Everyday activities for people with dementia in residential aged care: associations with person-centredness and quality of life

Authors

  • David Edvardsson RN, PhD,

    Associate Professor and Director of Research, Corresponding author
    1. La Trobe University/Austin Health Clinical School of Nursing, La Trobe University, Melbourne, Australia
    2. Department of Nursing, Umeå University, Umeå, Sweden
    • Correspondence:

      David Edvardsson

      School of Nursing and Midwifery

      La Trobe University/Austin Health Clinical School of Nursing

      Level 4

      Austin Tower

      PO Box 5555

      Heidelberg

      Vic. 3084

      Australia

      Telephone: +61 3 9496 4455

      E-mail: d.edvardsson@latrobe.edu.au

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  • Lisa Petersson RN,

    Research Assistant
    1. Department of Nursing, Umeå University, Umeå, Sweden
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  • Karin Sjogren RN, PhD,

    PhD Candidate
    1. Department of Nursing, Umeå University, Umeå, Sweden
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  • Marie Lindkvist PhD,

    Lecturer
    1. Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine and Statistical Consultant, Department of Statistics, Umeå University, Umeå, Sweden
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  • Per-Olof Sandman RN, PhD

    Guest Professor
    1. Division of Nursing, Department of Neurobiology, Care Sciences and Society (NVS), Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden
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Abstract

Background

Providing everyday activities is central to high quality residential aged care, but further research is needed on the association between activity participation, person-centred care and quality of life.

Aims and objectives

To explore the point-prevalence of participation in everyday activities for residents with dementia within a national sample of Swedish residential aged care units and to explore if residents participating in everyday activities lived in more person-centred units and/or had higher quality of life as compared to residents not participating in everyday activities.

Design and methods

A cross-sectional design was used to collect valid and reliable questionnaire data on activity participation, unit person-centredness and quality of life in a sample of residents in residential aged care (= 1266).

Results

Only 18% of residents participated in everyday activities such as making coffee, setting or clearing the table, cleaning or watering plants, 62% participated in outdoor walks, 27% participated in parlour games, and 14% and 13% participated in excursions and church visits, respectively. Those residents who had participated in everyday activities lived in more person-centred units, had significantly higher quality of life and higher cognitive scores as compared to those residents who had not participated in everyday activities.

Conclusions

Even though the prevalence of resident participation in everyday activities was low, resident participation was significantly associated with unit person-centredness and resident quality of life. It seems that everyday activities that are routine and commonplace to residential aged care can be potent nursing interventions for promoting resident quality of life.

Implications for practice

The study indicates that residents can benefit from participation in everyday activities that are commonly occurring in aged care practice. It seems that such everyday tasks and procedures can provide fruitful ways to make person-centred care happen in clinical practice, and ways to increasingly involve residents with cognitive impairment need to be further developed.

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