A study in August’s 2013 Dementia, a journal that focuses on care and study of all aspects of dementia, is titled “The comparison of quality of life among people with mild dementia in nursing home and home care”
The study compared the quality of life of people with dementia who were living at home with paid home care and the quality of life of dementia sufferers who were residing in a nursing home. The study examined 49 people who have dementia and are less than 60 years old.
The residents were given evaluations to determine the severity of their impairment, quality of life, success or failure with routine daily activities, and levels of depression and social isolation.
The study found that there were significant differences between residents who lived in nursing homes and patients who were receiving home care. Residents receiving home care scored much higher in quality of life assessments and reported less depression.
Obviously, there are some factors that need to be taken into consideration. First, the people who were part of the study were all under the age of 60. That makes it less likely that they have significant underlying physical conditions then a study that considered older residents (the population that makes up the majority of nursing home residents). Younger residents would also fall outside of the typical peer group for nursing home residents making social isolation more likely.
Home care is going to play a much greater role in the way we treat dementia and other age-related conditions. The number of seniors is growing rapidly, and will continue to do so for a decade or more.