For the 80 million people affected by dementia around the globe, specialized care in smaller, more intimate settings is best, says a new study published in September’s Journal of Clinical Nursing.
Residents of two “group living units” (which were part of a larger senior care facility in the suburbs) served as subjects for scientists from Maastricht University in the Netherlands, per a recent post from Medical News Today.
After 2.5 years of research, it was clear that the home-like setting allowed family members, visitors, staff, and residents to engage in a familiar, comfortable routine (e.g. drinking coffee while chatting with a neighbor, helping the staff set and clear the table for meals, reading a book, etc.); the environment lending itself to the development of relationships among staff and residents that would likely not have come about in a larger unit.
Despite these overwhelmingly positive results, this closeness often led to tensions and conflicts much like families experience. Nursing/direct care staff found it difficult to maintain a professional distance as they became more involved with the residents and their family members.
However, the study confirmed that small assisted living homes seem much more conducive to providing quality person-centered Alzheimer’s care than the long, sterile hallways of clinical care settings.