In both people with dementia and caregivers, psychological aspects such as optimism, self-esteem, loneliness and depression are closely associated with the ability to optimise quality of life and well-being, suggested new research.
"It's so important to find ways for the 50 million people worldwide who have dementia to live as well as possible," said lead author Linda Clare, Professor at the University of Exeter.
‘New study seeks to inform support services and guide policy on where resources should be spent to support the 50 million people worldwide who have been diagnosed with dementia to optimise their ability to live well.’
"Our research sheds new light on what factors play a key role in maximizing factors such as well-being and quality of life. This must now translate into better ways to support people with dementia," Clare added.
Dementia is a general term for loss of memory and other mental abilities severe enough to interfere with daily life. It is caused by physical changes in the brain.
For the study, published in the journal Alzheimer's Disease and Association Disorders, the research team involved 1,547 people diagnosed with mild to moderate dementia and 1,283 caregivers.
Both groups of participants provided ratings of their quality of life, satisfaction with life and well-being, in relation to dementia and to overall health.
"Our research gives more specific guidance on where we should focus efforts to help people live as well as possible with dementia," co-author Anthony Martyr from the varsity noted.