J Nutr Health Aging. 2012 May;16(5):454-6.
Quality of life of persons with dementia.
N. Keating, Department of Human Ecology, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB, Canada.
Current research on Alzheimer’s disease has been primarily focused on causes and treatment of the disease and on reduction of costs of the burden of care to society. However, considerable emphasis now is placed on person-centered care and the need to enhance the quality of life of people with chronic illnesses and conditions. Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias have not been a central part of this discussion despite the lengthy course of the illness which has been described as the disappearance of the person. The purpose of this article is to review the current state of knowledge about quality of life of persons with dementia and to recommend a set of interventions toward enhancing their QoL. Results of the review indicate a set of objective and subjective indicators of QoL with most interventions focused on compensating for losses related to the disease. Based on recent research on personhood and on social exclusion, we propose a framework for creating age-friendly dementia environments. It is based on hypotheses that quality of life can be enhanced through augmenting personal resources and contexts; and that the progression of the illness results in changes in the ‘best fit’ between resources and contexts.