Aging

Collection of articles on Aging is available here.

Breaking Up and a New Beginning When One’s Partner Goes into a Nursing Home: An Interview Study
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Ahlström G, Markeling NS, Liljenberg U, Rosén H.
Healthcare (Basel) 2021 Jun 4;9(6):672. doi: 10.3390/healthcare9060672.
In aging societies worldwide, spouses take on great responsibility for care when their partner continues to live at home. Nursing home placement occurs when the partner becomes too frail due to multimorbidity, and this will cause a change in the spouse’s life. This study aimed to explore the spouse’s experience of their partner’s move to a nursing home. Two interviews were conducted at 9-month intervals within the project entitled “Implementation of Knowledge-Based Palliative Care in Nursing Homes”. Thirteen spouses from both urban and rural areas were included, with an age-range of 60-86 years (median 72). Qualitative content analysis was performed. The main findings were captured in two themes: Breaking up of close coexistence and Towards a new form of daily life. The first encompassed processing loneliness, separation and grief, exhaustion, increased burden, and a sense of guilt. The second encompassed a sense of freedom, relief, acceptance, support and comfort. Professionals in both home care and nursing home care need to develop and provide a support programme conveying knowledge of the transition process to prevent poor quality of life and depression among the spouses. Such a programme should be adaptable to individual needs and should ideally be drawn up in consultation with both partners.

Exploring how residential care facilities can enhance the autonomy of people with dementia and improve informal care
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Boumans J, van Boekel LC, Verbiest ME, Baan CA, Luijkx KG.
Dementia (London) 2021 Jul 2:14713012211030501.
BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: Residential care facilities (RCFs) strive to enhance autonomy for people with dementia and to enhance informal care provision, although this is difficult. This study explored how RCF staff can enhance autonomy and improve informal care by looking at the influence of interactions (contact and approachability between residents, staff members and informal caregivers) and the physical environment, including the use of technologies. RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS: A realist evaluation multiple-case study was conducted using document analyses, eight semi-structured interviews with staff members and relatives and 56 hours of observations of residents across two RCFs aiming to provide person-centred care. Realist logic of analysis was performed, involving Context-Mechanism-Outcome configurations. FINDINGS: The behaviour, attitudes and interactions of staff members with residents and informal caregivers appeared to contribute to the autonomy of people with dementia and enhance informal care provision. The physical environment of the RCFs and the use of technologies were less relevant to enhancing autonomy and informal care provision, although they can support staff members in providing person-centred care in daily practice. DISCUSSION AND IMPLICATIONS: The findings add to those of other studies regarding the importance of interaction between residents, staff members and informal caregivers. The findings provide insight for other RCFs on how successfully to enhance autonomy for their residents and to improve informal care provision, as well as, more broadly, how to implement person-centred care.

Assessing Residents’ Perceptions of Their Relocation to Long-Term Care: Psychometric Validation of the View of Relocation Scale
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Davison TE, Busija L, McCabe MP.
J Am Med Dir Assoc 2021 Jul 12.
OBJECTIVES: Relocation to long-term care is a major challenge for older people. The View of Relocation Scale (VRS) was developed to address the need for a brief instrument to assess residents’ perceptions of the relocation. DESIGN: Secondary analysis of data collected in a cluster randomized trial. The psychometric properties of the VRS examined in this study included factorial structure (using exploratory factor analysis), unidimensionality (Rasch modeling), internal consistency reliability (Kuder-Richardson Formula 20, squared multiple correlations, and item-total correlations), and known groups validity (analysis of variance). The results were used to identify the psychometrically most robust items for inclusion into the final version of the instrument. SETTING AND PARTICIPANTS: Participants were 202 long-term care residents in Melbourne, Australia (mean age = 85.52 years, standard deviation = 7.33), who had relocated to the facility a mean of 4.4 weeks previously. Residents with moderately severe and severe dementia were excluded. MEASURES: The VRS was developed following a review of the literature describing residents’ views of relocation and was designed for administration shortly after their relocation. RESULTS: There was support for a 2-factor, 10-item solution, with separate subscales assessing Perceived Control (degree of control in the decision making and planning for the relocation) and Perceived Need (perceived need for the relocation to long-term care). Participants who were admitted directly from hospital reported higher perceived need but lower perceived control than those admitted to the facility from home. CONCLUSION AND IMPLICATIONS: The VRS can be used to understand the impact of older people’s perceptions of relocation to long-term care on their subsequent adjustment and well-being, and to identify those who may benefit from tailored support.

How patients with mild dementia living in a nursing home benefit from dementia cafés: a case-control study focusing on psychological and behavioural symptoms and caregiver burden
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De Luca R, De Cola MC, Leonardi S, Portaro S, Naro A, Torrisi M, et al.
Psychogeriatrics 2021 Jul;21(4):612-617.
BACKGROUND: Dementia is a syndrome, mainly due to neurodegeneration, affecting cognition, behaviour, feelings and relationships. Pharmacological treatment is still challenging and thus different ways to improve/slow down the disease are necessary. METHODS: Twenty-five subjects with mild dementia, living in a nursing home, and their relatives were invited to attend a dementia cafe, a community group which provides support for families affected by dementia. Each patient was evaluated by a neuropsychologist, through the administration of a specific neuropsychological battery, before and at the end of the study. Their outcomes were compared to a matched group of patients with dementia receiving psycho-counselling. RESULTS: After the dementia cafe meetings, patients showed higher significant changes in mood (P < 0.01), behavioural symptoms (P < 0.001), quality of life (P < 0.001), and caregiver burden (P < 0.001). The control group significantly improved only in quality of life with a reduction of caregiver burden. CONCLUSIONS: Our findings confirm that patients with dementia may benefit from the dementia cafe, especially concerning behavioural symptoms. Moreover, caregivers find these cafés to be welcoming, relaxed places to socialise and access support and information. Future dementia cafés should create programs and comfortable environments answering to the different needs of the patients.

Trends in Dementia Prevalence, Incidence, and Mortality in the United States (2000-2016)
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Farina MP, Zhang YS, Kim JK, Hayward MD, Crimmins EM.
J Aging Health 2021 Jul 7:8982643211029716.
Objectives: The prevalence of dementia has declined in the United States; how this parallels to changes in incidence and mortality, and how improvements in educational attainment may have influences these trends, is not known. Methods: Using the Health and Retirement Study (2000-2016), we estimated logistic regression models to examine trends in dementia prevalence and incidence, and mortality for those with and without dementia. Results: The relative decline was about 2.4% per year for dementia prevalence and 1.9% for dementia incidence. Mortality declined similarly for those with and without dementia. Improved educational attainment accounted for decline in incidence, some of the decline in prevalence, and had a negligible role in mortality. Discussion: The declines in dementia incidence provide evidence that dementia prevalence should continue to decline in the near future. These declines are most likely largely driven by continued improvements in older adult education.

The relationship between guilt feelings, conflicts with staff and satisfaction with care in relatives of nursing home residents with dementia: A longitudinal analysis
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Gallego-Alberto L, Smaling HJ, Francke AL, van de Brug T, van der Steen JT, Joling KJ.
Dementia (London) 2021 Jul 11:14713012211024015.
INTRODUCTION: Family caregivers often experience guilt after nursing home placement. The aim of the present study was to describe family caregivers’ guilt over time and assess the impact of conflicts with staff and satisfaction with care on guilt. METHOD: Data of 222 family caregivers at three assessments during one-year follow-up were used. In addition to caregivers’ guilt and the variables conflicts with staff and satisfaction with the care, potential confounders were measured: sociodemographic data, clinical characteristics of the person with dementia, and caregiver burden. Linear mixed model analyses were performed to examine the longitudinal relationships between variables. RESULTS: Guilt remained stable over time. Unadjusted models showed that conflicts with staff were positively associated with guilt (β = 0.11; p < 0.001; 95% CI: 0.06 to 0.16) and satisfaction with care showed a negative association with guilt (β = -0.10; p< 0.05; 95% CI: -0.18 to -0.01). After adjusting for the confounders, only the positive association of guilt with conflicts with staff was similar as in the unadjusted analysis (β = 0.11; p < 0.001; 95% CI: 0.05 to 0.16), whereas satisfaction with care was not significantly associated with guilt in the adjusted analyses (β = -0.07; p = 0.10; 95% CI: -0.16 to 0.01). DISCUSSION: More conflicts with staff are associated with stronger guilt feelings. Guilt feelings are experienced by caregivers even after the admission of the person with dementia, and they remain stable over time. Further studies should focus on how to address guilt in family caregivers of people with dementia living in nursing homes.

Pain in nursing home residents with dementia and its association to quality of life
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Helvik AS, Bergh S, Šaltytė Benth J, Selbaek G, Husebo BS, Tevik K.
Aging Ment Health 2021 Jul 11:1-11.
OBJECTIVES: We aimed to describe pain, use of analgesics and quality of life (QoL) in people with dementia admitted to a Norwegian nursing home (NH), and to explore if and how pain was associated with their QoL when adjusting for sociodemographic characteristics, other health conditions and use of analgesics. METHOD: A total of 953 Norwegian NH residents with dementia (mean age 84.0, SD 7.5 years, 35.8% men) were included at admission to the NH. Pain and QoL were assessed using the Mobilization-Observation-Behavior-Intensity-Dementia-2 (MOBID-2) Pain Scale and the Quality of Life in Late-Stage Dementia (QUALID) scale, respectively. Severity of dementia, personal level of activities of daily living, general medical health, neuropsychiatric symptoms, and the use of psychotropic drugs and analgesics were assessed. RESULTS: In total, 36% of the participants had clinically relevant pain intensity (MOBID-2 ≥ 3) and 52% received analgesics. Paracetamol was most frequently prescribed (45%). In an adjusted linear mixed model, more severe pain was associated with higher QUALID total scores, indicating poorer QoL (regression coefficient 0.52, 95% CI 0.36-0.69). CONCLUSION: Pain prevalence at NH admission was high in residents with dementia; half used analgesics, particularly paracetamol. More severe pain was associated with poorer QoL when adjusting for sociodemographic characteristics, other health conditions, and use of analgesics. The routine assessment of pain at NH admission can uncover undiagnosed and untreated pain and allow for adequate non-pharmacological and pharmacological pain management and likely increased QoL.

Understanding the Impact of Urinary Incontinence in Persons with Dementia: Development of an Interdisciplinary Service Model
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Juliebø-Jones P, Coulthard E, Mallam E, Archer H, Drake MJ.
Adv Urol 2021 Jun 19;2021:9988056.
INTRODUCTION: Prevalence of urinary symptoms such as incontinence (UI) in patients with dementia is estimated to exceed 50%. The resultant psychological and socio-economic burden can be substantial. Our aim was to develop a dedicated urology service within a cognitive impairment clinic in order to treat and better understand the bothersome urinary symptoms suffered by persons with dementia. METHODS: Patients attending this clinic were invited to be assessed and interviewed by urologist, together with their family and/or carer. In addition, formal history, examination and relevant investigations, themes of importance such as quality of life, and select question items were drawn from validated questionnaires. Multidisciplinary team (MDT) meeting was carried out on the same day. Outcomes of the first 75 patients with UI and dementia have been reported. RESULTS: Average age was 70 years (range 58-98). Majority of persons had a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease (n = 43, 57%). Average score for how much urine leakage interferes with everyday life was 7.7/10 (range 2-10). 58.7% (n = 44) revealed some degree of sleep disturbance due to UI. 83% (n = 62) stated daily activities were limited due to UI. Two-thirds of persons with dementia (n = 50) stated their bladder problem makes them feel anxious. 88% (n = 67) felt the topic was socially embarrassing. All carers stated that the person’s continence issues affect the care they provide. Less than one-third of carers (30.7%, n = 23) were aware of or had been in contact with any bladder and bowel community service. More than half of the carers (n = 46, 65%) were concerned incontinence may be a principal reason for future nursing home admission. CONCLUSION: UI can be distressing for persons with dementia. Care partners were concerned about loss of independence and early nursing home admission. Awareness of bladder and bowel services should be increased.

12-Month Trajectory and Predictors of Affect Balance in Nursing Home Residents Living with Dementia
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Kolanowski A, Zhu S, Van Haitsma K, Resnick B, Boltz M, Galik E, et al.
Aging Ment Health 2021 Jul 12:1-7.
Objectives:Emotional expressions in late-stage dementia have traditionally been studied within a deficit paradigm. Moving the narrative of the dementia trajectory from a solely negative pathological experience to one that acknowledges the potential for positive experiences aligns with international recommendations for living well with dementia. The purpose of this study was to extend prior research by examining the pattern of well-being using affect balance, the ratio of positive to negative affect, in nursing home residents living with dementia over 12 months and its association to factors that could potentially influence resident well-being.Method:This study was a secondary analysis of baseline, 4 and 12-month data from a pragmatic clinical trial. A total of 536 residents with moderate to severe cognitive impairments from 55 nursing homes were included in the multivariable linear mixed model regression analyses.Results:Resident function, the number of registered nurse hours devoted to care in the facility, and the quality of staff interaction predicted higher affect balance over time after controlling for other variables.Conclusion:The findings provide support for the utility of affect balance as a meaningful outcome measure of well-being for persons living with dementia. In addition, results point to specific interventions (i.e. maintaining/improving resident function, providing adequate nurse staffing levels, and improving staff communications skills) that can serve as the focus for both research and practice to help residents live well with dementia. Clinicaltrials.gov (NCT03014570).

The epidemiology of social isolation and loneliness among older adults during the last years of life
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Kotwal AA, Cenzer IS, Waite LJ, Covinsky KE, Perissinotto CM, Boscardin WJ, et al.
J Am Geriatr Soc 2021 Jul 11.
BACKGROUND: Social isolation and loneliness are critical to the health of older adults, but they have not been well-described at the end of life. OBJECTIVES: To determine the prevalence and correlates of social isolation and loneliness among older adults in the last years of life. DESIGN: Nationally representative, cross-sectional survey. SETTING: Health and Retirement Study, 2006-2016 data. PARTICIPANTS: Adults age > 50 interviewed once in the last 4 years of life (n = 3613). MEASUREMENTS: We defined social isolation using a 15-item scale measuring household contacts, social network interaction, and community engagement, and frequent loneliness using the 3-item UCLA Loneliness Scale. We used multivariable logistic regression to determine their adjusted prevalence by time prior-to-death and by subgroups of interest. RESULTS: Approximately 19% experienced social isolation, 18% loneliness, and 5% both in the last 4 years of life (correlation = 0.11). The adjusted prevalence of social isolation was higher for individuals nearer to death (4 years: 18% vs 0-3 months: 27%, p = 0.05) and there was no significant change in loneliness (4 years: 19% vs 0-3 months: 23%, p = 0.13). Risk factors for both isolation and loneliness included (p < 0.01): low net-worth (Isolation: 34% vs 14%; Loneliness: 29% vs 13%), hearing impairment (Isolation: 26% vs 20%; Loneliness: 26% vs 17%), and difficulty preparing meals (Isolation: 27% vs 19%; Loneliness: 29% vs 15%). Factors associated with loneliness, but not social isolation, included being female, pain, incontinence, and cognitive impairment. CONCLUSIONS: Social isolation and loneliness are common at the end of life, affecting 1 in 4 older adults, but few experience both. Rates were higher for older adults who were poor and experienced functional or sensory impairments. Results can inform clinical efforts to identify and address end-of-life psychosocial suffering and health policies which prioritize social needs at the end of life.

Effectiveness of a musical fitness programme for older adults with cognitive impairment in long-term care facilities: A quasi-experimental study
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Lin PC, Lay YL, Chiu HL, Chen IH, Peters K.
J Clin Nurs 2021 Jul 5.
OBJECTIVE: To investigate the effectiveness of a musical fitness programme (MFP) intervention in improving neuropsychiatric symptoms, depression, upper-limb muscle strength and cognition of older adults with cognitive impairment in long-term care (LTC) facilities. BACKGROUND: Because of population ageing, the number of older adults with cognitive impairment has been increasing. The effectiveness of medications in treating cognitive impairment is limited; therefore, the global trend has been for non-pharmacological treatments. However, intervention studies of MFPs on older LTC residents with cognitive impairment are scant. DESIGN: This study adopted a quasi-experimental design in accordance with the Transparent Reporting of Evaluations with Nonrandomized Designs (TREND) checklist. In total, 84 older adults with cognitive impairment were recruited from seven LTC facilities. The MFP was implemented from July-November 2019. METHODS: The intervention group received the MFP, which was 50 min per session, twice a week for 12 weeks, whereas the comparison group received usual care. Neuropsychiatric inventory nursing home version, the Cornell scale for depression in dementia Chinese version, 30-s arm curl test and Mini-Mental State Examination were the outcome measures. Data were analysed using Chi-square test, t test and repeated measure analysis of variance. RESULTS: After the intervention, the scores of neuropsychiatric inventory and the Cornell depression exhibited significant differences over time between two groups (F = 3.6, p = .029; F = 5.96, p = .003, respectively). Nevertheless, 30-s arm curl test and Mini-Mental State Examination demonstrated non-significant between-group differences. CONCLUSION: The MFP can effectively reduce neuropsychiatric symptoms and depression in older adults with cognitive impairment in LTC facilities. To ensure a more robust evidence base, more research is warranted. RELEVANCE TO CLINICAL PRACTICE: The MFP is a non-pharmacological treatment that can be implemented to promote psychological well-being among older adults with cognitive impairment in LTC facilities, and to indirectly reduce nursing staff burden. To assist nursing staff in providing this intervention, on-the-job training is needed.

Community context and therapeutic recreation programming in rural long-term care: a socio-ecological examination
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Nelson GM, Rich KA.
2021 07/03:1-26.
ABSTRACTThe importance of maintaining wellness for seniors is widely acknowledged, and can be achieved through recreation and leisure programming. Nevertheless, little research has explored the intersection between the rural context and the processes of Therapeutic Recreation (TR) practice and programming within long term care (LTC) settings. Using a qualitative single case study methodology, our research sought to examine this intersection. Semi-structured interviews and document analysis were conducted. The data were analyzed using thematic analysis and the socio-ecological model. The results are presented as two themes. First, we discuss the influence of health care policy and practice on TR programming. Second, we discuss context specific challenges and opportunities of carrying out programming. Implications of a context-focused approach to programming and care are discussed with regards to practice and future research.

Despite Symptom Severity, do Nursing Home Residents Experience Joy-of-Life? The Associations Between Joy-of-Life and Symptom Severity in Norwegian Nursing Home Residents
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Rinnan E, André B, Espnes GA, Drageset J, Garåsen H, Haugan G.
J Holist Nurs 2021 Jul 2:8980101211021219.
Background: Finding new approaches to increase health and well-being among nursing home (NH) residents is highly warranted. From a holistic perspective, several Norwegian municipalities have implemented the certification scheme framed “Joy-of-Life Nursing Home” Aims: In a holistic perspective on NH care, this study investigated if NH residents despite potential symptom severity experience joy-of-life (JoL). Therefore, we examined the frequency of common symptoms and the association between common symptoms and JoL in cognitively intact NH residents. Methods: A cross-sectional design was employed. Using the QLQ-C15-PAL quality-of-life questionnaire, hospital anxiety and depression scale, and JoL scale, a total of 188 cognitively intact NH residents participated. Results: Symptom severity was high; 54% reported fatigue, 52% reported constipation, 45% reported pain, 43% reported dyspnea, 32% reported insomnia, 22% reported appetite loss, and 20% reported nausea, while 20% reported anxiety and 23% reported depressive symptoms. Nevertheless, 59% of the NH residents reported high JoL, which was significantly positively related to the quality of life and negatively associated with anxiety and depression.

Relatives’ experiences with abuse and neglect in Norwegian nursing homes. A qualitative study
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Saga S, Blekken LE, Nakrem S, Sandmoe A.
BMC Health Serv Res 2021 Jul 11;21(1):684-021-06713-9.
BACKGROUND: Elder abuse in nursing homes (NH) is a widespread and complex problem. Residents’ ability to share their experiences are impeded, due to a high degree of cognitive problems and frailty, and previous studies are thus mainly based on reports from staff. Therefore, we aimed to give voice to the residents by investigating their relatives’ experiences with elder abuse in NH. METHODS: Qualitative individual interviews were conducted with 16 relatives of residents with experience of abuse and/or neglect in NH. Content analysis was used to analyse the data. RESULTS: Relatives perceived neglect as most pervasive and staff-to-resident psychological abuse as a key problem. Physical abuse was mostly related to resident-to-resident aggression. Relatives perceived elder abuse in NH to be related to low competence among staff, low staffing, poor NH leadership, working cultures characterized by fear and loyalty to employer or co-workers, and a lack of individualized care for the residents. Furthermore, relatives themselves experienced maltreatment from NH, which caused them to suffer stress, anxiety and distrust. Relatives also expressed a need to compensate for lack of care. CONCLUSIONS: Relatives of NH residents who had experienced abuse reported that neglect of basic care and individual rights was predominant and viewed organizational explanations as most important. Relatives perceive themselves as collaborators in care and are emotionally attached to their family member. Therefore, if relatives experience resident abuse or neglect, it inflicts a feeling of being mistreated themselves, particularly if they are not listened to or their notice of abuse on the part of the resident is ignored or trivialized. Including relatives in a committed partnership with NH in care practices is not only a valuable path to reduce the risk of abuse, but it also leads to a more sustainable healthcare with high standards of quality and safety.

Younger Nursing Home Residents: A Scoping Review of Their Lived Experiences, Needs, and Quality of Life
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Shieu BM, Almusajin JA, Dictus C, Beeber AS, Anderson RA.
J Am Med Dir Assoc 2021 Jul 12.
OBJECTIVES: The percentage of younger nursing home (NH) residents (ages 18-64 years) in some countries such as the United States and Canada has been increasing over the years. In fact, it is generally held that younger NH residents are considerably different from the older residents (age ≥65 years). There is a need to understand who they are, why they resided in NHs, and their quality of life (QoL). The aims of the study were to describe the experiences, needs, and QoL among younger residents living in NHs. DESIGN: Scoping review. SETTINGS AND PARTICIPANTS: (Younger) Residents of NHs. METHODS: Five databases (PubMed, CINAHL, PsycINFO, Web of Science, and Scopus) and Google Scholar were used to search for relevant studies. PRISMA diagram was used to guide this scoping review. RESULTS: The key findings of the study cover 5 themes: (1) Confinement, (2) Lack of socialization, (3) Lack of privacy, (4) Lack of appropriate settings, and (5) Loss of identity, as well as results of QoL were generated. CONCLUSIONS AND IMPLICATIONS: This scoping review provides a deeper understanding of the lived experiences, needs, and QoL among younger NH residents. The results provide suggestions for future studies regarding new interventions to optimize the QoL of NH residents.

Family involvement in the Namaste care family program for dementia: A qualitative study on experiences of family, nursing home staff, and volunteers
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Tasseron-Dries PEM, Smaling HJA, Doncker SMMM, Achterberg WP, van der Steen JT.
Int J Nurs Stud 2021 Jun 7;121:103968.
BACKGROUND: Family caregivers may experience difficulty maintaining meaningful contact with a relative with advanced dementia. Nevertheless, some family caregivers prefer to remain involved in the care of their relative after admission to a nursing home. Family involvement in the care is important but little is known about how this works in practice and what exactly is needed to improve it. OBJECTIVES: To examine experiences of family caregivers, staff and volunteers with family caregiver participation in the Namaste Care Family program, a psychosocial intervention to increase quality of life for people with advanced dementia that may help family caregivers to connect with their relative. Further, we aimed to examine facilitators of and barriers to family participation. DESIGN: Descriptive exploratory qualitative design using semi-structured interviews. SETTING: Ten nursing homes in the Netherlands. PARTICIPANTS: Ten family caregivers, 31 staff members and 2 volunteers who participated in the Namaste Care Family Program. METHODS: Qualitative interview study using thematic analysis. Interviews were held with family caregivers, staff members, and volunteers about their experiences with the Namaste Care Family program. RESULTS: In general, family caregivers experienced their involvement in the Namaste Care Family program as positive, particularly the meaningful connections with their relative. However, putting family involvement into practice was challenging. We identified three themes covering facilitators for and barriers to participation: (1) Preferences of family caregivers for activities with their relative (Activities): practical activities matching one’s own interests were seen as facilitating, while perceived lack of knowledge and reluctance to engage with other residents were barriers. (2) Communication between family caregivers, staff and volunteers (Communication): providing clear information about the program to family caregivers facilitated their involvement. Feeling insecure inhibited family involvement. (3) Personal context of family caregivers (Personal circumstances): feeling fulfillment and being appreciated facilitated involvement. Older age, having a family of their own, a job and complex family relations were barriers to family caregiver involvement. CONCLUSION: To optimize family involvement, it is important to adopt a family-centered approach and provide training and guidance. Making a personal, comprehensive plan with family caregivers and offering them guidance can help them overcome their uncertainty and remove barriers to being more involved with a care program aiming to improve the quality of life of their relative. Also recommended is training for staff to improve communication with family caregivers. The Namaste study is registered with the Netherlands Trial Register (NTR5692).

Virtual Reality Therapy for Depression and Mood in Long-Term Care Facilities
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Zhai K, Dilawar A, Yousef MS, Holroyd S, El-Hammali H, Abdelmonem M.
Geriatrics (Basel) 2021 Jun 4;6(2):58. doi: 10.3390/geriatrics6020058.
Virtual reality (VR) describes a family of technologies which immerse users in sensorily-stimulating virtual environments. Such technologies have increasingly found applications in the treatment of neurological and mental health disorders. Depression, anxiety, and other mood abnormalities are of concern in the growing older population-especially those who reside in long-term care facilities (LTCFs). The transition from the familiar home environment to the foreign LTCF introduces a number of stressors that can precipitate depression. However, recent studies reveal that VR therapy (VRT) can promote positive emotionality and improve cognitive abilities in older people, both at home and in LTCFs. VR thus holds potential in allowing older individuals to gradually adapt to their new environments-thereby mitigating the detrimental effects of place attachment and social exclusion. Nevertheless, while the current psychological literature is promising, the implementation of VR in LTCFs faces many challenges. LTCF residents must gain trust in VR technologies, care providers require training to maximize the positive effects of VRT, and decision makers must evaluate both the opportunities and obstacles in adopting VR. In this review article, we concisely discuss the implications of depression related to place attachment in LTCFs, and explore the potential therapeutic applications of VR.