Caring for People with Dementia in the Community

Michal pic
Michal presented her poster about the study at the International Association of Gerontology and Geriatrics conference

By Michal Boyd
The aim of our study was to describe a comparison of level of anxiety, depression and quality of life for PWD living in the community and their carers. Our cohort was people receiving support in Auckland, New Zealand (N = 1071).

We used correlational analyses to examine the relationship between the ages of the person with dementia (PWD) and their scores on two quality of life measures, as well as measures of carer quality of life and stress. Measures included quality of life (DemQOL for PWD and WHOQOL  for carers) and carer stress (Carer Reaction Assessment).

There was a significant relationship between PWD age and quality of life (DEMQUOL), r(99) = .20, p <.05, suggesting that older PWD had better quality of life compared to younger PWD. There was also a significant relationship between PWD quality of life and caregiver quality of life r(52) = .61, p <.01. The analysis also showed that age and gender influenced perceived carer stress.

Our results indicate that age, gender, quality of life and carer stress are correlated. This is significant given that more than 50% of all people with dementia (PWD) live in the community. Therefore, those providing community interventions to support PWD should assess for the multiple factors that can effect the quality of life of PWD and their family caregivers.

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