"Living Well with Dementia": Better Relationships, Better Social Engagement Yield Better Quality of Life

May 18, 2018 | Aging Services Risk, Quality, & Safety Guidance

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​Research suggests that relationships, social engagement, and functional ability factors are associated with better quality of life for individuals with dementia, according to a study published in the May 2018 issue ofPsychological Medicine. The authors of the study note that although "living well" with chronic illness is a high priority for policy and practice, there has been no comprehensive synthesis of factors that contribute to quality of life, subjective well-being, or life satisfaction for people with dementia. The study analyzed 198 quality-of-life studies whose data comprised of at least 75% individuals with dementia, which amounted to more than 37,000 individuals included. The study focused on 43 quality factors. The authors found that "better social engagement, better quality of current relationships with the carer and religious beliefs/spirituality were moderately associated with better quality of life," while depression, neuropsychiatric symptoms, comorbidities, and caregiver burden and distress were moderately associated with poorer quality of life.

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