing than in control group (71.9%, P=0.0012 and P
To evaluate the health-related quality of life (HRQoL) and functional capacity in relation to glycemic control among older home-dwelling primary care patients.
Electronic patient records were used to identify 527 people over 65 years with diabetes. Of these, 259 randomly selected subjects were invited to a health examination and 172 of them attended and provided complete data. The participants were divided into three groups based on the HbA1c: good (HbA1c57mmol/mol (N=29)) glycemic control. HRQoL was measured with the EuroQol EQ-5D questionnaire. Functional and cognitive capacity and mental well-being were assessed with the Lawton Instrumental Activities of Daily Living (IADL) scale, Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) and Geriatric Depression Scale (GDS-15).
EQ-5D scores for good, intermediate and poor glycemic control were 0.78; 0.74 and 0.70, p=0.037. Sub-items of mobility (p=0.002) and self-care were the most affected (p=0.031). Corresponding trend was found for IADL, p=0.008. A significant correlation was found between MMSE scores and HbA1c.
Older primary care home-dwelling patients with diabetes and poorer glycemic control have lower functional capacity and HRQoL, especially in regard to mobility and self-care.
The study aimed to explore how home help service staff described their role in improving the abilities of older people, in particular, older women with chronic pain who are dependent on formal care, to perform everyday activities. Three focus group interviews were conducted, and a qualitative inductive thematic content analysis was used. The analysis resulted in one theme: struggling to improve the care recipients' opportunities for independence but being inhibited by complex environmental factors. By encouraging the care recipients to perform everyday activities, the staff perceived themselves to both maintain and improve their care recipients' independence and quality of life. An important goal for society and health care professionals is to improve older people's abilities to "age in place" and to enable them to age independently while maintaining their quality of life. A key resource is home help service staff, and this resource should be utilized in the best possible way.