Factors such as optimism and self-esteem can help improve the well-being and quality of life of those suffering from dementia, a new study has found.
The team of researchers pointed out that psychological aspects such as optimism, self-esteem and whether they encountered loneliness and depression, was closely linked to the ability to optimise the quality of life and well-being in people with dementia.
Experience in other areas of life influences psychological well-being and perceptions of living well. Physical health and fitness were also termed important. For people with dementia social activity and interaction also ranked highly.
For these people, their social situation and their ability to manage everyday life were important factors. The full findings were published in the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease and Association Disorders.
Lead author of the study Linda Clare said: "It's so important to find ways for the 50 million people worldwide who have dementia to live as well as possible. Our research sheds new light on what factors play a key role in maximising factors such as wellbeing and quality of life. This must now translate into better ways to support people with dementia."
"Our research gives more specific guidance on where we should focus efforts to help people live as well as possible with dementia. For example, looking at how we can help people with dementia to avoid depression or stay physically and socially active. For carers, it could involve strengthening community ties and building strong networks. We now need to develop and research programmes to establish what really works in these areas," said Anthony Martyr, Co-author of the study.
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